Spring cleaning is an age-old ritual that has roots in Jewish, Christian, and Persian traditions. In the 1800s, spring brought about warmer weather which meant that the soot and grime from lamp, coal and wood heating used during the winter could be thoroughly cleaned out of the house. Spring cleaning is a ritual that has evolved with time and provides us with an opportunity to say goodbye to winter and prepare ourselves and our space for what is to come.
While spring in the northern hemisphere only lasts from March 20 to June 20, this cleaning and organization process for your Psychological Space can be applied year-round.
1. Capture. It is generally a good idea to start the organizing and cleaning process by collecting all items related to your Psychological Space. However, some of these items may not be physical in nature. Take time to think through and write down all of the thoughts, ideas, goals, and items that affect your Psychological Space. Your list may include things like wanting to spend more quality time at the dinner table, on the yoga mat, or in walking shoes, or it may include the miscellaneous kitchen drawer that stresses you out each time you open it.
2. Organize. Once you have captured the many items affecting your Psychological Space, you can begin organizing. Start by organizing these items as positively or negatively impacting your Psychological Space. This can guide your organization and cleaning process by highlighting items to do more frequently, such as practice yoga, and items to resolve, such as your kitchen drawer. Here are some examples:
- Clutter: Your physical environment directly affects your Psychological Space. For example, clutter can create anxious or overwhelming feelings while tidy spaces invoke a sense of calm (Lindberg, 2021). Organizing your environment can improve your psychological state. The Container Store offers a variety of organizational accessories and storage containers that can help you organize any space. A drawer organizer, for example, may help you tackle the miscellaneous drawer in your kitchen. The Home Edit also has several blog articles about organizing spaces such as your refrigerator or your beauty supplies.
- Mindfulness: It is as important to address your physical space as it is to address your mental space. You can assess your mindfulness by using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale. Mindfulness can lead to decreased stress and increased happiness and the ability to focus. As you are organizing and taking inventory of your mindfulness, set an intention or goal to practice mindfulness and then schedule a time to practice it each day.
- Gratitude: Expressing gratitude is associated with greater happiness. Throughout the day, there is an abundance of things to be grateful for, but those thoughts may not get captured. You can organize your thoughts and dedicate time to expressing gratitude by using a gratitude journal or app.
3. Clean. In addition to cleaning your physical space, there are practices that can be done to help improve your Psychological Space.
To help clear your mind during periods of stress or feelings of being overwhelmed, try deep breaths or box breathing. Box breathing can help clear the mind, relax the body, and improve focus (Medical News Today, 2018). You can incorporate box breathing into your meditation or yoga practice or do it throughout your day.
Although meditation and yoga are separate practices, they are often coupled together. Before beginning your next session, clean your mat and the space around your mat. Ensuring that your environment is clear from clutter and distractions can help improve your yoga or meditation session. Additionally, yoga mats collect sweat, dust, and dirt with each use and should be cleaned regularly.
Alyssa Dalbey is a Wealth Manager with Schultz Financial Group Inc.
Schultz Financial Group Inc. (SFG) is a wealth management firm located in Reno, NV. Our approach to wealth management is different from many other wealth managers, financial advisors, and financial planners. Our team of fee-only fiduciaries strives to help our clients build their wealth across four capitals: Financial Matters, Physical Well-being, Psychological Space, and Intellectual Engagement. We provide family office and wealth management services to clients located in Nevada, California, and other states. If you’d like more information, please check out our website or reach out to us via our contact page.