If you’re anything like me, you have The Bug. I’m not talking about an actual insect or some kind of stomach bug (which my husband had last week). If you’re anything like me, you have the Spring Cleaning Bug. The only problem with this is that I live in Northern Iowa, so the word “Spring” must be used very loosely! We had a few warm days last week, but we have 2-6 inches of snow in the forecast for tomorrow. (
It’s fine I’m only crying on the inside.)
If you have the desire to hit the reset button after a long winter, but you don’t get excited about the idea of deep cleaning your house, I thought of a few things that could probably benefit from a good “scrub”. You won’t find these things on any Spring Cleaning list on Pinterest, because they aren’t part of your house. However, I’ve found that getting these three things under control helps my everyday life feel less cluttered and dragged down by natural accumulation. Of course these tasks can be done at any point in the year, but accomplishing them now will help you hit the reset button as you eagerly wait for the refreshment of Spring.
Three Things to Spring Clean That Aren’t Your House
1.Your Cell Phone
I take pictures like it’s going out of style. Before we went to Paris in December, I had 10,000 pictures on my camera roll. Most of these were unimportant screenshots or photos that didn’t make the final cut for blog content. I have a 64gb iPhone SE, so running out of storage space isn’t a concern. (My husband knows me well and treated me to lots of storage after my 16gb iPhone constantly filled up.) The tedious task of cleaning out your camera roll of unwanted photos can help you resurface old photos you DO want to keep! I recommend doing it all at once. I did this before our Paris trip while sitting on the couch one evening. When I was finished, there were about 1,000 photos left. I haven’t done a large purge since then, so the number has crawled back up to 5,000. A few other places to clean out on your phone are your messages and email. If you send pictures back and forth a lot, they are stored in your messages app and can eat up your storage space.
2. Your Purse
My sister-in-law used to clean out her purse at the end of every day. I started doing this for a while, and then went back to my old habit of accumulating random crap and letting it live inside my purse for weeks. Dump your purse out on the dining room table and get to work. I usually discover old receipts, lots of hair ties, lipstick I forgot I owned, and the occasional random “how the heck did this get in my purse” object.
3. Social Media
A few weeks ago, I complained to my husband that the new Instagram algorithm keeps me from seeing posts from my friends. He asked, “Well what are you seeing?” I responded, “Posts from companies, blogs I don’t really read, people I don’t know.” He asked a simple question that contained the answer to my complaints.
“Why are you following them if you don’t want to see their posts?”
“Oh. Huh. Yeah I guess you’re right. I don’t know why. I guess I can unfollow them.”
I’ve recently discovered that daily life results in accumulation. There can be good accumulation, like the accumulation of skills and memories and experiences and useful possessions. But the other side of the coin is the daily accumulation of the things that weigh us down. Laundry. Garbage. Stuff. Worries. People You Followed On Instagram One Time And Now Don’t Know Why You’re Seeing Their Posts All The Time. Friends on Facebook That You Haven’t Talked to Since Middle School and All They Do is Share Videos You Don’t Want to See But They’re Always on Your News Feed. That kind of stuff. I realized I was following over 1,000 people on Instagram, while I only really cared about seeing posts from a handful of friends and my favorite blogs. I went through the list of people I followed, and if I didn’t recognize their username I unfollowed them. Like my camera roll, I went from following over 1,000 people to under 200. Now when I look at my Instagram feed, I only see posts from people I actually want to see. The app has become less annoying and more enjoyable. Of course, we don’t have to even use social media. It can be used as a tool to engage with friends and interests. If you do choose to use social media, you have to decide how to use it.
I’ve also gotten in the habit of immediately unfriending people on Facebook when I notice I don’t need to be connected to them anymore. That sounds harsh or “unfriendly” (hah) when you say it like that, but I know I forget that I get to decide how to engage with social media. It is your decision and only your decision. You must be your own keeper when it comes to social media engagement. There is no one to monitor the health of your social media consumption except for you. Most people would agree that it is healthy to give children and teenagers boundaries with the internet, but as adults we can forget that we need boundaries too. I need to keep a close eye on what I consume on the internet. If you’ve found that your social apps are more draining than life-giving, prioritize your health and start a purge. Clean out your friend list and your follow list so that social media can be a tool and an enjoyment instead of a burden on your heart and mind.
I know that Spring is coming. I hope that these ideas can help you push the reset button and be free from the daily accumulation of life. Have you started any Spring Cleaning? Are there any places or things you habitually purge to stay healthy? I’d love to hear your ideas in a comment!
P.S. I cleaned out my closet yesterday and will be having a closet sale on Instagram this Thursday. The clothes are mostly size small. I saved the best of the best for the sale and am donating the rest. You’ll be able to find Anthropologie, Madewell, Gap, and a few other nice brands for great prices! (I’m saving up for a pair of clogs!)
Follow @averymichaelscloset on Instagram and keep an eye out for posts starting on Thursday, April 5th, at noon Central time!