How is your spring cleaning going? Not so well? Our resident Healing Coach, Francesca Garola, Founder of HappyBalancedLife, gives some great insight into why spring cleaning is such a great idea for your overall wellbeing.
I’ve been wondering so many times what this fuss about spring cleaning was and why everyone would just become obsessed with cleaning as soon as spring came… I clean all the time!
Let me tell you, spring cleaning is actually one of the oldest rituals that exists. It is, in many ways, linked to religious traditions. From a more scientific point of view, it is linked to the longer days and the fact that our “sleeping” pineal gland reduces its work with the increase of daylight, giving us more vitality. And on an energetic level, it is meant to welcome in to our homes and our lives the awakening energy that springs carries with it.
Spring represents the blooming of nature, the waking up of the earth, the flying back of the birds and the blossoming of the sleeping flowers… Blooming is essentially the word that most resonates with me and I visualise it as two hands that are opening up and holding a beautiful bubble of sun. Which word would you choose to represent spring?
Now that we know that spring cleaning is not just fashionable, I can also say that the spark of clean can be repeated as often as we like. What’s important are the intentions we are putting behind our cleaning.
Your home is a representation of your mind, body and spirit and in many ways – there is a huge connection between all of these energies.
When your environment (what surrounds you) feels good, you will in return feel good and vice versa. Imagine being an advocate of calmness, meditation and harmony and living in a place that represents disorder, confusion and chaos. How much more energy do we need to put into balancing off the chaotic energy? What would it mean to have a balancing internal and external representation?
Internal and external worlds need to go hand in hand or the energy you are going to spend trying to keep the internal world calm is most likely wasted.
And surely, there are better things we can employ that energy for!
I’m sure you have all heard about Marie Kondo. To me, she is awesome. She managed to turn something as boring as cleaning and decluttering into a game between having fun with “lego” and sparking joy.
Her motto is “whatever does not spark joy, thank it for all it has given you and let it go”.
How many things are you keeping that you never wear? How many things are you keeping because “you might need it one day”? How many things are you holding on to because you’re afraid that the memory will go away if you get rid of it?
Imagine it as energy: everything that surrounds us holds in itself an energy which is either dense or light. What we want to do is to only surround ourselves with light, with an energy that sparks joy and that makes us feel at peace when we look at it.
I am not implying that we all need to become queens and kings of tidiness as Marie, however I am asking you to try imagining how your life would be if your surroundings would emanate light energy and spark joy. Pretty awesome, right?
A brief summary of the konmari method
The konmari method tells us that an effective decluttering needs to be divided into categories:
- Komono (miscellaneous)
- Personal items (this is generally the most difficult).
Each category will be divided into subcategories and everything needs to be looked at in each subcategory. For example, you may divide your clothes in subcategories such as t-shirts, trousers, socks, etc.
The decluttering process needs to be done by seeing at a glance all the items in each category. If you are doing clothes, for example, you need to pile up ALL of the clothes you own in one space (all of it, no cheating!) and then divide them into subcategories. If you do it little by little, you would not know how much stuff you own and how to recognise what really “sparks joy”.
Some of you might find it hard to imagine how a t-shirt can spark joy… well again… you can call it joy, you can call it lightness, you can call it warmth… Don’t try to over think it. Sparking joy is a matter of seconds, you either have it or you don’t.
This way of being will also help you when buying new stuff. Sometimes we buy just for the sake of buying, however when we bring the concept of joy to our shopping, we might end up buying only things that really matter to us.
During the clothes decluttering process, you could have 3 different piles: one to keep, one pile to give to charity and one pile to sell. Whatever makes sense to you really.
You can find thousands of articles about Marie Kondo and her method, should you fancy looking into it in more detail. What I really wanted to share here was the concept of sparking joy and how to bring more joy to your homes through decluttering, cleaning and rearranging how it better serves your need for joy.
Only after everything is organised and rearranged shall you start with the common cleaning process thanking each time you get rid of “unneeded energies”.
It can be so inspiring to come home to a clean space where you know where everything is, where you feel safe and where you feel at peace and surrounded by love.
As a short recap:
- Thank your home just the way it is and promise it that you will give her a sprinkle of joy!
- Make a mess!
- Categorise and subcategorise your items
- Choose only what sparks joy
- Have fun reorganising (the use of boxes and/or small transparent containers can really help the process)
- Common cleaning
- Energy cleaning
- Thank your home for holding the space and keep the joyous energies up!
If you are wondering if I have done the process myself or if I am just telling you something you may want to hear, please know that YES I am doing it right now and having lots of fun in the process!
To make it even more fun, don’t forget to play your favourite music while cleaning… and why not, maybe a little singing can help you stimulate your voice and clean your thoughts at the same time!
It is not only necessarily about sparking joy… having a tidy environment will:
- Increase productivity: when you know where everything is, you can save so much time when you are looking for it!
- Increase health: Removing allergens from the home can make you feel healthier, especially at a time when allergies are rife.
- Helps to focus: decluttering helps to make space for decision making and essential tasks.
Last but not least, I would like to introduce the concept of holding your space “comfortable” while stretching your beliefs around cleaning.
The objective of this blog is not to make you all become obsessed with cleaning – any obsession is completely out of balance. My objective is to create a balance between your internal and external world and making you feel at peace with and in your home, with what you own and with whatever surrounds you while at home.
Cleaning your outside world is a great metaphor to help you clean your internal world. We have done a lot of work on our internal world and internal representations, so it is time your environment keeps up with it!
With light and love,
PS: Energetic Cleaning – If you are into energetic cleaning, you can add smudging, crystals and essential oils to the clearing process. Let us know if you are interested and I can make a short add-on for you on this topic!