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The transition out of winter and into warmer temperatures reminds us of tulips, clocks “springing” forward and walks in the park. But beyond nature coming into bloom, spring is also ubiquitous with cleaning. We’ve all been reminded of spring rituals related to our homes including decluttering, dusting all the places we typically overlook and deep cleaning everything from our kitchens to our bathrooms.
Below I have listed a few reasons entrepreneurs can benefit from a thorough cleaning of their lives and 25 ideas to jumpstart the process in your digital, work, home, personal and financial areas.
Why you should spring clean your life
- As entrepreneurs, we can oftentimes suffer from decision fatigue. Our brains get bogged down with a countless stream of things. Having a clean and decluttered environment, both physically and mentally, will give you more space in your brain to process everything that comes your way.
- Decluttering your life can save you money, and who doesn’t want to save some coins? For the lucky few entrepreneurial unicorns out there, finances may be a second thought. But, most of us have to track our spending down to pennies.
- The relief I felt after spring cleaning my life is something I wish I could package up in a bottle and sell. Decluttering your life will make you feel so much better and at least one percent happier — trust me!
25 ideas to jumpstart your spring cleaning
Your digital life
- Organize your files: Go through your Dropbox, Google Drive or other cloud storage files and organize all your digital files.
- Use the unfollow button: Decluttering your social media is more important than you think. Unfollow or mute the people from your feed that annoy you or that you compare your life to in an unhealthy way.
- Free up some storage: Photos and videos take up a lot of space on our phones and computers. Remove the ones you don’t immediately need by deleting them or moving them to a secure cloud storage system.
- Do an app inventory: Do a scan of all the apps downloaded on your phone and delete the ones you no longer use. You can always add them back in the future.
- Unsubscribe: Remember when you wanted that free download on how to increase your social media followers? Ordered something from Target? Now you’re on their lists amongst many others. Email subscriptions contribute quite a bit to the clutter of your inbox, and if you’re like me, you rarely open the emails. Completely unsubscribe or adjust your subscription to decrease the frequency of the emails.
Your work life
- Clean your desk: Spring cleaning is not just for your home. Do a deep clean of your workspace, whether you work in an office or from home. Take the time to file things away and consider rearranging the way your desk is set up to maximize productivity.
- Update your bio: You never know when you could be looking for work, asked for an interview or something else that could require you to share your credentials and experience. It doesn’t hurt to have easy access to your work history and accomplishments if asked.
- Let it go: As an entrepreneur, one of the best lessons you can learn is how to delegate. Figure out what tasks can be done by others and move these items off your to-do list.
- Sweep your inbox: You probably have way more emails in your inbox than you need. Take some time to delete what is no longer needed or create some folders within your inbox to organize emails by specific projects, clients or tasks.
- Just say no: It is okay to decline meetings, calls and emails to focus on the things that are important to you. Consider checking emails only during certain times of the day and removing yourself from meetings where your attendance is not necessary.
Your home life
- Fix what’s broken: Repair all the random things around your house that need repair. If you are unable to do so, hire someone to help you. Be sure you also have basic handyman items like a hammer, screwdrivers, measuring tape, a flashlight and batteries.
- Purge your closet: Throw away, donate or sell all the items in your closets that don’t fit, are no longer your style or that you no longer need.
- Check your medicine: It’s great to have medicines on hand for when you have a minor injury or are coming down with a cold. But having medicines that are expired can be dangerous to ingest for you and your family. Trash what’s expired and make a list of what needs to be replaced.
- Dust the dust: Don’t forget to do the usual spring cleaning of your house, paying close attention to deep cleaning the windows, kitchen and bathroom. Set yourself a weekly or biweekly schedule of when you will dust, wash clothes and clean the bathrooms.
- Shift the energy: This time of year is great for fresh starts, even if you don’t physically move. If you have the money, consider freshening up your living space with a new coat of paint, pillows and some house plants.
Your financial life
- Cut your debt: Take stock of your credit card debt. Inquire as to whether you can lower your interest rates or possibly move your balances to a no-interest card.
- Stop giving away free money: Do an inventory of your monthly subscriptions and make sure you are utilizing them and not just giving away free money.
- Set a budget: You can’t set a budget if you don’t have one, so let’s start there. Create a manageable budget that you can stick to that includes both your required and discretionary spending.
- Check your credit: When is the last time you checked your credit report? Do you know your credit score? Check the reports with all three credit bureaus and make sure there are no inaccuracies that you should correct.
- Say no to late fees: Set up automatic bill payments so that you don’t have to worry about missing payments or paying late. Another option to consider is that most creditors will allow you to shift your due dates so that all your bills are due around the same time of the month.
Your personal life
- Plan your meals: Create a handful of healthy, weekly meal plans that you can refer to with the foods you love. This will help you save money on takeout and maintain your weight. It will also be one less thing you have to think about during the day.
- Prioritize your mental health: Finally commit to being more intentional about managing your mental and physical health. Self-care gets thrown around a lot but it really is important. Consider a therapist, a daily meditation practice or incorporating short walks when you feel stressed.
- Go to the doctor: Is your cholesterol high? Blood sugar at an unsafe level? You won’t know unless you get checked. Be proactive about your physical health and be sure to see (virtually or in-person) your primary care physician at least once a year to make sure your body is healthy.
- Get a safe: Find and store in a secure location your social security card, birth and marriage certificates, deeds to the property you own and any other important documents.
- Hire a lawyer: We all hate to think morbidly — but if your life ended tomorrow, would your loved ones know how to settle your estate? Find a lawyer and create or update wills, power of attorneys or other legal items like your life insurance.
And a few extra…
- Dance party: Create a signature playlist that makes you feel good, motivated and happy.
- Turn off the TV: Read the books you always say you are going to read and never do. Dedicate a little less time to TV or the internet and a little more time to reading.
- Choose forgiveness: Apologize to those you have wronged and forgive those that have wronged you. If you are not comfortable communicating with people directly, write them a letter and then email it to yourself if you choose to send it in the future.