Spring clean your home — and your mind

If you re­or­ga­nize your home from top to bot­tom, don’t for­get to clear out the junk in your head, too

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - SUSIE MOORE greatist.com

It’s May. 2017. Holy moly.

Spring is of­fi­cially in full swing, which got me think­ing: does any­one ac­tu­ally spring clean any­more?

Let’s take a look at what that ac­tu­ally means: “To clean all of a place, es­pe­cially your house, very well, in­clud­ing parts you do not of­ten clean.” (Def­i­ni­tion source: the Cam­bridge Dic­tionary.) Sounds very healthy to me. And what bet­ter time of year, then, to have a for­mal cleanse in other ar­eas too? Be­cause your men­tal well-be­ing (and not just your kitchen pantry) de­pends on it.

Here are some things to con­sider kick­ing out this sea­son:


Who can you fi­nally stop com­par­ing your­self to?

Dan Sul­li­van, founder of Strate­gic Coach, says you have to “get out of the gap” when it comes to mea­sur­ing your life by other peo­ple’s suc­cess — the gap be­ing where you are and where they ap­pear to be. The best way to do this is to con­sider how far you have come in the past 12 months, to the day.

On this day last year, what didn’t you know, have, or had be­come yet? Let your progress as­tound you. Ba­si­cally, fo­cus on your own stuff.


Why does every­one seem to be tired all of the time? Go to bed ear­lier! Take a bath. Read. Un­wind. Lis­ten to na­ture sounds at night on Spo­tify ver­sus scour­ing Snapchat. Plan your out­fit and bag the night be­fore work so you have a few ex­tra min­utes in bed. There is noth­ing mag­i­cal or mys­ti­cal about get­ting suf­fi­cient rest. Com­mit to a cur­few dur­ing the week and to be­ing more or­ga­nized.


Ev­ery­thing you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of the ex­cuse that you can’t have it.

What have you been telling your­self that you can’t have: a pro­mo­tion at work, a leaner body, a suc­cess­ful blog, a ful­fill­ing re­la­tion­ship, more money?

Ask your­self, “What if my be­lief about this were not true?”

Look for ex­am­ples of other peo­ple who might al­ready be, do or have some of the things that you want. And flex your cu­rios­ity mus­cle (not your com­par­i­son trig­ger). What does this re­veal to you? Does it mean what you want is pos­si­ble? And there­fore, could also be pos­si­ble for you, if you al­low it?


Guilt is a killer. It’s also proof that you’re liv­ing in the past. Guilt is an un­healthy, un­con­struc­tive and to­tally un­nec­es­sary emo­tion. You’re prob­a­bly giv­ing it way too much men­tal space when you don’t have to.


Re­mem­ber this: you’ve al­ways done the very best you could with what you knew at the time and with the re­sources that you had. That’s all we ever do, every sin­gle one of us. Can you give your­self a lit­tle break?

A grudge

I’ve se­cretly been hold­ing a grudge against two peo­ple for years now. One is a for­mer pas­sive-ag­gres­sive, sex­ist boss who treated his team re­ally poorly and cheated me out of a com­mis­sion that I earned. An­other is a fam­ily mem­ber who is re­ally in­sin­cere (not to men­tion cheap) and who acts like a hero. (Shud­der.)

Think­ing about ei­ther of them can rile me up. So I don’t. Be­cause for­give­ness (still!) does not flow eas­ily, I just cut them out of my mind al­to­gether. It works well enough for me. There is no tox­i­c­ity be­cause there is, well, sim­ply noth­ing. Next item!


I love a good Marie Kondo-style cleanup. Just last week, when I couldn’t find an out­fit for a Face­book live (be­cause I could not see ev­ery­thing I own in my closet), I went on a ram­page and do­nated two big shop­ping bags of stuff (in­clud­ing dresses with tags still at­tached be­cause I never wore them, but clung to the hope that I would out of a sad sense of re­gret ... re­mind me to read No. 5). It felt so cleans­ing. I also have around 313 mini bot­tles of lo­tions and po­tions, thanks to a Birch­box mem­ber­ship, an Ipsy sub­scrip­tion and the free­bies I get sent as an in­flu­encer. I threw out the ones I have tried but don’t like, gave away the ones I won’t use, and am us­ing the rest in or­der.

Use, dis­card. Use, dis­card. The or­der­li­ness makes me feel like a god­dess.

What can you con­sciously de­clut­ter: a book­shelf, bath­room drawer, in­box, an en­tire scroll or two of your phone of un­used apps?

Un­healthy habits re­main and fes­ter as long as we don’t shine a light on them.

So if you de­cide to clean your home from top to bot­tom this spring, don’t for­get to clear out the junk in your head, too.

Why does every­one seem to be tired all of the time? Go to bed ear­lier! Take a bath. Read. Un­wind.


De­clut­ter your space and work on let­ting go of toxic thoughts and be­hav­iours.

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