psychological spring cleaning

Do you do a deep spring cleaning every year? Are you into switching your closets and doing everything you need to do to welcome in the new season? Since I’m more into Anna Freud than Martha Stewart, I enjoy a different kind of spring cleaning – using this time of year as an opportunity to take stock of what is it that’s been taking up space in your mind, and to create space for new, healthier thought patterns and content.

Traditional spring cleaning in my house involves changing the bedding, swapping out my closets and cleaning from top to bottom as well as opening all the windows to let the fresh air in….and I’d like you to visualize doing the same thing with your mind.


Using the journal sheets we created for you (download below) or your own journal, I want you to write a list of what is taking up space in your mind right now. (There is real power in actually get things down on paper or pixel.)  


Ask yourself – are you ruminating about conversations that you had and worrying about what you should or shouldn’t have said? Are you thinking about a wedding gift that you should have bought already, or that you have to get by a certain date? Are there things that are undone laying around like dust balls in your mind? (I’m going to bet that’s a YES.) Are there beefs that you need to ‘clean up’ with someone? Are there unspoken things between you and people in your life?


This is the psychological spring cleaning that I’m talking about. You’re going to list all of the things that are taking up space in your mind. It may take awhile for you to do, and you might be really tired when you’re finished but when complete, you’ll have an actual list of what is taking up precious bandwidth in your beautiful mind.


The real estate in your brain is very valuable – and you can either use that to create something that you really want in your life (and come up with creative solutions to problems), or you can spend that bandwidth doing things that are counterproductive to what you want to create in your life.


Once you’ve written your list of all of the things that you have to do (Including your never-ending to-do list!), I’m going to ask you to go through that list a second time and take a hard look. Are there things on the list that you really don’t NEED to tend to…that are just there because you feel guilty about them? If so, cross them off or decide to do something about them. If there are things that you feel you really do need to tend to, move them from your list and put them into your calendar. Schedule them and get them done. If you have a wedding gift that you need to buy by October, just buy it now and send it or schedule it. I find that when you actually put things on your calendar, there’s a tendency for them to get done.


Once you get rid of the crap that you can take care of quickly, remove things that really don’t need to be taking up your thoughts, and put others in your diary so they are planned – you’ll be left with a much cleaner slate, which means that you have freed up space in your mind for creative, productive, and positive endeavors.


So let’s keep the spring clean and expansion going: I’m going to ask you to spend five minutes a day in stillness and silence. This means creating a little ‘zen den’ – a bit of space where you can take time for yourself.  You can make it super easy – just light a candle, sit down, take a deep breath, and use a very simple universal mantra – “so hum”. Silently repeating the word “so” on the inhalation, and then silently repeating the word “hum” on the exhalation. Set an alarm and give yourself 5 minutes of peace.  This is how we keep the mind uncluttered – through daily acts of stillness and silence.


The last thing that I’m going to ask you to do as part of your psychological spring cleaning is moving your body at least 10 minutes a day.  If you live somewhere where you can be outside in nature, definitely do that! Of course you can do more than 10 minutes, but even if you can only do 10 minutes, I promise you that 10 minutes outside with the sun on your face in nature (even if it’s just a bench in a city park) is really, really good for your internal expansion and it also keeps you grounded – grounded to the earth, and grounded in your life.


Psychological spring cleaning is important because we always have so much going on in our heads – especially ruminating about things from the past or fearfully projecting into the future.  Both of which are sure-fire ways to take you out of THIS moment…and the truth is, the only moment that you will ever be guaranteed in your entire life is this moment, right now. So I don’t want you wasting your beautiful, amazing, one of a kind life in a past that no longer exists except in your mind (as Deepak Chopra would say, “It’s a dream, now.”) Of course we can learn from the past  – but ruminating about what did and didn’t happen is not learning from it, it’s really just self-torture. Equally, projecting fearfully into the future not only takes you out of this moment, but it doesn’t actually make you more prepared for the future. Instead of ruminating or projecting fearfully, it might be better to plan for the future  – and that is so much easier to do if you have a clean mind space.


If you enjoyed this video and blog, please share it on your social media. Also, I would love to hear from you – so please drop me a comment and I hope we have an amazing week cleaning not just your house, but your mind, too!

As always, take care of you.

P.S. If you missed my two most recent Hello Freedom podcast interviews – with Dr. Frank Lipman about How to Be Well; and female finance guru, Barbara Huson about how to amplify your abundance with Sacred Success – you can listen to them here.

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  1. Hello lovely lady! Our last chat inspired me to air my emotional laundry to my boyfriend that I’ve been keeping inside. Unsure if that will lead to the changes I hope for but I’m happy I spoke up for myself and feeling emotionally “detoxed” so I thank you for that!

    1. Right on, Kim!! ‘Better out than in” as my pal, Kris Carr would say (of course she is talking about poop but I think the same holds true for negative or toxic emotions!)

  2. This is a wonderful idea to kick start a clean slate (and I’m definitely going to do it). However, there are inevitably issues that take up space in your head which are NOT easy to deal with or can be put in your calendar. The father who hasn’t spoken to you for years, the friend who’s behaving badly, the children who need to stop taking advantage, the lingering hurt from … whatever. Surely this is a different type of spring cleaning? Letting go of some things which can’t – or just aren’t – going to be dealt with and resolved. How do you clean up all THAT crap? I suspect that’s another video …

    1. I feel you, Jacqueline. All of the things you mention are boundaries issues in some form or fashion. So maybe that is a place to start. Thank you for being here with us!

  3. Thank you Terri. Yes, I do need to meditate for 5 minutes, and really breathe from now on when I walk my dog around the block. Also, lately I am making ME time, however, yes, I need to clean my mind of the negativity.

  4. This is exactly what i need to do . spring cleaning but in my head. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and wisdom.

  5. Thank you Terri I needed to hear this. I’ve download my workbook and I’m ready to get to work. Here’s to clearing my mind and a peaceful night’s rest, it’s been awhile. Denise

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