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A spring in your step

Here's your complete guide to physical, mental and spiritual spring-cleaning this season!
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2013 11:00 PM IST

Here's your complete guide to physical, mental and spiritual spring-cleaning this season!

Physical: Allocate, sort, donate
There are so many reasons for the physical clutter in our lives. Bad organisation, sentimental attachment or just our ability to acquire, acquire, acquire.

De-cluttering a house or workspace can only be achieved when there are definite goals and we all know goals without a timeline mean nothing. So the first step is to allocate a time slot dedicated to the task. The next step after this is sorting. Mentally categorise how you would like to sort things.

I usually find that throwing, keeping or storing works best for me but there are no rules. Choose what works best for you. Then, of course, is the option of donating. If selling is an option, which clearly it is in today's world of e-commerce - do it. There's no better feeling than getting money for something that was termed useless.

So how do we define useless? Things that have served a particular purpose and are unlikely to serve it again are useless. Like clothes that don't fit anymore or are out of style, children's toys that they grew out of, spoilt media storage devices like CDs, DVDs etc, bills or mail that is of no consequence.

We tend to hold onto two kinds of things. Ones that have some sentimental value and most things do or the ones that you spent a lot of money on but don't have any purpose in your life.

Clothes should be given away. There are always people who need them more than you. Toys, even broken ones should be donated and lastly don't be afraid of throwing.

It is one of the most liberating things that you will do when it comes to ridding your life of clutter. Well, it has also been said that if you haven't used something in a year, you are unlikely to use it ever. Sure, tell that to my grandmother!
Aanchal Gulati Nath is an interior designer and creative partner at Studio Us Design

Mental: Stay inquisitive, open to change
Clutter, mess, disorganised... are all terms that can apply to your house as well as your mind. In fact, a house, a room, or even a desk or drawer that is disorganised could very well reflect a similar state of mind in the person who maintains it.

A person who is experiencing anxiety or distress is often in a helpless state where he or she is not able to do much about it.

This is also because such mental states are mostly intangible. So, the simplest way to make it tangible is to convert it into something physical. The most common form of this conversion is the way we keep our things.

It is mostly a subconscious mechanism and not something that the person plans. We would often find an insecure person collecting or hoarding stuff that may not ever come handy.

Similarly, a depressive state of mind may make a person develop apathy and thereby unconcerned with the state of the house. Also, someone who tends to be confused and has problems being organised can have his or space in a mess where (for instance) it becomes impossible to find things.

Spring cleaning or using any opportunity to clean and sort one's space can be extremely therapeutic. No matter what the state of mind is, if one is feeling something unpleasant, it can be very useful to clean a room, sort a cupboard, or organise a desk.

Due to the intangible and symbolic mind - body connect, an action that we perform on the outside will have an impact on our inside. This is the reason why we tend to feel all positive and bright after we are done with our spring cleaning.
Sanjay Chugh is a Delhi-based senior consultant psychiatrist

Spiritual: Dust the corners of the mind
Sun shines, breeze is gentle and warm, and people love to open the windows to a brighter day and a brighter life. This is a wonderful time to break the layers of dust to allow the shining floor to see the light, let the fears be hung outside and shed all the unwanted load of belonging: material, religious, spiritual and conditional.

This is spring time, for it is a moment of change where life opens to a new lease of life, a new inquisitiveness takes over and it awakens us from deep levels of hibernation... nurturing and revitalising every single cell of ours.

Spring comes once in a year while in life it happens every time we open ourselves with maturity of mind and inquisitiveness and heart of a child. This is the true power of change we all look forward to and it begins with love, which we truly come to face with when we change.

The best place to begin is by contemplating on affirmation 'open my heart, let it know the true spirit and renew the essence of love within me'. This shall allow the expansion of the heart leading to the essence of deep love with the self and people around - bringing clarity, purification and a sense of celebration within.

It's not easy because the mind is cluttered and it resists all changes. It keeps the self distracted and completely immersed in the management of clutter leading to anger, jealousy, resentment and fear itself. Every emotion that holds you back is an unwanted load and a painful struggle that keeps you under control.

But the moment you confront them with a deep faith in the affirmation, you find the clutter gives you an orderly space, and as time passes, it slowly gets removed from the mind. This is a cleansing from within of the language, the heart, negativity, pessimism, sins, guilt, etc... allowing you to truly become friends with yourself.

It allows you to connect with life around you, making every moment a moment of refreshing awareness of your spirit.

This is the true art of learning to laugh at the self and life in a real form of peace, joy and happiness, making the world a better place to live eternally for everyone.
Maitreya Rudrabhayananda works for Universal Centre for Spiritual Research and Development

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