As Facebook kindly reminded me this morning, today is the first day of spring! Happy Spring! But here in Texas, we saw spring coming -- our cars and lawn furniture and all outside things are covered in a thick layer of yellow pollen; I have mosquito bites from sitting outside in the evenings; and this past weekend, I put away my 3 sweaters and my warm pajamas. I also knew that spring was coming because I got the “itch” (and no, not due to my allergies!). As the days get longer and the temperatures get warmer, I get the “itch” to clean! Suddenly, I need to power wash the driveway, the sidewalk, the house, even the dogs (just kidding). I clean out my refrigerator, my pantry, and my sock drawer. Closets (that I cleaned and organized last spring and have NOT been touched all year) suddenly need to be rearranged. Furniture needs to be moved (have you looked behind your washer lately?). So why this sudden urge to clean? Am I the only one who gets the “itch”? After a bit of research (you know how I love to research!), I discovered that spring cleaning is connected to cultural and religious traditions and even has a biological connection. In the early days, warmer spring weather allowed for opening windows and doors to clean out the soot and grime from kerosene lamps and wood or coal burning stoves. In the Jewish custom, spring cleaning is linked to Passover while in the Christian custom, church altars were cleaned before Good Friday. And biologically, spring’s longer days and warm sunshine produce more melatonin which increases our energy levels and our desire to clean -- ok, I added that last part! As you clean your house and car and even your driveway, why don’t you do a bit of professional spring cleaning? (I’m sure you saw that one coming!)
Clean out your contacts -- check your phone and email contact list and delete any that you don’t need or use. Edit for new phone numbers or addresses. Update any job changes.
Reorganize your calendar -- do you know all the neat tricks that Google calendar offers? You can color-code personal and professional items (even by person or project). You can add formatted notes to an event. You can search for any Google product (emails, documents, slides, and calendar events) using an integrated search. Take some time to learn about the calendar features designed to help you be more organized.
Dust out your computer - literally! Experts recommend cleaning your computer every six months. A little compressed air goes a long way, but either work with an expert or do research before the task.
Clean off your desk - I love piles of things! As a kid, when my mom said to clean my room, I just made lots of neat piles of stuff. But piles can get overwhelming -- especially if you’re not quite sure what’s in the pile. Take some time to go through the things on your desk. Reorganize the stuff and even dust or wipe off the desk surface.
etc Strategies believes that spring cleaning (personally and professionally) can benefit your mind and body, and there is science to prove it. Studies show that spring cleaning increases productivity and focus; reduces stress and creates positivity; and certainly helps when it comes to allergies! So enjoy the warmer weather, longer days, and spring cleaning! I’m off to set up the power washer!