Mar 08, 2018
So Fresh And So Clean Clean
Take a deep breath.
That's it. Can you feel it? Yes, spring is in the air and the world is in bloom.
Throughout time, spring has signaled new life on Earth. As the icy grip of winter slowly retreats, we collectively embrace the longer days and warmer weather. Spring has also long been symbolic of change, giving us an opportunity to reassess, to declutter, and to refresh our lives. And of course, an opportunity to clean. Yes, we're talking about spring cleaning and we can't wait to get started.
In cultures far and wide, the month of March has traditionally been the time of year to give the entire house a proper scrub down. In Persian culture, the practice of spring cleaning is known as "khooneh tekouni" which literally means "shaking the house." As is custom, the entire house receives a deep cleanse, furniture and all. In North America, spring cleaning has been practiced in March for generations. With the dead of winter behind them, Americans traditionally dusted and scrubbed away the thick layers of soot that had gathered throughout the home as a result of the dirty furnace that once kept us warm.
However, spring cleaning is more than just about freshening up our pad. There's something fundamentally pleasing about organization and decluttering. In fact, numerous studies have shown the various mental benefits of staying organized and decluttering. According to Psychology Today, "…spring cleaning has the obvious benefits of an organized closet, a sparkling counter top, and possibly more open spaces, but more importantly, it has been associated with improved mood, decreased stress, and heightened creativity." As it turns out, having a clean and organized home may actually lead to happiness.
So, right about now, you may be saying to yourself, "OK, I'm ready to start cleaning." Well, not so fast. When it comes to how we declutter, there are a variety of methods and tips at your disposal. We're huge fans of the Kondo Method. Developed by Marie Kondo of Japan, her namesake approach to decluttering your home has made her an international celebrity with leagues of dedicated followers. Kondo utilizes a system of decluttering that essentially rests on a single question: "Does this item bring joy to my life?" If the answer is no, and it's not essential, there's a good chance you're going to need to purge it. Once you have established that the item no longer brings you joy, you simply thank it for serving its purpose in your life and let it go. This train of thought falls in line with the Smarter Living movement, which we've embraced at Ward Village.
At its essence, Smarter Living is really all about pruning back on the clutter in our lives and focusing on quality over quantity. In today's consumer-driven world, it's easy to rack up "stuff." Of course, no one wants to live a cluttered life, that's why it's important to be conscious about the things we do purchase. As the esteemed entrepreneur, visionary, and minimalist Graham Hill once said, "Less stuff equals more happiness." And with that in mind, I think it's time we start decluttering. We're committed to making this Spring Clean one that sparks year-round joy. Hopefully, Kondo will approve.
Forward Journal: Winter 2017
Dec 22, 2017
Read the editor's note from the Winter 2017 Forward Journal.
Inside the September Issue of Forward Journal
Sep 05, 2017
Pulling Back the Curtain on Forward Journal