Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning does not have to be something to dread. In fact, spring-cleaning does not have to be “cleaning” at all. Sometimes, you just need to know how to organize, purge and downsize in a quick and easy way.

Prepare:

  1. Decide on one specific area to arrange. (ex: closet, kitchen cabinets, desk, pantry, etc.) Trying to organize multiple areas at one time can be overwhelming.
  2. Grab something to drink and a small snack. Taking small breaks will keep you from getting stressed and worn out.
  3. Turning on some music can keep you focused and “in-the-zone.”
  4. Find 2-3 boxes, bags, or tubs for separating your items.
  5. Find a comfortable place to sit.

Get Started:

         A popular method for getting rid of clutter is to figure out what you use and what is no longer needed. Pick up each item and ask yourself, “Have I used this in the past year?” If you have not used that item for four seasons, most likely, it is just taking up space. Now, there are some exceptions to this question as there are some things you may want to keep longer (ex: an expensive ski jacket).

         If you decide that you no longer need something, the next question you need to ask yourself is “Donate, trash, or sell?” Designate a box or bag for each category and add the items to each box as you go. When you have finished looking through everything, it’s time to put your “keepers” back in the closet/cabinet/drawer. First, separate your items into categories (for example, the categories for shoes could be heels/dressy, flats, active, boots, sandals, etc.) and place them back in the closet. Now when you need a certain pair of shoes, they will be easy to find.

Extras:

  • Wipe down shelves and drawers with a clean, damp rag before putting things back; it never hurts to get rid of dust.
  • When deciding if something goes in the trash, donate, or sell piles, take a good look at the item and figure out if anyone else would want it. An old t-shirt with stains is usually something you should just throw away (or you can use it as a rag!). A pair of gloves that you wore for the entire winter, but do not have holes or stains, would be a wonderful item to donate to someone in need. A brand new sweater that you bought on a whim, will never wear, and still has the tags, is a good choice for the sell pile.
  • Organizing is always more fun with a friend!

Places to Donate:

  • The Salvation Army
  • Local homeless shelters
  • Good Will
  • The Purple Heart
  • Local churches
  • Hospitals
  • Local schools

Places to Sell:

  • Local thrift shops
  • eBay
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Let It Go
  • Offer Up
  • Craigslist
  • Etsy
  • Local newspaper
  • Yard sale
  • Bonanza
  • eBid
  • Poshmark, Ruby Lane, Thread Up (clothing)
  • Swappa, Glyde, Gazelle (electronics)

With these tips, your spring-cleaning adventure should be a little more fun. Good luck and happy spring!

Managing Pre-Interview Stress: Grounding Techniques

It is perfectly normal to feel stressed before an interview. You may really want the job or you might just be naturally shy. You know that your interviewer will be in control of the conversation and you don’t know what questions they will ask. This stress can lead to anxiety and may make you feel nervous. Here are some grounding techniques to help you reduce and manage your stress and anxiety:

  1. Senses

Sit comfortably, close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. In through your nose on a three count, out through your mouth on a three count.

Now open your eyes. Take your time and say out loud:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can feel (Examples: the fabric of the chair, the hair on your forearms, the smoothness of your teeth)
  • 3 things you can hear (Examples: the ticking of a clock, the birds outside, the hum of the air conditioning).
  • 2 things you can smell 
  • 1 thing you can taste (It might be a good idea to have a piece of candy or a mint handy before you start this process. Otherwise, can you still taste the peanut butter and jelly sandwich you had for lunch).

Take a deep breath to end.

  1. Visualize

Imagine the interview going well. Imagine, shaking your interviewers hand and saying you’ll see them on Monday. Imagine coming to work, sitting at your desk and enjoying your new start. Take a look at your negative thoughts and see if they are realistic. Being aware of your unrealistic, negative thoughts can often make them disappear.

  1. Release Your Energy

Sometimes if you are stressed, you are not able to concentrate enough to do some of the grounding exercises listed above. Releasing this pent-up stress and energy can help you relax.

  • Go for a run outside or on a treadmill
  • Clean up the kitchen or vacuum
  • Turn up the music and dance, dance, dance

Once you’ve exerted some energy, sit down and try some of the exercises one more time.

  1. Feel

Hold an object (preferably an object with texture) and close your eyes. Focus on its characteristics.

  • Is it rough or smooth?
  • How heavy is it?
  • Can you close your fist around it or is it much larger?
  • What is the shape of the object?

Now open your eyes and examine that same object.

  • How many colors can you see?
  • How long or short?
  • Are there patterns or pictures of any kind?

Congratulations! You’re now mentally and emotionally prepared for your interview. Just remember, you’ve got this!