Spring Cleaning: I Bet You Never Thought to Clean Here!

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                                      As seen in the Yadkin Ripple Thursday, April 29, 2021

Spring cleaning is a tradition that started in order to bring fresh new life in a home after the cold winter months. During those winter months, we tend to find ourselves more tired and a bit sluggish due to the weather and lack of sunlight. Spring brings a new energy, with longer daylight hours and sunny skies. This gives us the extra boost to be more active and get cleaning.

Traditional places to clean include closets, garages, attics, and kitchen cabinets. The main reason that spaces like this get dirty is clutter. It may be easier to declutter by knowing where clutter comes from. Clutter comes from not being able to get rid of things or not recognizing things can be let go of. Having a home free of clutter helps us to function better by creating a system that works for you.

There are tons of resources available that will give you a list of things in your home to consider decluttering such as writing utensils that no longer work, piles of papers, old calendars, and magazines. Let’s take a moment to focus on some things I bet you never thought to clean in your spring cleaning regimen. It’s time to start talking about cleaning your schedule and your mind.

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Cleaning your schedule to perform well

Our schedule for the day can become just as cluttered as our closets. When you clean out a closet, it is best to take everything out of the closet and place it in a work room. Go back to the emptied closet to vacuum the floor and wipe down any shelf pieces. Place items back in your closet you intend to keep, donate items to give them a new home, and discard items that have no value. We can clean out our schedules by taking the same approach. Start with blank schedule. Make a list of the items you need to accomplish for the day. Assign time frames to complete these task and place them on your blank schedule. You may donate some of your tasks to others to help or assign them for another day. Discard things from your schedule that are time wasters if you have more important tasks on your list for the day.

Here are a few tips for your scheduling

Make room for sleep in your schedule. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seven or more hours per day is recommended for adults 18 and older. Pay attention to your body and assess if increasing the numbers of hours you rest is right for you. Poor sleep signs may include not feeling rested upon awakening, waking up repeatedly during the night, snoring, or gasping for air. Set yourself up for a restful night’s sleep by having a consistent bedtime and making sure bedroom has low lighting and is a comfortable temperature. Limiting large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bed may be helpful as well.

Focus on work at work. Focus on being at home when you are home. This may seem like a simple task, but it is easy to let our minds shift from the office to our home life. If we allow our self to be fully present at work, we can accomplish the tasks set before us. This allows us not to worry about work when we are at home. The same is true at home. Once you are home, find ways to relax and decompress from work. Prepare easy dinners and schedule time performing a hobby that relaxes you. A bonus tip is to take advantage of your lunch break at work. This is a great time to enjoy a meal, change your surroundings, and relax your mind before heading back to work.



Cleaning your of negativity mind

It is recommended that you do a deep clean of your refrigerator every three to four months. This process includes taking everything out of your refrigerator and cleaning the inside with warm soapy water to sanitize and remove any food remains. After rinsing out and allowing the inside to dry, it is time to take inventory of your food items. Throw out items with expired due dates and/or items that display spoilage characteristics such as mold or sour smell. Place the remaining items back in your refrigerator in an organized fashion.

Negativity in our mind can be like the spoiled food found in the fridge. What started out as delicious ingredient can leave a foul odor behind that may be unpleasant and unsafe to ingest. Negative thoughts can grow into purposes that were never intended for them. For example, say you make a small mistake at work. Over time instead of calling this a “mistake” you call it a “stupid mistake”. More time passes and you are just saying the word “stupid.” This leads to you calling yourself “stupid” over a mistake that was made. In reality, you are not stupid. You made a choice that did not lead to desired outcome. In return you are learning from that choice so that you can make better choices in the future. That is all. You are learning and growing, but you are not stupid.

Here are a few tips for your mind

The first step is to assess your thoughts free of judgement. This means not labeling a thought as good or bad when it crosses our mind. Instead, evaluate where that thought is coming from and then decide if you want to apply it to your life or let it go. For example, if I make a mistake at work and call myself stupid this is good time to assess my thoughts. I can take a moment to think about why I chose to call myself stupid in that moment. After reflection, I realize that I did so because I made a mistake. I realize that making a mistake does not make me stupid, it allows me to learn that choice did not get me what I was looking for and I need to make another choice. I choose to let go of the stupid label and tell myself that I am learning. Remember that this takes practice. Just like that thought milk did not go sour overnight, negativity may have been lingering in the back of our mind for a while. The good news is with practice and support we can learn to be kind to ourselves.

Build your confidence by finding kind things to say about yourself. Practice saying these things to yourself in the morning and throughout the day. If you have trouble identifying those characteristics ask someone you trust to help you identify a few. Remember that you are your own unique self and that is exactly who you are meant to be.

Happy cleaning!

Remember back to where clutter comes from. Clutter comes from not be able to get rid of things or not recognizing things can be let go of. Take time to look at your schedule and mind to determine if there are aspects of each of these fields cluttering up space. If there are make a plan to declutter these spaces because freeing a space of clutter allows us to function well.

For more information and resources on decluttering, contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Yadkin County. N.C. Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity provider.

Addie Wilson, Yadkin County Extension Director

Phone: 336-849-7908