Once in a while we need to take stock of the things that we collect in our store-rooms and in various corners of our home and work place (an inventory check). Today, morning was one such day. I set about clearing some of the things that we had just kept over the years and did not really use. Such things keep on accumulating and it can become quite a mess. It can be your workdesk or the kitchen table or the cupboard or the bookshelf. We look at it and postpone the cleaning until after a few weeks it becomes a mess. Some of the stuff can be recycled, some can be given to charity and some books can be sold to second-hand bookshops.
The Japanese did a regular inventory check as part of their work. They termed this as 5S – Seiri (sorting), Seiton (arrangement), Seiso (cleaning), Seiketsu (standardisation) and Shitsuke (self-discipline). A well-organized workplace results in a safer, more efficient, and more productive operation. It boosts the morale of the workers, promoting a sense of pride and ownership in their work.
We also need to do a regular spring cleaning of our mind. This can be done by reducing the quantity of our thoughts, improving the quality of our thoughts and directing our thoughts towards a higher ideal. This clears the dirt on the mirror of our mind and we are able to see a clearer reflection of our inner selves. Contemplation and meditation also help us to keep our focus and to dispel distracting negative thoughts. All this helps us to live in the present without wasting time brooding on the past or worrying about the future.
A spring cleaning can help us to think about our goals, align our energies towards these goals, plan, let go of self-limiting thoughts by letting go of the old and bringing in the new. Sometimes, a weekend retreat is a good time to take a break from the chores and recharge.
So, when are you starting your spring cleaning?