When the first crocus peeps through the snow we start looking forward to the freshness of spring. Windows get opened and many of us get that itch. Out with the old, in with new – it’s spring cleaning time!
What spring cleaning does for our homes – freshening, organizing, lightening up – it can do for our marriages. And you won’t even need buckets and sponges for this one!
1. Dust off the blinds and open them up. With the sun streaming in it’s easier to see what has been ignored. Have you been putting off tackling a tough discussion? Avoiding mundane things like making a will or compiling an inventory list for insurance purposes in case of a crisis? Getting on the other side of such talks or tasks lifts a guilty burden and allows the peace of mind to focus on more enjoyable endeavors.
2. Air out any grievances. Just like opening windows brings in a wave of freshness to replace what’s stale, getting out in the open a grievance you’ve been harboring allows you to move forward with a fresh start. If you’ve been holding onto it with building resentment, determined not to say anything in an attempt to avoid conflict, chances are things won’t end well. It’s better to discuss any such topic in a calm, planned moment than to risk eruption in a heated moment.
3. Scrub out negative influences. One spot on the carpet has the ability to mar the appearance of the whole room. You would think nothing of taking a scrub brush to it. Evaluate the people you surround yourself with. Sure you want to have family and couple friends in your life. But if it is having a negative effect, if they are people who are not supportive of your mate or your marriage, reconsider how much interaction you want to have with them.
4. Clean the clutter in your schedule. Cleaning out our closets and getting rid of all the clothes that don’t fit makes it easier to see great options that got shoved in the back. When our to-do list gets longer than our grocery list, it’s time to cross a few things off the list that get it in the way of having quality time with each other.
5. Sweep off the cobwebs. Spring is often a time to sweep cobwebs off the porch furniture so you can enjoy sitting outside. What else has garnered cobwebs that is holding you up from enjoying the fresh outdoors together? Bicycles? Tennis rackets? Rowing gear? Sweep away and have a new date with your old stuff!
6. Spruce up the place. We can’t wait to get rid of the heaviness of winter – we change sofa pillows, blankets, and linens to brighten up the home and celebrate a new season. Do the same with your appearance. Had the same hairdo for too many winters to count? Try something new. Fun make-up colors, lighter cologne, that spring-time clothing item that makes your mate think “spring is here!”
7. Polish what you’re keeping. Now that you’ve cleaned out the clutter and rousted out what’s not working, you’re left with some precious stuff. Some of it may be getting a little tired or stiff from disuse, but a little spring cleaning can change that. Put a fresh coat of love over all that is good in your marriage and polish it to perfection with your appreciation for who each other is and your gratitude for what you have.