We often hear “spring cleaning” get tossed around like a salad this time of year. And while I am all for cleaning out the junk in my home, I think “spring cleaning” is good for our bodies, too. And when our homes are decluttered, our spirit is lifted. A weight is removed from our shoulders.

Here in Michigan, the sun has been in hiding most of the winter. We get through our cold days with warm foods and little to no exercise. We might have good intentions to work out, but if our schedules are heavily loaded (and which they always are as moms), we push our health aside.

This time of year right now allows us to move outside more, so we might as well utilize what is given to us. Thanks, nature.

In our homes, we probably see that our garages have accumulated junk, as do our basements over the cold months. Once the sun glares into our windows, we start to notice the dust on the light fixtures we didn’t see just a month ago.

We see in a different light. The rose-colored glasses have been lifted and we notice all the clutter that is filled in our closets. So many toys our kids have and we think, “time to throw some out.” We get an extra spring in our step and we want to go for a walk, maybe a jog. Our bodies are in tune with nature, so it makes complete sense we feel the rhythm of the season.

Every year around this time of year, there are certain things I do to “cleanse” my house and body. Here are my top five:

  1. Declutter. This sounds obvious, but it’s something you really need to do at least once per year. Now is a perfect time! We accumulate too much crap, especially during the winter. We become pack rats for some reason. This is a terrific time to go through your clothing, to see what you can donate to the Salvation Army. And not only in your closet, but your children’s, too. Kids grow fast. My 5-year-old insists on wearing old clothes (even if they no longer fit), and then she looks absolutely ridiculous.
  2. Dust. If you’re like me, you do this year round. But, surprisingly enough dust isn’t always visible during the winter months (thanks to the gray skies), so make sure you get out your dust mitt and get to work! The walls, ceilings, cabinets, etc.
  3. Window Washing. Again, this is obvious, but when the windows are clean – your whole house feels better. And in the winter months, our windows in Michigan take a beating. I recently discovered Norwex products and am in love. Their window cloth is ah-maazing! You literally use water and a towel to get sparkling clean windows. It’s magic!
  4. Open your windows and/or sage your home. Let’s face it, our windows are closed all winter long. Our house wants fresh air, just like we do. So, when the temp breaks a little – crack ‘em open! And another good thing to do this time of year is to sage your home. If you don’t know what that means you can Google it. It’s basically a way to cleanse – based on Native American traditions. Many psychics, spiritual healers, believe in the power of sage to kill negative energies. I don’t know about you, but, if I can abolish any bit of negative energy, it’s worth a try.
  5. Get moving. With your body that is. Spring brings with it a feeling of renewal, a pep in your step. Go for a walk or a run. Whatever, just get moving! There are SO many great free exercise videos on YouTube. You don’t need anything but your phone to workout. So, the only excuse you can make is the kids. But they eventually sleep, right?!

I promise you, if your house is open and free from clutter and your body is given a nice dose of endorphins from exercise – you will feel an awakening! A spring awakening!

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I love gloomy spring days with temperatures in the 40’s – said no one EVER. And here I find myself in early April looking outside my window yearning to spend some time outdoors. Fresh air, the warm sun… all the things that make going outside worthwhile do not exist in Michigan in April. I am a Michigander born and raised, yet I have ALWAYS wanted to move somewhere warm.  Its days like this that drive you and your children berserk.  Not only am I suffering from cabin fever but so are my children (well at least the oldest, the little one doesn’t have a clue.)  “Can we go outside to play?” my 4-year-old asks.  “NO,” I say because we all have the sniffles, oh, and it’s 41° outside.  Of course not.

I would love for my child to be able to run outside and play, to give me some peace and quiet indoors and for her to exert some pent-up energy, but it seems that just isn’t going to happen anytime too soon.  We live in this super wishy-washy state.  One day you might need your winter coat and the next your spring jacket.  Lately, its been the winter coat.  The animals are confused.  Nature is confused.  My body is MAD.  It misses the sun.

Our gloomy yard

Our gloomy yard

Yesterday, my preschooler was going potty with her sippy cup (yes, we still give her a sippy cup because otherwise we’d have a chocolate stained carpet), but inside the cup was water.  She had asked for it while she was on “the throne” because when she has a hard time making doody we tell her to drink more water.  So, there she sat drinking her water, and of course she asks for privacy.  So, I shut the door.  I am then playing with her baby sister and a few minutes go by.  I call out to ask if she is OK, and she responds with a “yes.”  Another five minutes and I open the door to see what is taking so long.  She is standing there with the cup in one hand and toilet paper in the other.  “Are you all done?”  I ask.  “Yes, mama.”  So, I start to grab the cup from her hand and she says with a confused laugh, “I put my cup in the toilet.”  I realize I am holding a urine laden cup.  Thank God there was no poop.  “And I wiped it on the towel,” she says.  I take a deep breath and explain to her that 1) we don’t put objects in the toilet and 2) the hand towel is now contaminated.

I did thank her for telling me what she did because had she not, I wouldn’t have washed that cup right away or changed the hand towel so soon.  It’s in moments like this when I just want to tell her to go in the backyard and play.  It’s moments like this when I want to take the girls for a walk but can’t because I’d get hypothermia.  OK, that’s an exaggeration but I would definitely get wind chilled, as would they.  And so we sit in the house and she plays with the same toys, gets bored, then gets into trouble like the potty incident.  Yes, I could take them to a store or indoor playscape for kids, but that would require so much effort.  And all I friggin’ want is some fresh warm air.

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