I've been cleaning out my room over a period of time that somehow seems like an eternity. First I repainted my room, which meant everything had to go out, and then go through a filtration process before being brought back in. Then the season changed and so my wardrobe had to comply. Then we had a moth problem (still have the moth problem)....
It feels never-ending. There's always something more to get rid of and always something that can be moved around. Cleaning is something that bears the identity of being a chore, but one cannot deny the benefits it brings. It's highly therapeutic, this physical cleansing of the habitat one lives in. It's remarkable the satisfaction one feels going to bed in a room that has just gone through its spring cleaning stage.
Why do we benefit from spring cleaning?
1. It enables us to let go.
Every single time I go through my closet there's always a garment or two that I haven't worn in years but for whatever reason, be it the style or the memory or the fact that it was a gift, I am unable to give it away. The best way to get through this is to constantly remind yourself that it's serving no purpose in your closet and is essentially useless. I also like to remind myself that getting rid of clothes will make room in our closets for new ones. And I always love a good excuse to go shopping.
The same goes for the emblems we hang on to because of their symbolic memories. I'm a freakish hoarder. I'll convince myself to keep silly things like old essays or bank statements "just in case" I'd ever need them again. Years later, it would turn out I really didn't ever need them. I've gotten better using my judgment here, but I still find difficultly when dealing with the treasures of my past. I'm incredibly sentimental, so even when my old student card or first ever contract, is essentially collecting dust in my drawers, they're tangible memories for me.
Which takes me to my second point:
2. It takes us back.
This is one of the most enjoyable parts of spring cleaning. Just a few weeks ago I cleared out an old box of ballet memories. Sure, a lot of it was junk - school newsletters and ballet programs - but in the few hours I invested scouring through the box, I was transported back to my ballet school days. It was incredibly nostalgic, but not necessarily in a sad way. I was able to see my past and how it built me and drove me to where I am today. The box was a collection of my accomplishments, many of which I had forgotten about. I remember at the time, I barely had the confidence to accept I was any good, but now I can look back and actually be proud of what I was doing. Looking back on the past is so vital to understanding the journey you've been on thus far, and spring cleaning is a great initiation for this.
3. The space becomes tidy.
If you're anything like me, you keep your room with a system. Everything has its place. Over time, you become busy, and you start leaving things in places out of sheer convenience. Then, the system stops making sense. Spring cleaning helps me bring order back into my life. This organization is necessary, though not permanent and actually allows you to find things you might have thought were lost.
4. It's therapeutic.
A clean environment relaxes the mind. There's no lingering stress of a mess that needs to be cleaned. When it's done, all the work, it's such a reward to just sit in the product of it - a clean room!
5. It invites change.
During the process of cleaning, it also allows you to change the space. Change is a good thing, even though we're creatures of habit. We tend to dislike change because we like what is comfortable for us. This is the rule for lifestyle changes, but is equally present in changes of our environment. Whether the change indicates moving homes, painting the walls, or even putting up a new painting. Sometimes I find that even changing the direction of my bed can be revolutionary to the fengshui of my bedroom.