In many cultures spring represents the start of the year, and the increasing energy of longer, lighter days can provide the incentive for you to make some new beginnings. Changes are most significant when they start at a personal level, but working on your home environment can help considerably to get the energy moving.
For all that's in its favour, the arrival of spring can also be very unpredictable, and for those who find the winter particularly difficult, the first few months of the year can seem very long, with little hope of brighter days. Having got through Christmas and the New Year, the effects of long, dark nights may finally catch up during the start of the year and if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - or 'winter depression' - you may be prone to unpleasant mood swings, lack of enthusiasm, insomnia and a craving for sweet, 'comfort' foods.
Whether you suffer from winter depression, or the milder 'winter blues', why not make a special effort to fill your home with light and fragrance to lift your spirits and energy level? Increasing light will show up all the areas in need of an extra clean, so perhaps your first task might be a thorough spring clean.
If you intend to give your carpets a spring clean, it is very easy to make a dry shampoo. Simply add 20 drops of your preferred essential oil scent to 100g bircarbonate of soda. Shake this together in a sealed bag and leave overnight in an airing cupboard. The next day, sprinkle sparingly on your carpet and then vacuum.
This is the time to start to put away winter clothes. To make sure they re-emerge in good condition, line your drawers or storage boxes with paper scented with essential oil. Use either thick absorbent paper, such as blotting paper, or thicker types of wallpaper or wrapping paper. Cut the paper to size and sprinkle with essential oils such as lavender, rosemary, citronella or lemongrass over the back.
Then for an extra lasting effect, brush over some orris root powder (available from herbal and craft shops) to act as a fixative, and brush off the surplus.
These scented papers will protect your clothes from moths and ensure that they have a subtle, fresh fragrance when you take them out of storage.
Instead of mothballs, which can smell rather acrid, make neat fabric bags to hang from your coat hangers, and fill them either with potpourri enhanced with essential oils, or with cotton wool balls sprinkled with lavender, rosemary or cedarwood essential oils. If the spring and summer clothes you are beginning to take out now seem a little less than fresh in spite of being put away clean, perk them up by misting them carefully with about 500ml cold water to which you have added 4-5 drops of lavender or rosemary oil, or a mix of both. Be careful not to saturate and stain the fabric, and avoid using this idea on silk or wool. Ideally, leave the clothes to dry naturally on hangers in the fresh air.
Time to Clear the Air
Spring is also traditionally the time for moving house and it's a good idea to give your new home an extra special clean-up before creating your own atmosphere. Alternatively, if you have been going through a particularly bad patch in your life, or want to clear the old 'vibes' when you have finished a relationship, you may also feel the need for a atmospheric spring-clean in your existing home. Following serious emotional distress or perhaps even a burglary, thorough clearing of the atmosphere in your home can be helpful, although it may take time to re-establish a sense of comfort and security following such extreme events.
Make spring an opportunity to set time aside and pool all your cleaning together to expel the winter gloom and negativity from your home. By cleaning the home and clearing away clutter you will feel more emotionally open to new ideas and directions in your life, rather than weighed down by your old, well-established habits.