Melting snow, warmer weather, sunnier days, and blooming flowers mean that spring cleaning season is upon us. It’s time to air out those closets, take control of your overflowing drawers, and edit out the things that are cluttering up your life.
While you’re spring cleaning your wardrobe, it’s a good time to do some spring cleaning of your mindset, too. Whether you’re looking to do a mental health reset over spring break or you just want to bring some more positivity with you into these sunnier days, we have advice for you!
Take care of your physical space and make sure you care for your mental space. Put on your lounge clothes and roll up your sleeves. We’ve got some work to do!
Store Your Winter Items
The first step of spring cleaning is to put away all of those winter clothes that you won’t be needing now that the temperature is rising. That means your big puffy coat, all your warm scarves, your snow boots, your cozy sweaters, and anything else that will just be too warm.
As you’re packing away all your bulky winter items, make sure to keep a few lighter jackets in your closet. Also, don’t put all of your long-sleeved shirts into your under-bed storage just yet. Keep out a few warmer layers until summer has totally eliminated the need for sleeves.
Test Out the Marie Kondo Method
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard the question, “Does it spark joy?” which is a reference to the idea, originated by home organizing expert Marie Kondo, that if something in your home doesn’t spark joy then you shouldn’t keep it.
How do you know if something does or doesn’t spark joy? Try picking it up and holding it. If it doesn’t spark joy, then Kondo says it should be given away. But if it does, then you should keep it!
While there’s more nuance to the Marie Kondo method, the basics are very helpful if you’re trying to declutter and you just keep getting stuck. By asking yourself if the item, whether it’s a pair of socks or a maxi dress, really brings you joy, the answer will help you decide what to do next.
The KonMari method also recommends that you organize all your clothes by grouping them into categories. Then within each category, organize them from lightest to darkest. Take a couple of hours, try it out, and see if you like the final effect!
Or Try a Different Way to Declutter
If you’re not sure about the KonMari method, you’re not the only one. Luckily, there are plenty of other decluttering methods out there. You can try out the hanger method. One day, hang all your clothes on the rod with the hook of the hanger facing the opposite direction from how you would normally face it.
Make a note of the day that you reversed the direction of all of your hangers. Then, as you take an item off the rod, put the hanger back in the normal direction. One year after you reversed the direction of all the hangers, see which hangers are still facing the wrong way. Those are the clothes that you need to donate! Take a look at this list of other alternatives to the KonMari method for more inspiration.
Gift, Donate, or Re-sell
Once you’ve decided which items you no longer need (or want) in your closet, what are you going to do with them? The answer depends on your situation. If you could use some extra cash, try to re-sell any of your clothes or shoes online or to a consignment store.
You can also choose to gift your clothes to friends or family members (just make sure that they actually want them, and you’re not just shifting the burden onto their shoulders!). Or, see if there is a Buy Nothing group on Facebook in your area. Post pictures of the items you no longer want and see if anyone would be willing to take them off your hands.
Lastly, you can drop off donated items to a Goodwill, Disabled Army Veterans, or similar store. Speaking of donating – did you know you can donate your hangers too? If it’s in your budget, buy new hangers for all of your clothes that you hang up. Your closet will look more organized and your clothes may even hang better. We recommend wood or felt hangers, but the decision is up to you!
Once you’ve replaced your old hangers, give all your wire hangers to your dry cleaner and they can re-use them. You also may be able to recycle your plastic hangers – just check with your local recycling facility first.
Give Yourself Some Grace
You’ve spring cleaned your closet (and maybe the rest of your house, too). But you’re just not feeling like you’re in the right frame of mind for spring! That’s okay! First of all, give yourself grace. The winter months can be really hard on your mental health, especially if you have struggles with anything from anxiety to depression to trauma. Seasonal Affective Disorder is very real!
Before you jump into spring cleaning your mindset, take a deep breath. And remember, the most serious mental health struggles may require therapy. While there are some things you can take care of on your own, don’t feel bad for asking for help.
Reflect and Express Yourself
Do this step however you like – by journaling, recording a voice memo, painting, drawing, or however else you like to express yourself. Think back to the beginning of the year. Did you start out by setting a New Year’s resolution or by adopting a word of the year? If you did, reflect on what you’ve done to uphold that goal or word. Have you spent time focusing on your resolution or your word during the first few months of the year?
Don’t let guilt at not working on your goal or resolution hold you back from making progress. Giving yourself grace is so important as you refresh your mindset for spring. Now that the weather is starting to improve and you’re in the mood for a spring reset, think about what you can do to make progress on your resolution or to focus on your word of the year.
If you decided not to do either, then that’s okay. Reflect on how your year has gone instead. Write down your answers, record them in a voice memo, or draw them out. What’s worked well for you? What are you struggling with? What do you really want spring this year to be like?
Focus On Your Energy
The winter months are a low-energy period for many people. Spending so much time indoors can make you feel drained. The lack of sunlight and the short days might also make it hard to feel energetic. As a result, you may feel a natural energy boost after daylight savings time. The crisp spring air also provides a wonderful energy lift.
Take advantage of the nice spring weather and spend some time outside. Spread a picnic blanket out over the grass and bring a refreshing drink along with your favorite book, watercolors, sketchbook – whatever makes you happiest. Take stock of your energy while you’re outside in the beautiful spring weather engaged in doing something you truly love.
Your schedule might not allow you to spend very much time outside, so make the most of it! Focus on relaxing and revitalizing yourself.
Start Practicing Positive Self-Talk
As you turn over a new leaf for spring, you can intentionally spring clean your mindset by practicing positive self-talk. If you ever put yourself down or find yourself spiraling into self-doubt, remember that you are more than your weakest moment and your flaws!
According to It’s All You Boo, “It’s time to stop all that negative self-talk for good! Adopt a new mantra, speak positive affirmations for success to yourself to reinforce your positive thinking.” Think of your mind as a garden. Any time you speak words of negativity or doubt to yourself, you are effectively dumping too much water onto your plants and drowning them.
Instead, speak positive words to yourself. Accept that you have flaws and that you will make mistakes – but challenge yourself to accept these things and move on. You can address them when you’re ready. Just don’t be too harsh on yourself!
Set Up a Quiet Space
Last but not least, you may want to create a dedicated physical space for your reflection and positive self-talk. After all, you might have some more space to store things in your closet after that spring cleaning – so take advantage of it!
Decorate a spot in your home with items that you love. It doesn’t have to be a large space; it can just be a corner in a quiet room. Arrange objects that bring you joy, comfortable seating, blankets, and candles. Then when you need a space to try to re-focus and reset, you know exactly where to go!