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Spring seems to be flirting with us here in the Mid-Atlantic. The other day, I noticed that my old-fashioned daffodils poked through the winter soil. Buttercup yellow tulip stalks have gracefully emerged.
The advent of springtime outdoors motivates me to welcome the season indoors with splashes of botanical and floral colors. Assuredly, my pastel vintage vases and floral textiles will remain in storage until I perform my annual spring cleaning—with dread.
You see, I want spring, but only the benefits of the season, not the work.
Take spring cleaning for example. My desire is to begin this new season with shelves dusted, ready for terra cotta pots and crisp white linens.
As spring begins to unveil, I always seem to greet my spring cleaning with a sense of dread which eventually evokes procrastination.
Not this year.
I discovered how to make spring cleaning soulful.
An epiphany blossomed somewhere between our last drizzle of cold rain and the first whisper of spring. It sparked motivation and clarity about my attitude toward mundane tasks like spring cleaning.
I recently reread, Practicing the Presence of God, a book about Brother Lawrence, a handicapped, “no-fuss” Carmelite monk from the 17th century. He turned even the most menial and mundane tasks into a “living hymn to the glory of God.”
As he scoured pots, pans, and plates, he made it his practice to commune with God. This habit that Brother Lawrence developed helped him to “do his work with greater ease.”
Brother Lawrence found practicing the presence of God is “so necessary and so easy” that he wants “to advise all the world to do it.”
I will approach this year’s spring cleaning purely for the love of God. In so doing, out of that love comes a desire to steward the environment He graciously bestowed.
It’s no longer just “spring cleaning” because, now, it resounds with my soul. Spring cleaning serves as an opportunity in my chaotic, noisy day to capture time with God. Who knew that I would have to reach back to the 16th century to figure this out.
Soulful Spring Cleaning
1. Practice the Presence of God in the Seemingly Mundane Tasks
Practice going to God in silent conversation and abiding in His presence while performing necessary tasks all for the love of Him. This spring cleaning, I will wash windows, scrub toilets, and mop floors all to the glory of God. I invite you to make it a habit to nourish your faith in the ordinary, mundane chores. Let your silent prayers rise above the clamor of toddler and teen voices.
2. Exercise Stewardship of the Environment by Choosing Non-toxic Products
Using all-natural cleaning products fosters wise stewardship of the environment and cultivates a non-toxic home.
Super Natural Home author, by Beth Greer, makes the point that ” common cleaning products contain chemicals that can be more dangerous than the germs themselves.”
The cleaning products that line the shelves allure consumers with scents made from synthetics. Before you douse your countertop with fragrant bleach, consider the risks. Conventional household cleaners contain carcinogenic chemicals that can cause serious health issues.
Federal Agencies do not require chemical manufacturers to submit tests or studies regarding the effects of long-term exposure to harmful ingredients and impurities.
Basic Non-Toxic Spring Cleaning Inventory
Bamboo brush set, micro-fiber cloths, steam mop, bucket, cleaning caddy, and vacuum cleaner
Here download this free recipe card for your DIY cleaning recipes
3. Clear Your Calendar and Schedule Spring Cleaning
Author, speaker, and business coach Michael Hyatt claims that “what gets scheduled gets done.” Spring is a busy season here on the farm, so I can’t clear three consecutive days to clean nor can I give up a month of Saturdays. For me to get spring cleaning done, I spend a few hours a week deep cleaning one to two rooms. When I finish those rooms, I move to the next ones.
Determine your approach, then map it out on your calendar.
4. Gather Your Cleaning Products and Tools
I make most of my cleaning products. Therefore, they must be quick and easy to make. The recipes for the cleaning products I recommend include essential, all-natural ingredients.
I prefer using glass spray bottles rather than plastic.
In the past, I’ve used plastic, but after washing them a few times, the spray nozzle breaks. A few years ago, I started to invest in glass bottles. Grove Collaborative provides an attractive and sturdy line of glass bottles.
5. Use a Cleaning Checklist
6. Organize a Team
Spring cleaning with all-natural products allows you to include your kids to help without the worry of exposing them to toxic fumes. If you weren’t worried about that before you read this article, you now have a clear understanding of the health risks when using common household cleaners.
Home organization and management expert Cynthia Townley Ewer suggests “the easiest way to secure your children’s assistance is to train them to it from the time they are small.”
More Than Just Spring Cleaning
The art of soulful cleaning transforms your perspective on how you clean. When I scrub the baseboards this year, silent, secret conversations with God will take place. We’ve been entrusted to take the necessary steps to protect and steward the environment. One active step is to use non-toxic cleaning products. A cleaning checklist provides a road map to make every task count. If your schedule permits, make spring cleaning a family affair.