Spring has just ended. And with it, the season of cleaning. But it’s not too late for a good spring cleaning routine. We feel the desire to free ourselves from everything unnecessary, redundant, dispensable, and superfluous. From bad purchases, cramped cabinets, and dusty decoration. It’s not just the physical things though. Spring and summer with their warm days and flourishing nature invite our minds to recharge, to improve.
Leo Tolstoy wrote in “Anna Karenina”:
“Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
Now is the time to get things done. To be more productive. To try something new. With a little help of minimalism.
Before I Begin
… I’m not a minimalist. Not really. Although I keep a list of all the clothes I own. Let’s call me minimalist-ish. I like to keep my stuff organized, I’m a sucker for decluttering, minimal interiors give me goosebumps — in a positive way. I can’t stand a messy house. Or a messy mind. It might be a medical condition. But I prefer the term minimalist-ish. So, let’s go with that.
To the topic at hand.
Let me quote Marie Kondo:
The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.
As Marie Kondo and the springtime challenge, it’s time to clean. Start small! Clean out a drawer or wipe the countertops. Then do more! Take a look at your closet. Remove the dust. Sort your clothes. Get rid of a couple while you’re at it. A little decluttering can’t hurt.
It’s time to clean the things you don’t clean regularly. I just hope it’s not the loo.
#2 Digital Spring Cleaning
Don’t forget your digital life. It might be in need of a good spring cleaning, too. Delete unused apps, make time to sort through a few files, take a break from social media, get rid of annoying notifications by muting them, or completely removing the app from your device. While you’re at it, take a cloth and wipe down your screen, keyboard, mouse, and any other surface you touch on a daily basis.
#3 Empty Your Pantry
Instead of buying groceries, try to use up what you have. Make a dish with the remaining foods in your pantry or refrigerator. Beef up some leftovers. You may find a new go-to recipe along the way and save some money. It feels much better to go grocery shopping afterward. Some of my favorite dishes — even the healthy ones — were happy accidents. As Julia Child noted in “My Life in France”:
“…no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”
#4 And Refill It With Healthy Foods
Once your pantry and refrigerator are empty, it’s the perfect time to restock them with healthier foods. Fresh veggies and fruits, healthy snacks, organic products, you know… the good stuff.
#5 Break Habits
Samuel Johnson said:
“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
With this in mind, try something new! For a day or two. Instead of coffee, grab a cup of tea in the morning. Drink tap water (if possible). Go sugar-free for a day, or remove dairy for two. You might enjoy a new taste. Or you’ll be happy to switch back afterward. Baby steps will take you forward, too.
#6 Meditate… or Move
Two opposites, you think? Maybe. But they serve the same purpose. Change the state of your body and mind. Either by taking a walk, going for a run, or riding your bike. Or by stimulating the mind and body connection through meditation or yoga. I used to make fun of this. Silly me. Yoga and meditation have been the most fun and rewarding exercises I’ve tried in years. Easily beating a pump in the gym. No equipment needed, no 20-step workout plan. That’s simplicity in its purest form.
The Bottom Line
- Digital spring cleaning
- Empty your pantry
- And refill it with healthy foods
- Break habits
- Meditate or move
Whatever you do, it’s not really the “what” that’s important here. It’s the “doing”. As Nathan W. Morris said:
“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.”