Spring cleaning your life

Posted on: 10 April 2014 by 50connect editorial

Throw off winter's shackles and take the spring clean as an opportunity to re-order your your life.

Spring cleaning

The clocks have sprung forward, the trees are laden with blossom ... and even the sun, banished throughout a sodden winter, has broken through the clouds. Spring is a new beginning - we didn't really intended to keep those New Year's Resolutions - so now's our chance to do a proper spring clearout.

Is your brain as cluttered with cobwebs as your cupboards are? Well, spring cleaning could sort out both. It can also keep your figure trim by burning off a few calories and toning your muscles. While you're at it, remove the grime and the temptation in one swoop by cleaning the cupboards and replacing those unhealthy goodies!

Dr Paula Franklin, BUPA UK medical director, says: 'Spring cleaning can be a therapeutic process. It can help us prepare for new beginnings, which is what spring is all about. For some people, spring is an easier time to make a resolution than at the beginning of the year, when the days are long and dark. The sun tends to put people in a more positive frame of mind. In today's hectic lifestyle, it's important to understand what is important to you, and to get rid of those things that aren't, whether that's belongings, thoughts, or worries.'

Step one: clean out the cupboards. Ask yourself:

  • Do you want it? Are you hoarding things?
  • Do you need it?
  • Is it making life better / easier?
  • Can you see things you DO use? Remember that set of plates you bought and promptly lost? Well, now you've cleared out your cupboard, you've found them at the back, hiding behind that useful white elephant!
  • When did you last wear / use it? If you've not worn it / used it in the last year the chances are you won't use it again in the future.
  • Is it broken? If it is, mend it or bin it!

Well done - You'll have already burnt approximately 270 calories for every hour's worth of cleaning you've done!

Step two: separate the junk:

  • Does a friend need it? Would your sister like it? If so, give it away to someone who will use it.
  • Then, put the rest into your car and do a boot sale and make a bit of money to spend on yourself as a reward for all this hard work!
  • Anything that's not sold can be given to charity - your good deed for the day!

Now you've got rid of everything you don't want, you can start burning off those calories! (All amounts given are per hour.)

  • scrub (or dance on!) your kitchen floor: 375 calories
  • gardening: 300 - 450 calories
  • vacuuming: 300 - 450 calories
  • mowing the lawn: 450 - 675 calories
  • washing the windows:150 - 250
  • washing the car: 270 calories
  • dusting: 270 calories

'Dust and grime build up in the home during the winter because the windows and doors are kept closed, and the heating is turned up. Along with the cleaning, a breath of fresh air will be just what's needed,' explains Dr Paula Franklin.

Step three: Organise your mind

What better time to take a step back and evaluate? Lie back on your sofa with a glass of red wine (well, it's good for the heart you know!) and a pen and paper and follow these tips for an easier life!

  • Compile a list of all the things that you want to achieve.
  • Prioritise. Cross off the unimportant.
  • You're more likely to achieve what you want to achieve if you've narrowed down your list into something achievable.
  • Split the list into different areas of your life to make things easier. Put things under three main headings: Home; Relationships; Career.
  • Decide to create the life you want - alter your life to reflect these new priorities.
  • Once the list is completed, your mind will be free of worries!
  • Not only is it easier to look after a home that's organised - its also easier to look after a tidy mind.

Tips for surviving the day:

  • Buy yourself a treat for lunch. You'll be using up a lot of energy, so try an energy-giving dish such as a pasta salad accompanied by a fruit smoothie.
  • Send your partner and kids out for the day. You'll get so much more done without any distractions.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Eight glasses is ideal.
  • Set up your stereo and play your favourite CD.
  • Keep your mind focused on what you're trying to achieve and remember the benefits of the end result.

'Remember, although your list may look daunting at first glance, if you do one thing from your list a day, you'll have completed seven of your tasks in a week. It is important to keep the list achievable,' advises Dr Paula Franklin.

Have the first of many baths as the new, relaxed you. Wear that gorgeous outfit you found in the back of your wardrobe, and spray on some of the perfume you lost last Christmas.

You could end your day by eating dinner on the plates you thought you'd lost - get your partner to cook! Or, if you want your kitchen left as it is now you've cleaned it, book a table at your favourite restaurant and get him or her to treat you! Take the opportunity to share your plans with your partner. Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour!

 

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