There’s a feeling that comes over me when I see the first hints of spring – the daffodils popping up out of the ground, buds on the trees and birds chirping their joyful noise all start something deep within me that feels good. In fact, I start to feel the giddiness deep within me that I can only say is “a feeling of spring”. This feeling always reminds me of Friend Owl and Thumper’s conversation in the Walt Disney movie, Bambi as Friend Owl tries to explain the changes that come over everyone in the springtime. Friend Owl explains to Thumper why everyone is acting differently. He says, “Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime.” I love the word “twitterpated”. It’s one of those words that really expresses the feeling well – you can feel the good vibes just saying the word. Yep, I agree with Friend Owl and I know absolutely, positively that I become twitterpated myself – twitterpated with life. That’s what spring does for me!
Spring-cleaning my house
At the same time I’m feeling twitterpated I turn to my nest and do some spring-cleaning to say goodbye to ole man winter and hello to a new beginning. Psychologists say that spring-cleaning is good for the psyche. When we declutter our houses of anything we needed around us to feel warm and cozy through the winter, we give our space a fresh new look that carries with it a fresh new energy. (To learn more about how clutter affects you read my post, Clutter In Your Space Clutters Your Mind) I remember well the rituals of spring-cleaning when I was growing up. Things like changing the bedspreads on the beds to lighter weight coverlets and removing the heavy winter blankets from the beds were springtime chores. These items would be cleaned and stored in cedar closets until the next winter. We kids also had to clean out our bedroom closets because back then in the days of covered wagons (or so my own kids say) part of every season was changing our clothes out for the new season. Away would go all the winter sweaters and coats and out would come the short sleeve shirts and cooler clothing items. It was fun to make these changes because it gave me a feeling of newness and freshness. To this day I actively participate in some of these same rituals.
As a decorator that focuses totally on details, I cannot tell you how often I go into homes and realize that they’re what I call “surface cleaned”. By that I mean that on the surface things look OK, but on a closer inspection it’s another story altogether. Now, the reason this is a problem is that these unclean spaces and places impact your health in ways you might not be aware of. You see, accumulated dust and dirt affects the air we breathe as every breath we take contains particles of dust and pollutants around us. I read recently that researchers believe that indoor air can be as much as ten times more polluted than outdoor air. Much of this is due to how well sealed our homes and buildings are today as it’s only been in the last one hundred years or so that we have had air-conditioning, central heat, thermal pane windows, weather-stripping and other forms of insulation that keep everything air-tight. Routine cleaning of these hidden spaces and places becomes necessary for good health. So, this year while doing your spring-cleaning make sure you add some of these areas to your list to clean as they are culprits for overlooked accumulations of dust and dirt:
- The top of the fridge
- Behind the fridge
- Behind furniture
- The tops of frames on your walls
- The tops of doorframes
- On light bulbs
- On electrical cords behind furniture
- Under sofa and chair cushions
- On closet shelves
- On air return vents
Spring-cleaning my HOME
Springtime is also a time I do some cleaning of my interior space, my HOME. For me it’s a time to look inward and reflect on ways to change and grow emotionally and spiritually. All of us have dust and dirt accumulating in ourselves. Just as we have dust accumulating in hidden spaces and places of our structural home and on boxes sitting in our attics and basements that we haven’t peeked into for years, we have the same accumulating in our hearts, minds and souls. So, feeling twitterpated in spring gives me the added push and courage for new beginnings within. Through the years, particularly since I began rehabbing my HOME after a chance encounter on a plane (read my post, Construction Zone: Rehabbing My HOME for more on this experience) I have found some real specific ways to declutter my HOME that have absolutely, positively worked. Here are some of them:
- Spending time in Nature
- Bringing elements of Nature into my structural home
- Exercising regularly
- Practicing my Faith
- Surrounding myself with things that lift me up such as aromatic essential oils and candles
- Listening to soothing/inspirational music
- Bringing fresh air into my structural home and my personal HOME
- Choosing to live in peace and harmony
- Actively paying it forward each day
For me Spring-cleaning can best be summed up as a process of what I call “The Three R’s” – review, refresh and renew. What a wonderful time of year to review the state of your space, refresh the areas that need refreshing and in doing so allow yourself to be renewed. That truly makes for a new beginning!
As I’m writing this I have my office windows open and I feel a gentle breeze coming in. I hear the birds chirping and have even spied two hawks harmoniously soaring in the sky nearby. Yep, I’m twitterpated for sure and in the next few minutes the wondrous outdoors will entice me to come out and feel the splendor it has to offer me.
To new beginnings…