Spring Cleaning in Five Difficult Steps

Dancer's Pose Natarajasana

A lot of “better living” advice starts flying around this time of year, specifically targeting spring cleaning.

There are a couple of different methods out there.

There’s the popular approach: cleaning behind your fridge, organizing your sock drawer, or scrubbing the floors with a Disney princess toothbrush.

Then, there’s the unpopular approach…you know, life beyond your closet.

By April, New Year’s resolutions have been carelessly swept under the rug. Eat healthy, exercise more, drink less, quit smoking…any of those yours?

Although spring is rather different than that balls-to-the-wall ambition for the new year.

Our desires are more humble, more in tune with nature. The blooming and budding stirs something inside of us – a need to grow with our surroundings and a yearning for fresh simplicity.

We often think that a little scrub-a-dub-dub is all we need for renewal.

While spick and span is fine and dandy, the bigger question is…what else should we be cleaning out of our lives?

MESSY OBLIGATIONS

Does your free time mirror your work life with appointments, checklists, and deadlines? I realize there are errands and social engagements, but do you really need to run around all the freaking time?

Not taking time out for yourself – some uninterrupted me time – is like inviting stress to bed with you. Stress not only ages us, it can slowly kill us.

Mop that shit up!  Try squeezing in your errands during the week after work when you’re already in that busy bee mode. Or get up early and knock them out on your weekend, so you can have the rest of your day. Brunch with so-and-so, cocktails with those guys, and hosting dinner parties for a herd of people is fine here and there. There’s no need to go all out all the time. Try something less “see and be seen” like staying in your jammies all day and not brushing your hair.

TOXIC INDIVIDUALS

Speaking of so-and-so’s, what do those relationships really have to offer?

I’m not talking about the wonderful people you can count on no matter what, the ones you trust with your life. You know who these toxic culprits are. To name a few: random acquaintances, oversized social circles, and Negative Nancies.

Yeah, it sounds harsh.

But guess what shouldn’t be taken lightly? Spending time with people that either don’t bring any fulfillment or worse, harm you in some way. Also, they take time away from the people you want/should be around more.

Disinfect that shit!  It’s time for the old pros and cons list. Honestly, it’s one of the best ways to stand back and logically examine the so-and-so’s. Once you’ve done that, then you have to deal with your decision. You can either tell them to their face or you can just fade out. The fade out is often easier than you might think, because sorry to tell you, you probably were as equally unimportant in their lives as they were in yours.

CLOGGED ACTIVITIES

Have you been doing something forever, so you just keep on doing it? This can be a hobby or a form of exercise.

Although it’s wonderful to be creative and stay active, make sure you are totally in love with it. Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it.

In fact, this encourages a case of the blahs.

Where’s the challenge when you’ve been there, done that? Where’s the high when something has plateaued?

Ho-hum creative endeavors are not making you a more cultured person. And, lackluster exercise routines are not doing anything wonderful for your body.

Why? Because you’re effing bored.

Pour some drain cleaner down that shit!  It’s time to move on. I know it’s hard, especially if you’ve been doing it forever and you feel that in some way it defines you. But, it doesn’t. Take up something new, that something you’ve been secretly wanting to try but haven’t had time for. Who cares if you feel like an idiot? You’re learning and growing. Sometimes we have to look a little goofy.

FILTHY HARASSMENT

Commercials, ads, and email marketing infiltrate our very lives like a team of termites.

This is a consumer-driven world we live in, and unless you go native, you’re gonna have to deal with it.

Yet, there is so much we allow voluntarily.

Do you give cashiers your email address when they ask? Do you sign up for e-mail lists just so you can score a discount?

Bam! You’re being stalked by marketers. And, you asked for it.

Trash that shit!  You don’t have to give out your email address to, well…anyone. Leave it blank on the form and decline politely when asked. It’s OK to say no. If you do sign up for the sake of a deal, you can unsubscribe after you’ve used the promo. It’s sneaky, but so are they. That initial coupon is just to butter you up. They’ll be harassing you on a regular basis after that…until the end of time.

CLUTTERED MIND

The previously mentioned life trash dumps stress, negativity, boredom, and irritation on our minds. Our lives are hectic enough as they are, but there is one phenomenal way to tidy up our minds….

Wipe down that shit!  Meditate. It works…simple as that. Even if you can only squeeze in 5-10 minutes a day, the effects are long-lasting and spotless.

Hey, I was very up front about these steps not being the easy kind. I’m not Martha Stewart, I’m Britt Skrabanek and I like to dish out the tough love sometimes.

So, put your damn hot pink rubber gloves on and start your spring cleaning!

27 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning in Five Difficult Steps

  1. Jessica says:

    Here here! Love your straightforward approach, Britt! There’s no need to over-complicate things – decisions can really be that simple! Although when everyone’s done with the unpopular approach, can someone help me with the popular one? Have to move out of this place next month hahaha

  2. 4amWriter says:

    Isn’t it funny–I am usually all about spring cleaning at this time of year, and I haven’t even thought about it! I’m too entrenched in the book I’m writing, I think, that I haven’t really noticed all the clutter. But since reading your post, I’m looking around…and…I’m…aghast.

    Excuse me while I get a trash bag…

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      I hear ya, doll! My apartment takes a backseat to my novel…that’s for sure! And, of course the cats are shedding now. Time to give my little place some special love tomorrow.

      Happy spring cleaning!!!

  3. Letizia says:

    What great advice and reminders. My list of things-to-do often seems to grow longer the more things I do but in the end they are really inconsequential things that can be put on the back burner and my time can be spent having fun with my family.

    Although I do wish I could dust like you do 🙂

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      I agree. Suddenly, you look at that to-do list, then you look at your family and it’s like…hang on a second here. This is just plain silliness!

      Give the dusting a try! It’s fun to do upside down as well. (Just kidding. I only vacuum upside down.) : )

  4. Roy McCarthy says:

    Spot on Britt, you put into eloquent words some very wise advice. I have to say as you get older you tend to ‘cop on’ and start to live the life you want rather than the one you seem destined for. That way you have a happier life and you make time for the people that really matter to you. Great post.

    • Britt Skrabanek says:

      Thanks again for the reblog love, Roy!

      I was slightly worried about all the “shit” usage, but then I was like…I’m just gonna keep that shit. : )

      Making time for people that matter to me has been a focus the past few years. I saw so much energy being expelled on negative people as well as people that just weren’t changing my life for the better, and I started to clean house.

      I feel very awesome about the people I choose to be surrounded by now. I am especially happy to have my amazing blogger community with outstanding humans such as yourself. (P.S. I am loving Midsummer Tale thus far.)

  5. Karin Van den Bergh says:

    Trash that shit!! haha Love it! I’ve been very successful so far this year.. and still going.. 🙂

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