No one looks forward to washing windows or storing the ski gear or the other chores associated with spring-cleaning. But this annual ritual does not have to be a drag, if you approach it in a slightly different way. "You've been cooped up with this cave-like mentality all winter; now it's time to break free and play," says R.D. Chin, a feng shui architect and consultant in New York City. "It's time to follow the cycle of nature, get rid of the clutter, and free up your mind." Here's our idea of what a truly effective spring-cleaning can look like.
Develop a new habit.
Cultivating new, good habits is a lot easier than dropping a bad one. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, which documents her yearlong quest to unlock the secrets of contentment, has these three tips for those looking to make a change:
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- Schedule it. If you say you're going to do something at a specific time, you're more likely to do it. Keeping a scorecard of your efforts will make you feel good about your new behavior and help reinforce it.
- Make yourself accountable. Get a private teacher or enroll in a class with a friend. "Make sure you have an obligation to someone else at regular intervals," Rubin says.
- Pay for it. It will boost the chances that you'll stick to your new habit – if only to get your money's worth.