It’s been slow going, but the weather’s getting warmer and the days are getting longer. And although it may not be time to spend a full day outdoors, it’s definitely that time of year to start thinking about spring cleaning!
The winter holidays and all that time spent indoors can create physical clutter, but the cold weather also brings mental clutter as well. Cleaning up and opening the windows for some fresh air isn’t just important for your home. It’s equally important for your mind.
Sean Gerstley, a Philadelphia-based ceramic artist who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, has spent years clearing both physical and mental clutter before he begins a new project.
“Picking up habits from school, the ceramics department used to make us get rid of everything after every semester,” explains Sean. “Once an area is clean, you have an empty space that you could fill up instead of looking at, and getting caught up, in your past work.”
A fresh start feels good. The most common “fresh start effect” happens on January 1, but you can create your own fresh starts whenever you want. Why not try it with a deep clean of your space this spring? You might be surprised at how good it feels, not just physically, but mentally.
The very act of cleaning clears your headspace and helps you symbolically move on from the old and open up space to usher in the new. More than just for creativity and productivity, Sean believes even cleaning at home helps you meet daily challenges with more clarity.
“I don’t think the benefits are just career-related. Even doing the chores at home helps you recharge and feel better about the day ahead,” shares Sean.
Spring cleaning can create physical benefits as well, such as lowering stress and fatigue, reducing allergy symptoms,
Spring cleaning music
Your desk and your living space are both great areas to declutter for your mind and body, but don’t be overzealous! Cleaning, while healthy and admirable, can serve as a form of procrastination. That’s why we have a cleaning playlist to help you knock the dust off without overstaying your welcome, including Sean’s pick, “You’re All I Need to Get By,” by Aretha Franklin and much more!
Read the first part of our Spring Cleaning feature, originally published on April 25, 2019.