Aaaah, Spring! One morning, just when you think winter might last forever, you wake up to birds chirping with so much enthusiasm that it doesn’t seem impossible that they might come inside and help you with the laundry, Disney fairytale-style. Daffodils burst into bloom like a fireworks display orchestrated by Mother Nature, and the air is just warm enough to convince you that a cardigan is enough.
Depending on where you live, you’ll probably wake up a week later to an inch of snow sitting heavily on those daffodils, a thick layer of ice to scrape off your windshield, and not a helpful woodland creature in sight. But it doesn’t matter…once we catch a glimpse of springtime, it changes us. We become relentlessly restless, energized by the promise of a new season and inspired to grow by all things around us that are about to. We’re ready to fling open windows until sunlight and fresh air reach the darkest corners of our homes and our hearts, and we’re ready to dust away the cobwebs we find there.
We might formulate our resolutions at the end of December, but in March, we finally have the energy to execute them.
Spring Cleaning: Let It Go
Spring, for most of us, is when reevaluating and renewing come most naturally. We schedule home renovation projects and hire landscapers; we clean out our closets and finally get around to recycling the menacing mountain of Amazon boxes that’s been slowly taking over the garage since Christmas; we plant tiny seeds with high hopes, and we trim back the dry stalks of last year’s flowers to make room for pale green tendrils of new growth.
Because that’s what Spring is for, right? It’s a time to shed the extra layers we’ve accumulated and move freely…with a little more “spring” in our step, if you will. The ground is softer, the grass is greener, the air is warmer, and daylight is tentatively training for its summer schedule. Whether it’s an unresolved argument, the clothes you always think you’ll wear but never do, or your longstanding habit of buying the “sensible” bathing suit, it’s easier to let go of things this time of year.
So let. Them. Go.
Whether it’s feng shui or KonMari or the less trendy but still effective “throw stuff in garbage bags and take it to Goodwill until you can see your floor again” approach, get rid of the things you don’t need. And then get rid of the things you don’t want. And then get rid of the things you think you want but have been in the same boxes since you packed them up to move…two houses ago.
Making Space + Making Plans
Make space in your home, and then see if it’s a little bit easier to find space in the rest of your life. Make space not just by getting rid of things, but also by limiting the number of things you acquire in the first place. Make space by saying “no” to the things that don’t matter so you can say “yes” to the things that do.
Make plans—big plans—but leave space for them to change. Remember that planning to do absolutely nothing except take a nap in a hammock is a good plan. Planning to play in the backyard until it’s too dark to see is a good plan. And sometimes making no plans is a good plan.
Spring Into Action
Use the momentum of this spring-loaded season to dig deep into your to-do list. Update your Duolingo app and get back to learning whatever language you abandoned last year. Pull up that Pinterest board of dream bedrooms and start making it a reality. Make a trip to the Container Store and organize all the Legos or the craft supplies or the cat toys or whatever it is that drives you crazy. Review your life insurance policy. Go to the dentist. Wash your pillows.
Then take some time to stop and smell the one million new flowers that bloomed while you were in the laundry room. Because that’s what Spring is for, too.