Asian woman holding organizing boxes

Spring cleaning doesn’t just apply to your physical home. It can do wonders for your life, too. As written in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by lifestyle guru Marie Kondo, decluttering can be a meditative act. It also allows you to create more time, a rare and finite resource, for things that are meaningful to you. Read this handy spring cleaning guide for the 10 things you should consider chucking to start anew.

Clothes That Don’t Fit Anymore

Exercising your way back into a size 4 may seem productive, but the truth is your body evolves as you grow older, and it gets increasingly difficult to lose weight.

Instead of keeping these reminders of the body you once had, you could by dressing for it and looking fab. You can still exercise (you should!), but now you can do it with less stress and more self-love.

Stressful Physical Clutter

Getting rid of physical clutter is the essence of spring cleaning. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunity, this leads to health benefits, such as avoiding allergy symptoms. The research journal Mindfulness also notes that the act of spring cleaning itself reduces stress and continues to reduce stress when you start living with less clutter.

The National Sleep Foundation states that cleaning and organizing your bedroom can by up to 19 percent. Meanwhile, the Journal of Neuroscience notes that a clutter-free also improves productivity and mood.

50% of Your Screentime

A 2021 Frontiers in Human Dynamics study on social connectedness and excessive screentime found that average device usage increased by five hours over the last couple of years. It means the average screen time has gone up to 17.5 hours a day for heavy users.

The World Health Organization warns that too much screen time replaces healthy behaviors and habits, like exercise, proper sleep, and productive hobbies. It can also cause headaches, neck pain, digital eye syndrome, obesity, and high blood pressure. According to a 2020 study by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, it is also linked to poor mental health.

Research by Henry Ford Health recommends limiting screentime to two hours outside of . One way to do this is to use voice notes for back-and-forth messaging to avoid eye strain and resorting to audio calls instead of video to prevent screen fatigue. Oh yeah, and stop doom scrolling!

Dormant Subscriptions

Speaking of digital detox, your spring cleaning can also include sifting through your emails for dormant and unproductive subscriptions. You may even still be paying for some of them! If it’s as simple as hitting unsubscribe, now is the time to do it.

You don’t have to do this in one day. Set aside a few minutes of “admin time” in the morning to complete the task without feeling overwhelmed. Your inbox will feel lighter, as will you. 

Toxic Friendships

Distancing yourself from friendships that make you feel physically and emotionally unsafe can be liberating. According to Harvard Health, a healthy friendship can boost your immunity and reduce your risk of anxiety and depression. Toxic relationships do just the opposite.

Since you’re spring cleaning, perhaps you can assess your social connections, too. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture (you certainly shouldn’t announce it on Facebook). It can be as simple as not engaging with the person and simply focusing on the that you have.

Unattainable Goals

Like chucking your size 25 jeans, letting go of unattainable goals can also be a healthy and freeing move. You have always been told to “never give up” and “get back up,” but there comes a time when it’s better to walk away.

A 2017 study in the Journal of Behavioral Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry shares that hanging on to these goals and unrealistic expectations puts you at risk of depression. The study notes that if the discrepancy between the goal and realistic possibilities is too large, there is greater benefit in setting more and parking the ones that aren’t working.

Negative Self-Talk

“I’m not good enough,” “I don’t belong,” and “I can’t do it,” are just a few examples of harmful negative self-talk. It is essentially the act of talking yourself out of potentially difficult — or amazing and rewarding by assuming it won’t go your way because you are you.

According to the experts at Harvard Health, this is not the way to attain happiness because you need self-acceptance to achieve well-being.

Spring cleaning negative self-talk from your system is just one step towards self-acceptance. You can do this by being more aware of things you like about yourself. Try affirmation, which is when you hype yourself up positively. 

Entitlement Mentality

Having a false sense of entitlement is not only the quickest way to disappointment, but it can also do long-term damage to relationships and one’s mental health. According to a study published by the Allied Academies International Conference, this “you owe me” attitude can result in a cycle that harms you and the people around you.

Anyone can be vulnerable to having this entitlement mentality from time to time, in varying capacities. You can break the cycle by mindfully observing the Golden Rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated and put respect for others over feelings of anger or vindictiveness.

The Desire to Be Conventionally Pretty

The desire to be conventionally pretty is ingrained in Filipino culture. Skin whitening and hair straightening are prevalent aspects of the local beauty landscape. Being skinny is reinforced as an ideal in mainstream media, too. But we can break the cycle by being open to seeing

A 2018 study published in the National Institutes of Health notes that assigning value to your beauty and being beautiful by society’s standards can result in hyper-competitiveness. It also brings out emotions of jealousy, envy, and inferiority, which only hurts the bearer.

Relieving ourselves of this desire, whether via self-education or a more proactive appreciation of our brand of beauty, can lead to more confidence and an improved sense of well-being. 

Skincare Products That No Longer Spark Joy

Are you holding on to old skincare and beauty products? Let them go, girl. Most skincare products only last for up to two years if they are unopened and properly stored and only one year after you've started using them. If they possess sentimental value, hold on to them but stop using them if they’re expired. Products that don’t work for you also need chucking to create space for skin care that is more suitable for your skin.

Need a beauty routine refresh? Add these rejuvenating products to your arsenal. For your hair, try Love Beauty and Planet Radical Refresher Shampoo and Conditioner, which has clarifying tea tree oil and vetiver to give your scalp a boost.

Use POND'S Aloe Vera Jelly Cleanser to rid skin of impurities and oil without dryness. Finally, spray Dove 0% Aerosol, which has also been spring-cleaned of aluminum salts and alcohol to soothe and smooth your underarms.

Spring cleaning can be a cathartic experience. If you’re already tidying up your home, why not let go of habits and behaviors that no longer serve you in the process? Not only will it make you feel lighter, but it also frees up space for better things to come.