Spring is in the Air

Thoughts of spring blooms and butterflies float through my mind. The days are getting warmer and longer. My thoughts also turn to the annual and arduous tradition of spring cleaning. One must be mentally and physically prepared for this monumental task. If it seems like too big of a job hire help or break tasks down to more manageable projects. Set a timer to work on your projects in shorter bursts so you will still have time and energy to enjoy life. You do not want to over burden your body and cause undue pain or injury. It’s time to dust out the cobwebs and open the windows to let the fresh air in. Brighten up your view of the outdoors and let more sunlight in with a thorough cleaning of your windows and screens. Clean the floors and get your carpets professionally cleaned, once the pollen is no longer a threat. Be sure to use non-toxic household cleaners for your work. Cleaning with its repetitive motion can be a form of meditation. This is a statement made by a Buddhist Monk named Shoukei Matsumoto, excerpted from The Guardian, “Cleaning practice, by which I mean the routines whereby we sweep, wipe, polish, wash and tidy, is one step on this path towards inner peace. In Japanese Buddhism, we don’t separate a self from its environment, and cleaning expresses our respect for and sense of wholeness with the world that surrounds us.” Remember a clean home is a healthy home.

Clean out closets and cupboards and rid yourself of items you no longer want or need. Take a photo of before and after you clean out and organize your closets and drawers. Rotate clothes in your closet to prepare for the warmer months. Take stock of your wardrobe condition and assess whether new items will need to be purchased. Donate items that no longer fit or you haven’t worn in years. Recycle clothing that is worn and torn instead of adding it to a landfill. Pack away winter items, coats, hats, scarves, mittens and boots and have a designated storage place for these out of the main living areas. Examine your spring outerwear and launder if needed.

Look at your main living areas and surroundings. Is it time to freshen them up for the season? You may want to paint or tackle a home remodeling project. You can purchase new pillows, throws, plants or décor to change up the look. If you need ideas check online, many sites offer ideas for decorating for the seasons.

Once you have spruced up the inside, turn your attention to outside. Now is the time to prepare your garden tools and lawn equipment. Do your garden beds need to be refreshed? Start composting kitchen scraps to incorporate into garden beds. Are there new plants you want to grow? Planting some food crops is highly encouraged due to the predicted food price increases. You do not need a large area to grow food, you can grow it on a porch or patio, consider planting in pots and vertical gardening. Gardening is good for the body mind and soul. It is good exercise, helps you connect with nature and exposes you to the benefits of sunlight. Gardening and working outdoors gives you a creative outlet to design and plan your gardens and outdoor landscape. Consider making yourself an outdoor Zen escape to relax and recharge in. There are a multitude of ideas for this online and on sites like Pinterest. Again hire help if needed or enlist the help of friends or neighbors. There are few things as satisfying as watching things grow and enjoying the fruits of your labor. Explore new ways to prepare the foods you grow, share your bounty with your neighbors and friends. Instead of using toxic chemicals in your outdoor space look for other non-toxic ways to deal with garden pests and weeds. Make your own environmentally friendly weed killer using white vinegar, salt, and dish soap.  You can find recipes for this online. Be mindful of every task you do and be present in the moment. Be observant of nature and your environment and all of its beauty. Most of all enjoy the spring season and all of the rebirth it brings.

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