Why You Should Spring Clean In January

My entire adult life, I have made a habit of spring cleaning during the Christmas holidays between December and January. In South Africa, we’re well into summer by then, so it might seem strange at first, but here’s why it makes perfect sense:

1. The Luxury of Time

Although I spring clean around September when it’s actually spring, I consider that Spring Cleaning Lite (patent pending). Weekends are precious and I wouldn’t dream of initiating a spring clean during the week. However, during the holidays I have nothing but time on my hands. Although it’s important to rest during the festive period, for me, it’s equally important to use the time to get my life on track. This year, I spent two days cleaning and organising, and afterwards, I felt like I was one step closer to starting the year off right. But even if the year has started, it’s worth taking time to get on top of things before the chaos begins.

2. Clear Headspace

During the year, it’s often difficult to focus. There is so much going on that you end up juggling work, family, friends, finances, your household, etc. Without the distractions for 1 million other things you should be doing, you can focus your time and energy on getting things in order, which is going to make you happier and feel more in control.

3. Renewed Focus

The end of the past year and start of the new one brings about a clarity. Whether we admit it or not, we look at our lives at this time and most of us reassess our lifestyles. You think of things you want to change, things you want to leave in the past year, or things you want to work harder at. You can use that clarity in sorting through what should stay and what should go in the new year. You’ll also find that you come across things you completely forgot you had, like the arts and crafts supplies you were going to use but didn’t have the time for. Or the sweater you love but now fits a little too snuggly. Use this time to realign your goals and as a part of designing the life you want.

4. Energy Boost

If you do it right, the process can be invigorating. It’s exciting getting on top of things and once you’ve completed the task you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will empower you to take on the new year.

I speak from experience when I say the sacrifice of a day or two is well worth it. Don’t look at it as a waste of time you could be using to relax, but rather an investment in the year ahead. Starting the year on the right foot is crucial if you don’t want to burn out, and cleaning and organising can play a significant role in that. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore. Put on some music and get stuck in!

“The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.” – Joe Paterno

Just for fun, here’s a video that always makes me laugh:

How to Maintain a Healthy Balance

My picture of success is having a balance where all areas of my life compliment each other perfectly. Sometimes it’s necessary to reprioritise in order to cope or give special attention to an area we’re wanting to improve. If you’re spending more time at the office to earn that raise you’re hoping for then go for it. But ensure that what you neglect is not to your detriment.This is of course easier said than done. I’ve ready up

However, this is easier said than done. So I’ve read up on the topic and worked on a cycle that I believe can help achieve a healthy life balance.

How to Maintain a Healthy Balance:

  1. Assess What Matters Most to You – Summarise your life into categories. What would the categories be?
  2. Prioritise – If you had to represent that in a pie chart with percentile values of how much time you would ideally like to invest in them, what would that look like?
  3. Reprioritise – From time to time, you’ll need to adjust your focus. That’s okay, as long as long as you understand the implications of that choice.
  4. Monitor – After you’ve adjusted your priorities in accordance with your current goals, be aware of how the change has affected your life and consider the value that has been added or taken away from your overall happiness.
  5. Adjust – Reflect on how effectively you’re maintaining a healthy balance. Not having the time for something is not a good enough excuse. If it’s genuinely important to you, you’ll find the time for it. Assess where you are and where you want to be, then adjust accordingly.

It’s important to be introspective to see if we’re on track with our vision. If something isn’t working, change it. It’s that simple.