Spring is here – and for many of us, that means it’s time for spring cleaning. More than a seasonal ritual, it can actually improve your physical and mental health: Decluttering can decrease stress, and cleaning counts as exercise! Check out our 5 tips to spring clean all the spaces in your life.
1. Start with your home.
The author William Morris once said, “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Use this as your spring-cleaning mantra. Go through each room and decide what you want to toss and what could possibly be donated. Clean off the dust, open the windows, go through your pantry and add a new plant or two. These things can help air out your physical space and decrease health-harming stress. Find out the consequences of chronic stress from internist Keri Peterson, MD.
2. Work better.
Is your desk a mess? Inbox filled with unread mail? Workspace clutter can make you less productive on the job. So spend a few hours getting organized (and toss the empty soda cans on your desk). Also make it a point to resolve any workplace conflicts. It’ll decrease office anxiety and make it much easier to head into work every morning.
3. Clear out your car.
Get rid of the plastic bottles, fast food wrappers and old receipts. Research shows that clutter affects our ability to focus and process information, which can be dangerous on the road. Once your vehicle is clutter free, give it a really good cleaning – especially the floor mats. According to Dr. Oz, cars harbor lots of bacteria that could potentially make you sick!
4. Tidy up your mental space.
If you spend a bunch of time thinking about all things you have to do, the bills you have to pay, the chores that didn’t get done, it probably means your mind is cluttered. Making lists can help you organize your mental space and accomplish your tasks. But simply writing things down may not be enough. Watch Dr. Oz explain how to make a truly effective to-do list.
5. Detox your body.
Did you spend a bunch of time on the couch this winter? Indulge in comfort foods more than you should have? It’s time to spring clean your routine and make healthy habits a priority. Skip the TV after work and head outside for fun, easy exercise like walking, gardening or biking. Clear your pantry of sweets and other processed foods, and stock it with healthy snacks, cholesterol-lowering whole grains and protein-rich beans. Load up your refrigerator, too, with fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies.