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#18 How to Spring Clean Your Life, NOT Just Your Closet

Uncategorized May 12, 2020
 

Today we are going to get to explore the idea of cleaning out more than just your closet this spring - but using this time to let go of anything that is no longer serving you.  This episode will include action steps to help you use spring cleaning to feel more in control and focused.  That’s right, you can get started transforming your life right now to have less of whatever you don’t want anymore - less stress, less anger, and less stuff in your closet.  

 

In this episode you will learn:

  1. How spring cleaning your life, not just your closet, can help you feel less overwhelmed and more in control
  2. Four new ways to think about spring cleaning and how to do them right now
  3. How to let spring cleaning be an opportunity for something else to grow and take it’s place

 

Spring is an amazing time.  It’s a time of growth.  Of new beginnings.  It’s also a time to clean.  If you are anything like me, I love love love switching out my closet from the winter to spring and summer - mostly because I get to organize.  I think I love organizing so much because it allows me to feel like I’m in control.  Have you ever noticed that?  When you organize a room or clean out a drawer - that you feel both accomplished and in control.  You just feel lighter.



Feel More in Control and LESS Overwhelmed

Yes, spring cleaning can make you more organized, which is awesome.  But it also gives you a sense of control.  Cleaning and organizing, especially if you focus on small quick wins, is an amazingly easy way to feel more in control quickly.  

 

How do you focus on ‘quick wins’?  For example, I might not take on my entire closet today.  I might instead decide that I’m going to focus on my shoes.  I go through all of my shoes, my shoes are organized and I feel more in control in 30 min or less.   Taking on smaller more manageable categories of stuff to spring clean can help you get more control faster - and go through stuff that seems impossible.

 

Spring cleaning something like your closet does something else that’s really cool - it reduces decision fatigue.  I talk about this in Episode #9, but when you have less choices it’s easier to make a decision.  You aren’t spending your time and energy deciding between 20 different pairs of pants to wear - you are spending your time and energy deciding between 5 different pairs of pants to wear.

 

Spring cleaning is a concept that you can really apply to anything in your life - stuff, hobbies, habits, activities, people, emotions, thoughts - anything.  I’m going to give you some examples to get you started - but I would encourage you to work on spring cleaning what you think is holding you back!

 

Spring Cleaning Your Negative Self-Talk

I don’t know about you, but there are some things that I say to myself inside my head that I’d really rather not say any more!!   What if I could spring clean those and just get rid of some of them <notice that I say ‘some’ of them, because I’m not quite sure I could get rid of all of them>. 

 

In Episode #4 I talk about thinking traps.  What’s a thinking trap? It’s when we think something like, “I suck.  I’m the worst. I can’t believe I did that.” This becomes a thought that can trap us, that can become all that we think about.  It can become part of our identity - we then believe we are a bad cook.  

 

So, how do you fight these thinking traps of negative self-talk?  There are three ways you can learn about in Episode #4, but my favorite is to find evidence. 

Evidence:  This is NOT true because <xyz>

It’s not true that I suck because….

 

Coming back to the idea of a quick win - what horrible thing are you telling yourself that you’d like to let go of and replace with something better.  

 

To make a very cheese spring gardening metaphor - imagine that you are cleaning out your garden of all of the dead stuff from last year, so that you can have the space to start to grow something new and beautiful.  So cheesy!  But, it’s also true. What if your thoughts were full of loving and supportive thoughts because you got rid of some of your negative thoughts?  That’s some serious spring cleaning.



Spring Cleaning Your Information

I covered this in-depth in Podcast #8, where we talked about how to ditch being overwhelmed by information but this is one of my favorites for spring time.  I like to evaluate what news or podcasts or books or emails or social media that I am letting into my life and let go of whatever is no longer serving me.  For example, I was finding Twitter to be overwhelming these past few weeks.  It just wasn’t adding anything to my life.  Yesterday, I deleted it from my phone.  I’m not crazy - I didn’t delete my account - although that’s not the worst idea ever- I just deleted the app.  I’m letting it go.  I can always add it back in later.  But here’s what’s funny about letting some of these things go - I usually don’t miss them.  Especially when something has become “I have to listen to this podcast,” instead of. “I get to listen to this podcast.”  That shift from “have to” to “get to” is powerful and as soon as I start thinking, “I have to…” do something - that tells me that I might need to re-evaluate it.  Is it still serving me?  

 

And remember, when we ‘spring clean’ and let go of something - it gives us more space to cultivate something else.  



Spring Cleaning Your Electronics

This is similar to the information spring cleaning idea - but a little bit different.  I spring clean my computer and my apps and my emails and my photos and my everything electronic.  There is SO MUCH CRAP on my computer and phone it’s crazy.  And even worse, there is so much crap that becomes obsolete over the past year, over even just the past 6 months, that it’s crazy.  It weighs on me.  The amount of stuff in my life related to electronics really weighs on me.  It impacts my emotions - mostly adding anger and frustration.  It impacts my thoughts - “where is that document?” or “Why do I have so many cat pictures?”  

 

So, I take time to go through this stuff.  To let go of things that are no longer relevant and things that are no longer serving me.  This has two amazing bonus outcomes, in addition to being more organized in general, it makes me feel more in control very quickly.  I can clean out one folder on my desktop in maybe 5 min, or decide that this week I unsubscribe from all emails I don’t want anymore.  It is such a fast way to take back control, especially when everything else feels out of control.  The second bonus?  I find stuff.  I find stuff that I had forgotten about, ideas I had let go of for whatever reason, or articles I had meant to read.  

 

Spring Cleaning How You Spend Your Time

I think that everything I talked about today feeds into this, but how are you spending your time?  Are you spending it doing things that you value and love with people that you value and love?  For all of us, there is probably an activity or a habit or some way that we are spending our time that no longer serves us.  I’m guessing you just thought about it.  Remember, when we let go of something, it gives us space for new things!

 

If you think about it, spring cleaning is a concept that you can really apply to anything in your life - stuff, hobbies, habits, activities, people, emotions, thoughts - anything.  I’ve given you some examples to get you started - but I would encourage you to work on spring cleaning what you think is holding you back!



Space for New Things

One of my favorite parts of spring cleaning is that it makes room for new stuff in my life.  POSSIBILITY!!  Sometimes it makes room for new pants.  Or shoes.  But it also makes room for new healthy habits or new hobbies or personal growth.  What would you like more of in your life?  What would serve you?  What would enhance your life? 



Action steps:

  1. What do you want to let go of today? What is no longer serving you?  
  2. What do you want to make space for and grow this spring?  A new habit?  A new practice? A new hobby? A new friendship?  What would serve you?

 

Tips for Spring Cleaning:

  1. Break it up into small steps- maybe just 15 min or maybe just a specific section of something.  Keeping your focus small prevents you from feeling overwhelmed.
  2. Know what success would look like.  For example, I’m not going to have a goal to go through ALL of the pictures on my phone. There are thousands.  That would be insane.  I say, I will clean out the pictures from March and get rid of everything I don’t want to keep forever.  That’s something that’s achievable, but also something that I will be able to tell when I’ve completed it.  When I’ve gone through March - I’m done! Go me! 

 

My sincere hope is that this podcast is something that adds value to your life and helps you to consider ways to spring clean your life - so that you can have space for all of the amazing possibilities of what you want more of in your life.   

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