Spring is upon us! The grass is greener, the weather is a little warmer, flowers are in bloom, and spring cleaning mode is in full effect.
In the current climate, we’re all going to be spending more time in our homes so this is the perfect opportunity to start sprucing up your space, cleaning out your wardrobe, getting rid of negative thinking, and even working on cleaner eating. We want to help you with all things spring cleaning!
CLEANING YOUR SPACE
Spring cleaning can be overwhelming especially when you don't know where to start. But did you know that clutter could be causing you stress? The University of California conducted a study in which 30 couples stress hormones were monitored. When asked to describe their house, those that described a cluttered space displayed increased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Researchers from Princeton University in 2011 also found that clutter can make it more difficult to focus on a task. Your visual cortex can be overwhelmed by the number of irrelevant objects making it harder to focus and complete tasks efficiently.
If you're having trouble getting started, follow these simple steps:
STEP 1: Have a plan of attack. When getting ready to clean, it's always good to create a plan. We recommend working from the top and moving down. This could mean starting on your second floor before cleaning your first or starting on the highest shelf and working to the lowest. It's also best to work from left to right. Start on the left side of the room or surface and work your way over to the right.
Pro tip: It’s better to use consistent patterns when wiping down and disinfecting surfaces to ensure all surfaces get cleaned. If you randomly clean here and there, you waste time and may miss spots.
STEP 2: Let products do their work. For cleaning products to be the most effective at killing germs and viruses, it generally needs to sit for several minutes per the manufacturers recommendations. Most cleaning products can not instantaneously disinfect surfaces.
Pro tip: When creating your plan of attack, plan it so that you can apply product to one side of the room or surface while you work on another area. Then you can come back and wipe the first area down after the product has been sitting for a while. This is the best way to ensure everything gets disinfected properly.
STEP 3: Order of operations. It’s best to dust all your surfaces before mopping or vacuuming. Often times when dusting, your pushing particles back onto the floor or counter underneath. If you’ve already mopped, wiped down, or vacuumed, you may end up doubling your work.
Pro tip: Try dusting with a microfiber cloth. Microfiber is electrostatically charged, meaning it will actually attract dust particles. They're also highly absorbent and won't leave any annoying lint behind. Plus, they're reusable which helps the environment and saves you money.
STEP 4: Clean EVERYWHERE. It’s important to make sure every surface is getting cleaned. We often forget to clean areas such as the walls, baseboards, door knobs and locks, light switches, appliances, cabinet knobs, and refrigerator handles. Do you know that light switches, door knobs, locks, and handles are often covered with the most germs and bacteria? It's true! Switches, knobs, locks, and handles are some of the most frequently touched areas of your home. If you touch one of these areas and you haven't disinfected, you are likely to pass those germs and bacteria to other areas of your home.
Pro tip: It’s best to focus on cleaning these highly frequented areas at least 2 times per week. However, we recommend wiping them down at least twice a day especially as we're all trying to avoid passing Covid-19. Also, make sure you're cleaning with a product that is designed to disinfect.
STEP 5: Watch that mop! When cleaning, it's very important to make sure you're not cross contaminating areas of your home. Things like traditional rope mops or sponge mops can collect soil, bacteria, and germs over time. If you don’t properly disinfect your mop after every use and every room, you may be spreading germs and bacteria to other parts of your home.
Pro tip: To make sure you’re not cross contaminating surfaces, we recommend using a mop with disposable cleaning pads that can be thrown out after each use or better yet, reusable cleaning pads that can be thrown in the laundry after use.
Cleaning doesn’t need to be boring. Get the whole family involved, play some upbeat music, or invite a friend to keep you company!
CLEANING OUT NEGATIVE THINKING
We totally understand how the winter blues can put a damper on your mood; however, now that spring is here we’re all about tossing away that negativity and embracing the positive!
A great tool for ditching the negativity is to practice repeating affirmations on a daily basis. Affirmations are basically positive statements that help to keep those negative thoughts from creeping in and help you overcome self-sabotaging. When repeated over and over, studies have shown it can actually engage the neural pathways in your brain associated with reward and positivity leading to a more positive outlook. Need a good mantra? Try, “I am worthy” or “I can do anything I put my mind to" but any positive statement will work!
Another way to clear negative thinking is to think about who you're surrounded by. As much as you can change what goes on inside your head, making sure you have a supportive environment is just as important when seeking change. While we can’t always control who is around us, think about who you choose to spend most of your time with. You should feel nourished after spending time with people, not worse about yourself. If you find you’re surrounding yourself with negative friends, it may be worthwhile to reevaluate your relationships or how much time you’re dedicating to friends that bring you down.
Need more mantra suggestions, lessons in practicing gratitude, or tips on how to think positively, check out our blog on Reinforcing Positivity here.
CLEAN PANTRY. CLEAN EATING
Since spring is all about, out with the old and in with the new, we think it’s the perfect time to clean up your pantry and start a road to cleaner eating. Plus, any food that has not met its expiration date and you’re ready to say goodbye to can be donated to your local food pantry.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Eating seasonally is not only great for your health, but it’s also great for the environment and your wallet. Seasonal food is fresher and more nutritionally dense. A study actually found when monitoring vitamin C in broccoli, that the broccoli had a higher vitamin C content during their peak season than it did when it wasn’t in season. Plus, in order to grow vegetables year round, oftentimes to accelerate ripening, some produce is coated in an edible film or ripening agents are added which can include chemicals, gases, and heat.
Generally, in the springtime you can find apricots, artichokes, avocados, asparagus, carrots, mangoes, peas and spinach in season. If you’re unsure which produce is in season in your area, take a look here.
Take a look in your pantry and swap out unhealthy items for healthier versions. For instance, salted or smoked nuts that can be high in sodium and may include additives can be swapped out for unsalted and raw nuts.
Swap out breads, snacks, and pastas made with refined grains like white flour and white rice which can increase blood sugar levels for whole-grain versions such as whole-grain tortilla chips, lentil pasta, and whole-wheat breads.
Now that you’ve filled your fridge with fresh, seasonal produce, it’s time to ditch canned vegetables which can be high in sodium. It’s also a good idea to choose low-sodium versions of your canned or boxed soups and stocks.
Healthier eating doesn’t have to be torture. Make it fun! Look for recipes that you can create using seasonal foods and share with friends and family. Make cooking dinner a family affair and get everyone involved. And instead of thinking you’re taking away your favorite foods, reverse your mindset and think of how many great foods you’re adding to your diet!
Another great way to eat healthy? Foods that are high in immune boosting antioxidants like KABAKI Kenyan Purple Tea!
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