How to turn Spring Cleaning into Spring Cleansing
Three easy, alternative ways to help rejuvenate your rooms, create a calm environment, and start your spring out fresh.
Delicate pink petals are beginning to unfurl on tree branches here in Florida – I know, I know, we are lucky. Pollen allergies run rampant. The sun has begun to shine brightly, when it is not interrupted by a sudden thunderstorm.
And what do these symbols of spring tell us? Easter is practically around the corner, spring break is coming up quickly, and – dun dun DUN – Spring. Cleaning. Is. Here.
But, fellow iCrafters, don’t fret! Although the annual drudgery of sorting through sideboards and attacking the attic might seem truly intimidating, it’s all about the attitude with which we approach our annual spring-cleaning tradition.
For example: I recently visited a local Tampa “fragrance lifestyle store,” a charming little two-room space in a historic part of town, called Cleanse Apothecary. My trip transpired because I was writing an article for a local fashion magazine, VERTICAL Tampa Bay, but I was so glad I walked through that door that I’ve already made plans to return on my own time.
The small, cozy store was full of well-blended scents, fragrances, shampoos, chemical-free cleansers, scent diffusers like the Lampe Berger models pictured above. Everything you need to turn a stuffy winter fortress into a clean springtime sanctuary.
Being in an environment so fresh, so sparkling, so perfectly proportioned in terms of scent and ambiance, was as inspiring as the first blooms on the trees. Serene music played lightly over speakers while I learned about the all-natural, hand-selected merchandise the store carries.
So what does this (albeit adorable) Southern store have to do with spring-cleaning? Well, beyond the wares, what I really took away from the experience was a reflection on the owner’s attitude: His belief that the right fragrance or product could transform a mundane, everyday task into delightful one. The enthusiasm with which he explained the purpose behind aromatherapy actually made me purchase a lavender candle and wouldn’t you know it? The relaxing scent really did calm me.
Here are three different ways that you can follow the example that inspired me to turn a potentially stressful spring-cleaning experience into an especially enjoyable one:
My mention of all-natural candles and soaps (no animal fat!) might be enough to reveal that I am also a fan of chemical-free cleaners. But personal preference aside, these products are just better for the environment. They’re also better for your home, since fumy chemical cleaners can create what is essentially indoor air pollution with toxic fumes. Use online instructions to combine water with natural products like vinegar, lemon juice, club soda, alcohol, and baking soda to simulate artificial cleaners, or purchase the chemical-free kind at a local shop. Your home will be just as clean with the added benefit that the air around you will be, too. Being environmentally conscious can extend to more than your cleaning supplies, also - use a natural wood like the bamboo dishes pictured above to store your soaps in a green way.
It might not sound like the most important component of spring-cleaning – after all, aren’t there closets to attack? – but your sense of scent is one strong factor in making every day a pleasant one. The biggest takeaway I got from interviewing the local bath & body store owner is that we cannot escape everyday routines, but we can transform them into rituals as opposed to keeping them ordinary.
So, for spring, indulge in everyday creams and lotions that you truly enjoy, and round up some fresh springtime scents, whether it’s via soap, incense, or a new, signature personal fragrance. Who says spring-cleaning has to be all about the house? After all, isn’t spring-cleaning about renewal? Bonus: If you’re an animal lover, it’s easy to go green with vegetable oil-based candles, like the beautiful, delicate-looking soy vegetable teacup candle pictured above. You can also look for veg-oil soaps enhanced with natural elements, like those pictured below.
In my book, there is really only one hard rule to live by when it comes to cleaning, whether it’s at springtime or any other time of year. It is a philosophy based on a quote by English designer and artist William Morris: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
I enjoy the sound logic behind this statement. If you truly appraise your belongings from this point of view, the distinction between what is wanted and what is wasted becomes more apparent, and the ability to let go comes more easily.
Spring-cleaning involves a lot of discipline, dust, and de-cluttering. But along with these essential components of what is surely the most dreaded time of year comes the potential to turn anything around.
Shed your winter skin, embrace the opportunity to create change, and you won’t just be spring-cleaning, you will be spring cleansing.
What are your spring-cleaning rituals? What tried-and-true cleaning methods or products are the ones you can’t live without? Share your stories in the comments section below!