The winter season begs us to stay indoors. I mean, it’s so much more enjoyable to watch the snow fall while bundled up on the sofa instead of heading to the gym. But as winter months drag by, you might begin to feel a bit of cabin fever: itchy to feel a sense of accomplishment around the home, at least until the spring arrives and the sun shines again.
So whether you’re just avoiding the chilly weather or staying home to care for a sick child, we want to recommend some ways to keep your sanity in shape and not go climbing the walls.
Led by physicians of integrative medicine, the Naturna Institute focuses on an overall approach to body and mind self-care.
But self-care doesn’t stop with renewing only your body and mind. Sure, meditation and nutrition are a huge part of it. But self-care also means a nurturing and happy home.
Decluttering and Organizing Your Home
Decluttering and organizing your home has many benefits. It makes us appreciate what we have and also clears our mind of clutter.
And one significant way to have a happy home is to rid ourselves of unwanted “stuff” and organize important or cherished belongings.
For some of us, the feeling of the new year brings forth this almost irresistible urge to purge our belongings. I mean, those new holiday gifts have to go somewhere, right?
But if you’re not sure where to start your purging journey, here are a few places to spark inspiration:
Ask Yourself “Does It Spark Joy?”
If you’ve not yet heard of the KonMari Method, then grab your cup of herbal tea and settle in for a Netflix binge.
Although her New York Times best-selling book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” has inspired readers since 2011, Marie Kondo’s Netflix special has lit a new fire under hoarders’ butts everywhere.
But while she has many methods, there’s one she’s especially known for that we appreciate:
Hold an item you own and ask if it “sparks joy.” If it doesn’t, then it’s probably time to say “thank you” and donate it, thereby passing it on to someone for whom it might.
Chances are there are many items collecting dust about your home that you probably forgot you had. By going through your home and evaluating what brings joy, you can begin to declutter in a thoughtful way, which clears your mind.
Organize and Eliminate Paper Trails
Bills, notes, you name it. Whether it’s a desk or a kitchen counter, paperwork can pile up and become a real mess. Take time to go through and organize.
For important docs and bills, scan and shred as needed. And to prevent the pile from getting as high as it did, consider changing all of your accounts to paperless billing.
Replace those post-its with a note-taking and/or calendar app. Seriously, what’s the point in jotting down a grocery list if you leave it at home on the fridge?
Cleaning Your Home
Keeping your home tidy also has additional health benefits. For starters, it prevents the spread of germs. And if you haven’t noticed, the flu season is bad this year.
So while you’re tackling your home organization, room-by-room, put in some extra elbow grease and wipe down surfaces. Just be sure to use gentle, non-toxic household cleaning products.
Use Botanicals and Essential Oil Fragrances
Tea tree oil and peppermint oil are much kinder to our homes and environments than your average commercial fragrance sprays that release VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the air.
They also have antibacterial and antifungal properties—perfect on that persistent petri dish that keeps trying to grow in your shower!
Reach for Natural, Non-toxic Disinfectants
If you pay attention to labels, you’ll find most cleaners have quite harmful ingredients.
Take note and either grab a greener alternative or simply stock up on a few more inexpensive kitchen items such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, lemons, and vinegar. These four essentials can make a variety of all-natural cleaning concoctions.
Leave Toxins at the Door
Make a makeshift “mud room.” Removing your shoes, coats, etc. prevents unwanted toxins and chemicals from spreading throughout your home. (Like that antifreeze sprayed on sidewalks to keep the ice away!)
Self Care for the Home Starts with Intention
It’s easy to say you’re going to tidy up your home and adjust to a more minimalist lifestyle. It’s another to actually go through with it.
One look at your closet or pantry might send you into a panic attack. But if you take your decluttering mission in small steps, you’ll soon find the act of purging to offer a sense of relief and detox of the home.
So go discover what “sparks joy” for you.