Each year I feel a wave of energy as the first warmer temperatures and longer days announce the arrival of springtime. While spring cleaning is a very common practice, I’ve found that expanding the concept to other areas of my life just feels natural as I enter a new phase. The most important part of this ritual is reflecting on how life is now and dreaming of what I would like it to be.
My biggest guiding question is “how do I want to feel?” From the items in our home, to the clothes I see when I open my drawers. What are the financial goals we have for the short and long term? How do I want to spend my time, and most importantly who I want to be around? I take a few minutes to imagine what I’d like life to look like. Of course, we all have various constraints on what is immediately possible, but I’ve found that making small steps toward who I want to be really add up over time.
I hope this post inspires you to open yourself up to a new future version of yourself and gives you some small steps you can take right now in that direction.
Below is what I’m focusing on this year to complete a spring life refresh including home, wardrobe, finances, and relationships/time.
Remember to come back to asking yourself “how do I want to feel?” throughout this process.
The biggest impact I can make on how my home feels is to declutter. It makes it easier to keep our space tidy, makes cleaning quicker, and mostly helps my busy brain slow down.
How I’ve done a whole house declutter and cleaning in the past:
- Whole house marathon cleaning day or weekend- exhausting, but very gratifying
2. Now as a mom, I take a more spread out approach- I’ll make a list of all the areas I think need attention and do one or two per day until I’m done. This is the option I’m using this year.
Before you dive in, I’ve learned a lot over the past many years of being an *aspiring* minimalist. You can read what I’ve found to be the best, most effective and efficient method here: How I Declutter + Organize Everything
My list of areas that need attention this year are below. I write down approximately how long I think it will take to complete so that I can choose which project to tackle based on my energy level and time available that day. It also is a fun challenge to set a timer and try to finish before it ends (yes, I realize this definitely doesn’t qualify as “fun” to most people, but I’m a weirdo). I highly recommend this hack for staying focused!
2022 Declutter Projects List
- pantry (40 min)
- fridge (30 min)
- wardrobe quick edit (10 min)
- china cabinet (5 min)
- foyer coat closet (20 min)
- medicine (5 min)
- family room cabinet (20 min)
- nightstand (10 min)
- nursery closet (30 min)
- JJ room quick sweep (10 min)
- my desk (15 min)
- breezeway/mudroom (45 min)
- computer desktop (10 min)
- garage quick sweep (20 min)
(I’m picking one per day for the next two weeks and documenting it over on TikTok, follow along and join me!)
For actual cleaning, I do a few things each spring and fall like wash our shower curtains, clean the glass on our dining room light fixture, etc. The stuff that doesn’t get done during my normal cleaning. This year, I’m also picking a few item from this list. No need to tackle them all- they’ll still be there in the fall, haha!
I have found that the clothes I wear have a huge impact on my mood. It’s something I think we all know, but sometimes forget we can easily do for ourselves most days to feel just a bit better.
Last year, while postpartum and frustrated with my body expectations and clothing options, I realized how much dressing in clothes I love that fit me right now and feel good is such an impactful way to love myself. During that process, I discovered an amazing way to minimize my wardrobe and wrote out the process here: How To: My Minimalist Wardrobe
Thirdly, I’m looking at my spending so far this year. If a budget is a list of priorities, what am I prioritizing more than I’d like to or not prioritizing enough?
How we spend our money reflects our values. One area I’m adjusting is that I’d like to start buying more locally sourced food, but I’ve noticed my grocery budget needs to go up a bit to do that.
Reflecting on what matters most to us and finding ways to cut back in certain areas in order to work towards bigger goals is so empowering. It feels really good to save toward a future goal, even if it’s slow, but you have to put into words what you’re saving for and hold yourself accountable by checking your finances on a weekly basis in order to make progress. I like to have separate savings accounts for different things like home updates and trips. Maybe open a savings account this spring for something you’d really like to do or buy in the near or distant future!
Relationships + Time
Life is all about relationships, when it comes down to it. No one looks back on their life and wishes they’d worked more hours. That being said, which relationships do you want to invest in? Again, how do you want to feel? Who inspires you? Who do you feel connected to and understood by? Who challenges you to be better? Who can you be really honest with and they reciprocate? List those people in your life and reach out to them to make plans in the next few weeks, even if they are long-distance and “getting together” is a FaceTime date. If you feel your list comes up short, it’s ok, too. Maybe listen to our Talks Too Much podcast episode about making friends and growing community.
In the same vein as relationships, our most precious resource is time. It is truly finite. Knowing we are not limitless people who can do everything (preaching to myself mostly with that…), what really matters most? How do you want to spend your days? What does a day in your dream life look like? Really. Let yourself open up to the vision of a life that makes you feel excited, fulfilled, and happy. Of course, no one lives in a constant state of bliss, but without even envisioning the kind of life that sounds amazing to you, you can’t begin taking any steps towards it. And I think that’s the point of a spring refresh in any area of life… to reflect, accept, and appreciate where we are now so that we can point ourselves in the right direction for the future.
Wow, that was a lot! I hope this post inspires you to pick one area of your life, even one junk drawer, and give it a refresh this season. I promise it will feel amazing! If you do, please let me know @emily.belson.
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