- 1. Cut out old habits
- 2. Improve your sleep hygiene
- 3. De-clutter your belongings
- 4. Slow down your pace of life
- 5. Live a more sustainable life
The spring season is considered to be one of new beginnings, coinciding with longer days and nature emerging from hibernation. As the weather gets warmer and brighter, our energy levels usually increase, and we find ourselves making plans and amending our lifestyles accordingly. A spring clean can be a great method to turn over a new leaf, and springboard into new habits.
Many of us use this added energy to give our homes a welcomed spruce. The traditional spring clean consists of tackling each room in the house, giving it a thorough clear out and tidy as well as a deep clean. Yet, as necessary as the home clean is, it’s not just your furniture and windows that might be in need of a refresh. There may also be other aspects of your life that could do with a slight re-adjustment in order to benefit your overall health and wellbeing.
If you are wondering about easy ways to improve your lifestyle, then in this article we will share some top spring cleaning tips, incorporating both home and lifestyle advice, including some inspiration from some of our very own Vintage Cash Cow employees.
Even small wins can be enough to see positive improvements in our lives; therefore, we hope just one, or a combination of these tips will give you the encouragement you need to use this spring as a springboard for positive new beginnings in your life.
1. Cut out old habits
We all have habits that we have become accustomed to carrying out on a daily basis. And, whereas some of these habits are useful and healthy, others such as hoarding, biting our nails, drinking too much coffee or spending too much time on our smartphones are not so beneficial.
Old habits are hard to quit. However, as with most things, a little hard work, willpower and time can make anything achievable. In general, the key to cutting out bad habits is to identify your triggers, set yourself some goals and replace the old habit with something positive.
You may find that you always bite your nails when you’re talking on the phone or pick up a sugary takeaway coffee every day at the drive-through as you pass by on the way to work. And, if this is the case, it’s time to think of alternative ways to approach each situation. For example, you could try to use a fidget toy or sketch pad to doodle on while you are on the phone to distract from the nail-biting. Or, start taking the bus to work, cycle or simply find a different route to avoid the coffee shop altogether.
If hoarding is your nemesis, then you might need to consider changing your surroundings in order to make a fresh start. We’re not saying you need to move house in order to achieve this, but perhaps you could plan a re-arrange of your home environment, which will require a clear out and de-clutter of your current cupboards and spaces (see de-clutter section below!).
The key is to start with the smaller habits, and once you have mastered these, build yourself up to tackle the meatier ones!
2. Improve your sleep hygiene
According to national guidelines the average healthy adult needs between 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night. However, in reality, many of us do not manage to achieve this amount. We all need adequate sleep to be able to function properly and be productive during the day, therefore, if you find that you wake up feeling groggy or start to feel lethargic mid-afternoon, then this might be a sign that you need to improve your sleep hygiene.
There are many ways we can try to improve our quality of sleep, but one of the best places to start is with our pre-bedtime routine. It helps to adopt a consistent bedtime each night to get our bodies into a natural rhythm, therefore choose a bedtime that works with your daily schedule and then plan in at least 30 minutes before that time to ease into sleep. You could begin your night-time routine with a nice relaxing bath, a short yoga flow or guided meditation practice, followed by some sleep-inducing essential oils gently rubbed into your skin. Maybe reading relaxes you or how about turning on some gentle classical music to unwind from the day? Just be sure to leave your laptops and mobile phones out of the bedroom and practice some long deep breaths before you close your eyes for the night.
3. De-clutter your belongings
We are all guilty of accumulating clutter over time. Our houses are naturally filled with things we have collected over our life time, and it’s normal to want to keep things that remind us of positive moments and nice memories. On the other hand, a cluttered home will not only collect dust and dirt around it, but it could also add unnecessary stress to your everyday life. Many scientific studies have concluded that clutter leads to a more stressful environment, meaning that your favoured possessions could be negatively impacting your health without you even realising it. It’s much more beneficial to adopt a minimalist approach to your living environment, so that it looks and feels spacious, calm and relaxing.
De-cluttering can be a very cleansing and satisfying process as part of your spring cleaning routine. Therefore, set away some chunks of time in your schedule to tackle each room in your house, sorting through items that you use regularly, and those which you haven’t found any use for during the past couple of months. As tidying expert Marie Kondo quotes "When we really delve into the reasons for why we can't let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future."
The good news is that your unwanted items don’t ever have to go to waste. Not only can you help improve your wellbeing from having a clear out, but you could also help someone else, or make a little extra money for yourself at the same time. Be sure to put aside a box for items such as old watches, coins, pens, toys and jewellery to send to Vintage Cash Cow when clearing out, as well as a box of unwanted clothes, mobile phones, books and crockery to send to your local charity shop.
4. Slow down your pace of life
We all have 24 hours in each day, yet the way we fill these hours can be very different.
Some of us lead fast-paced, busy lives, cramming each second with an activity or movement, while others prefer to operate at a much slower pace.
The important thing to know here, is that no-matter how busy and frantic you feel you are, there is always a way to slow things down a little – the days of lockdown certainly proved this for us! Your responsibilities, work, family, social activities, and life admin certainly take up a lot of time, but if you are well-organised and prioritise only the most important things each day, then you will be able to live a much less hurried life.
Prioritising, saying no, and accepting help are all very useful methods of saving time, and staying present is essential to slowing down and finding a greater appreciation for life. Operating at a slower pace will also mean that you have more time for the things you love to do. Maybe you haven’t sat down with a good book for months or have been too busy to book yourself in for a nice, relaxing massage to soothe your aching muscles. Therefore, schedule in at least 30 minutes each day for yourself – a chance to be alone and enjoy an activity that makes you feel good.
5. Live a more sustainable life
We are all looking for ways tread lighter on the planet and do our bit to protect our surroundings. Therefore, why not use this new season to think hard about ways you can live a more sustainable life – beginning in your home.
Cutting down on plastic usage is a huge starting point, and there are many ways to cut it out altogether if you really put your heart and soul into it. Frequenting re-fill stores for popular household items, as well as generally consuming less are both great places to start - this way, you will be reducing your wastage levels from unused and unwanted items to landfills. Upcycling is also a great way to help in this area too. By transforming old items into something new, or trying to find them a new home, you will be helping to reduce the amount of waste sent to harmful landfill sites in your area. Buying local produce, rather than imported, mass-produced items also helps to cut carbon emissions and reduce air pollution induced by transportation. And, why not incorporate a few days of vegan eating into your weekly schedule too?
In addition, there are also many natural cleaning methods we can adopt in our homes, eliminating the need for harmful chemical products to be used at all. Joanna, our Head of Antiques recommends putting half a lemon in your fridge to help with any unwelcome smells, which is far gentler and more sustainable than cleaning out the fridge with harsh cleaning sprays. While Emma, our Vintage Toys Expert is a big fan of white distilled vinegar. It's so cheap and non-toxic, and amazing for stubborn cleaning jobs such as windows, microwaves, baths, pans and even Ugg boots apparently! In general, it just needs diluting with water before being used, and can be used with bicarbonate of soda for more stubborn cleaning jobs.
We hope that you found this spring cleaning advice helpful, and accessible to use in your everyday life. By adapting just a few small changes into your routine, you could be doing something to greatly benefit yourself, those around you and the wider environment too.
Don’t forget to order your free Vintage Cash Cow postage pack today. Not only can you make a great start at de-cluttering your home, changing old habits and living a more sustainable life, but you could make some easy cash to spend on your new lifestyle routine at the same time!
Be sure to also check out our other inspiration articles too.
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