March is in full swing, daylight savings has come and gone and spring is officially here. As the weather begins to warm and the flowers begin to bloom, we all start to feel a sense of restlessness and the desire to start fresh.
Spring cleaning might be most commonly known as a time to rid your house of excess belongings and clutter, but cleaning can actually have a profound affect on your mental well-being as well. In fact, a study conducted by the University of California showed that those who described their homes as chaotic, messy or full of clutter had higher levels of stress than those whose homes were cleaner and more organized. 
We’re here to share 4 easy tips for how Spring Cleaning can help clear your home, your mind, and can help you feel amazing!
Give Thanks: Giving up valued belongings is a struggle for all of us. Whether the item reminds us of a fun vacation or a loved one, parting with certain things can often feel like a challenge. Instead of assuming we must simply toss away our most prized possessions, giving thanks to items we’ve loved and ceremonially sending them on their way towards a better life elsewhere might be a better solution. Donating an item to a new owner doesn’t mean we are negating the happiness that item brought us – it just means the time has come for us to allow that item to bring happiness to someone else. Showing appreciation for things we give away will make parting with them easier and can lead to more happiness down the line. 
Highlight Sentimental Items: For those few items we know we’ll never be able to part with, it might be wise to highlight them instead of hiding them in a closet or storage box. Highlighting special items prominently in your home can bring you more joy and can also make it easier to part with other, similar items. Gretchen Rubin, author of Happier at Home writes, “By mindfully deciding what to put in, we know what we can leave out”. 
Reevaluate Color Choices: Ever wonder why you are drawn to certain colors but not others? There may be a psychological explanation. In fact, there is an entire field of study, color psychology, that devotes itself to this very idea. According to Leslie Harrington, a color consultant in Connecticut, “What color you paint your walls isn’t just a matter of aesthetics. It’s a tool that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior”.  Try switching out the paint color in one or more rooms in your house to not just give it a fresh look but to help you feel even more amazing this spring!
Smell Your Way to Happiness: Did you know that smell is hot-wired to circuits in our brain that process emotion, memory and motivation? Well, it’s true! Musty and old smells have the power to turn our emotions sour while fresh scents can perk up our mood and even boost creativity and inspiration!  Grab a cleaner with a scent you love or light a scented candle in your newly de-cluttered room and soak up the happiness vibes!
 “Tidy home, tidy mind – Why cleaning makes you feel good”. Expertrain. n.p., n.d. Web. 7 March 2016.
 Associated Press. “Top tips to joyfully declutter your home, from Marie Kondo”. The Guardian. The Guardian, 27 November 2014. Web. 7 March 2015.
 Rubin, Gretchen. “Good Stuff”. The New York Times. The New York Times, 18 August 2012. Web. 7 March 2016.
 Freeman, David. “Color Psychology: How to Make Your Home Feel Good”. WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 7 March 2016.
 “How Your Nose Can Control Your Brain”. Huffington Post. Huffington Post, n.d. Web. 7 March 2016.
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