Spring has sprung, and despite the attention that the start of the year receives for New Year, New You resolutions–spring is actually a more natural time of year to sprout new growth. So if you’ve neglected those new year resolutions, take a note from nature which is only now starting to bloom out of its long winter slumber.
Rather than be a source of dread, though, research shows that tidying up your physical space can have a profound effect on your internal calm. Which is why it makes sense that those organizational videos that pop up on your Instagram reels are so mesmerizing. How else do you account for the @thepoolguyml’s success – with half a million followers on an account that merely gives a glimpse of a pool guy transforming dirty grimy pools into crystal blue waters.
In the book “Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness,” author Ingrid Fetell Lee explains: “I realized that the joy of order comes in large measure from what it opposes: chaos and disorder. Order isn’t dull and staid,” she says. “It is a tangible manifestation of a vibrant harmony, of disparate parts working in concert to sustain the graceful balance of life.”
I’d wager you’d never thought so deeply about cleaning and organization. She goes on: “Harmony offers visible evidence that someone cares enough about a place to invest energy in it. Disorder has the opposite effect,” she says. “Disorderly environments have been linked to feelings of powerlessness, fear, anxiety, and depression, and they exert a subtle, negative influence on people’s behavior.”
If you’re like me, though, sometimes it can take a lot to get going. You may not be in the mood to clean, but if you can will yourself to it, the dopamine reward that follows will be worth it. And it may be something that will spill over into other areas of your life too.
Need a place to start? We’ve compiled a list of ideas to consider for your home, car and health. By following these spring cleaning tips, you can help keep your home, car and health are in good condition and make sure they’re ready for the warmer months ahead.
- Declutter: Go through each room and get rid of things you no longer need or use. This can include clothes, books, and household items.
- Clean the windows: Use a glass cleaner to clean the inside and outside of your windows.
- Dust: Use a microfiber cloth or a dusting spray to dust surfaces, including shelves, tables, and furniture.
- Vacuum and mop: Vacuum carpets and rugs, and mop hard floors.
- Clean the kitchen: Clean the oven, microwave, and refrigerator, and wipe down countertops and cabinets.
- Clean the bathroom: Clean the toilet, bathtub, sink, and shower, and wash towels and bath mats.
- Wash bedding: Wash all sheets, pillowcases, and comforters.
- Clean outdoor spaces: Clean patio furniture, sweep decks, and power wash driveways and sidewalks.
- Replace air filters: Replace air filters in your home to improve air quality.
- Look up: Spring and summer mean heavy rains. Check the condition of your roof to make sure it’s in good condition. Clean out gutters to aid in proper runoff.
- Start with a good wash: Give your car a thorough wash, including the exterior, wheels, and undercarriage. Use a car wash soap and a soft-bristled brush to scrub the exterior and wheels, and a pressure washer or hose to rinse off the dirt and grime.
- Clean the interior: Remove all trash, vacuum the carpets and seats, and wipe down the dashboard and other surfaces with a damp cloth. Use a special cleaner for leather seats, if necessary.
- Change the oil and other fluids: Spring is a good time to change the oil and other fluids, such as the coolant and brake fluid. Check the owner’s manual for the recommended intervals.
- Check the tires: Check the tire pressure and make sure the tires have enough tread. If the tires are worn out, replace them.
- Replace the wiper blades: Winter can be tough on wiper blades, so replace them if they are streaking or not clearing the windshield properly.
- Check the brakes: Have the brakes inspected to ensure they are working properly.
- Check the battery: Cold weather can take a toll on batteries, so have the battery tested to make sure it’s still in good condition.
- Clean the headlights: Over time, headlights can become cloudy or yellowed, which can reduce their effectiveness. Clean the headlights with a special cleaner or toothpaste to restore their clarity.
- Schedule a routine physical exam: This is a good time to check your overall health and make sure everything is functioning properly.
- Get a dental checkup: Schedule a cleaning and checkup with your dentist to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Check your vision: Make an appointment with an eye doctor to get a comprehensive eye exam and update your eyeglass or contact lens prescription if necessary.
- Check your hearing: Schedule a hearing test with an audiologist to make sure you’re not experiencing any hearing loss.
- Get screened for skin cancer: Schedule a skin cancer screening with a dermatologist to check for any signs of skin cancer.
- Get vaccinated: If you haven’t already, get vaccinated for COVID-19, as well as any other vaccines recommended by your doctor based on your age, health, and medical history.
- Get a flu shot: While the flu season typically ends in the spring, it’s still a good idea to get a flu shot if you haven’t already.
- Check your mental health: Consider scheduling a mental health checkup with a therapist or counselor to address any mental health concerns you may have.
- Get a massage: Consider scheduling a massage to work out the kinks and tight muscle that might have developed over the winter.