The win­ter dol­drums have left most of the coun­try and we are wit­ness­ing the arrival of spring. Just like the bud­ding trees and baby ani­mals sig­ni­fy a new start, so does a fresh clean­ing of your home. But don’t let the spring clean­ing stop with the phys­i­cal place where you live—extend it to all cor­ners of your life. Give your life a good spring clean­ing by orga­niz­ing, declut­ter­ing, and set­ting goals.

 

ORGANIZE

By now every­one knows who Marie Kon­do is—the mas­ter of “The Life-Chang­ing Mag­ic of Tidy­ing Up.”  What began a world­wide phe­nom­e­non of “spark­ing joy” in your home can be applied to your work life as well. Start by orga­niz­ing your thoughts. Write down the tasks you want to accom­plish whether it be dai­ly, month­ly, or year­ly. Cal­en­dar the tasks so you know when you want them com­plet­ed and pri­or­i­tize them so you know what impor­tance you assign to each item. Pri­or­i­tiz­ing tasks helps you accept a request or con­fi­dent­ly say “no” when some­one asks you to do some­thing know­ing it doesn’t fit in with your pri­or­i­ties.  Orga­niz­ing tasks works for both your per­son­al and work life.

 

DECLUTTER

A good declut­ter­ing ses­sion is good for the soul! Step back and look at your workspace—are there piles of paper stacked on your desk? What about that mound of things you keep say­ing you’ll take upstairs in your house? Do you have rela­tion­ships that are clut­ter­ing up your life? Take an hour each week to sort through your work­space piles. Choose to save only the papers/magazines/notes that you need to com­plete your job or that you want to save for sen­ti­men­tal rea­sons. Toss the rest of those papers in the recy­cle bin! After you are able to pare down the piles, begin ask­ing your­self if the next paper that comes across your desk needs to be saved, trashed, or recy­cled so that those mounds don’t grow into moun­tains again. The same goes for stuff around your house. Start that garage sale box, begin a keep­sake box, and trash the rest. Final­ly, kick those tox­ic rela­tion­ships to the curb. You know the ones—the rela­tion­ships that suck the life out of you. If you have some­one whose val­ues and pri­or­i­ties don’t align with yours, choose to keep them at arm’s length so you can spend more time with the peo­ple who hold pri­or­i­ty in your life.

 

SET GOALS     

Goals are unlike res­o­lu­tions.  Res­o­lu­tions are a firm deci­sion to do or not to do some­thing. “I resolve not to eat dessert after every meal.” Goals give direc­tion to fol­low to achieve a desired out­come. For instance, a career goal may be to fin­ish your col­lege degree or obtain a spe­cial cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. A rela­tion­ship goal could be to have week­ly date night or to start a fam­i­ly. Finan­cial goals may include pay­ing down debt, set­ting aside mon­ey from each check for a sum­mer vaca­tion, or to begin reg­u­lar­ly giv­ing to a non-prof­it dear to your heart. Set goals as you spring clean your life to give your­self direc­tion in how you spend your time and effort this year.

 

As you begin spring clean­ing your life, you will be sur­prised what good things are able to flow into those cor­ners that were pre­vi­ous­ly inhab­it­ed by dis­or­ga­ni­za­tion, clut­ter, or lack of focus. By giv­ing your­self a chance to have a fresh start in your life, you are encour­ag­ing new growth. And new growth is always exciting!