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Updated on Mar 9, 2020. Posted on Mar 15, 2019

13 Spring Cleaning Cleanses That'll Actually Make A Big Difference In Your Life

Detox, declutter, and de-stress.

1. The Smart Phone Cleanse: Cut down on the time you spend scrolling so you can focus more on everything else in your life.

Loryn Brantz / BuzzFeed

Do you pick up your phone every time you have a spare moment — like waiting to check out in the grocery line, in the 30 seconds it takes you to ride the elevator at work, or when you're just watching TV? Phone addiction is real, but fortunately there are small changes you can make to combat it.

Try these strategies for a week (or even a day!) then see if you can keep them up: Turn off all your notifications, except for phone calls and maybe texts from specific people. Delete your social media apps, or at least the ones you recognize as the biggest time-sucks. Commit to stashing your phone out of sight in a bag or drawer at work and at meals, and pick up a cheap alarm clock so you can charge it in another room overnight instead of next to your bed. Set two or three 15–20 minute chunks of time where you look at your phone and respond to all the texts and calls at once, instead of right when you receive them — and set a timer for yourself. For more, check out these cell phone detox ideas.

2. The Unfollow + Unfriend Cleanse: Fill your social media with updates from people you *actually* want to hear from, no more learning every major life update from that random person you met at a party once freshman year.

BuzzFeed

Or basically anyone whose updates, stories, and/or photos don't make you happy pretty much every time you see them! If your ex-coworker seems to almost constantly be vacationing somewhere fabulous and it makes you broil with jealousy: unfollow. Your best friend's ex who you kind of hate? Unfriend!

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all let you do this from a desktop/laptop computer these days, which IMO is much easier than trying to scroll through on your phone. But do whatever works for you! (Facebook also offers a handy "unfollow" option, which lets you technically stay friends without seeing their updates in your newsfeed — useful for those family members always posting political opinions / baby photos.)

3. The Inbox Cleanse: In 10–15 minutes each day over the course of one work week, overhaul your email habits so you never have to slog through a messy inbox again.

Alice Mongkonglite / BuzzFeed

"We don't really think about the 'cost' of each email, because there is no dollar amount attached to it, but there is a time cost for both the sender and the recipient," Alexandra Franzen, author and communication expert, previously told BuzzFeed. Take control of that time and detox your inbox.

4. The T-Shirt Drawer Cleanse: Watch a few episodes of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix to learn the basics of her ~method~, then start super small and focus on just one category of clothes.

Alp Ozcelik

Yes, on the show and in her book she emphasizes tidying all your clothes at once, but if that seems like a little much, choose one category of clothes you know you can sort through in under an hour, like your tees and tanks, socks and underwear, or even just dresses. Hold each one in both hands, see if it ~sparks joy~, then fold everything so it stores vertically and is easy to find. (And thanks to her space-saving folding method everything will probs fit in less storage space, even if you end up only donating a few things.)

5. The Work-Life Balance Cleanse: Commit to working only during work hours *and* eating lunch away from your desk every day, at least for one week.

NBC

Wait to check your work email until you get to the office (and don't touch it at night, either), actually leave the office on time every day, and try to not think about or focus on anything work-related while you're home. And yes, take those lunch breaks and eat away from your computer, whether you go out or pack your own lunch.

You just might find you're more productive when you get back to work because you let yourself recharge — or at the very least that you're in a better mood.

6. The Expiration Cleanse: Go through and toss (or recycle!) everything in your home that is past its date, including food, beauty products, sunscreen, cleaning products, and yes, even condoms.

Augusta Falletta / BuzzFeed

I hope I don't have to explain food expiration dates to ya, but if you continue using a beauty product past its date, it might mean it's less effective (looking at you, SPF 30 tinted moisturizer) or it could potentially cause a bacterial infection...not pretty. Can't find the little jar symbol? Here are approximate expiration dates for every beauty product.

Condoms should have their expiration dates printed on the wrapper; they usually last for a few years, but ones with lube or spermicide tend to expire faster.

Disinfectant cleaners lose some potency about three months after they're opened, which is fine as long as no one in your household's immunocompromised. But you probably want to get rid of them if it's been more than a year. Here are a bunch of other surprising products that expire.

7. The Judgement Cleanse: Take the time to notice your judgmental thoughts about yourself and other people, and try a few techniques to cultivate compassion and curiosity in their place.

8. The Ex Cleanse: Delete your text chats and their numbers. Ditch the box of pictures, cards, gifts, and other trinkets stashed in the back corner of your closet. You don't need that stuff in your life anymore.

BBC / giphy.com

Donate it, trash/recycle it, burn it (well, be safe, please), whatever. Let it go. If you've collected things from multiple exes, get rid of allllll of it. You will both have other happy relationships in the future but a Valentine's teddy bear from eight years ago isn't doing anything good.

9. The Grudge Cleanse: Try a couple practical tips that just might help you let go of the resentment you've been harboring.

Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

This is definitely easier said than done and can be a process, but releasing your grudges could really help you feel happier in the long run. Start by writing down the pros and cons of holding onto the grudge (H/T this excellent Vice post), and genuinely make an effort to understand the situation from their perspective. Why might they act the way they did? No need to confront them, just think about it or journal about it (H/T Gen Twenty).

10. The Germ Cleanse: Spend an afternoon cleaning and sanitizing all the most bacteria-, virus-, and fungi-ridden things that you touch pretty much every day.

Ashley McGetrick / BuzzFeed, Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

Wipe your smart phone down with a equal parts water and 70% isopropyl alcohol. Then do the same thing for your earbuds, wires and all, then your keyboard and mouse, too.

Replace your smelly dish sponge, the moldy loofah in your shower, and your mildewed shower curtain liner. Wash your entire sink — including the drain and especially the faucet handle — like a dish, with hot water and soap. Change out all the bathroom hand towels and kitchen towels you've been using for more than five to seven days. Throw the pillows you sleep on every single night in the washer (and dryer, if possible; follow the care instructions on the tag). Dunk your shower head in a plastic bag filled with vinegar, then secure the bag with a rubber band. Been sick, but better now? Replace your toothbrush if you haven't already.

If you've caught the germ-busting bug, keep going with more germ cleanse ideas and a list of all the germiest things. Oh, and learn how to properly wash your hands.

Get rid of even more germs by learning how to clean the trickiest areas of your home:

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11. The Bedroom Cleanse: Make one small change every night over the course of five days that might actually help you sleep better for the months and years to come.

Rachel Miller / BuzzFeed

Night one: Adjust your thermostat so your bedroom's between 60 and 67 degrees, which is the ideal temperature for a bedroom.

Night two: Swap out any white-light halogen, fluorescent, or LED bulbs for ones that give off warmer-tone light. And if you don't have a lamp by your bed, get one (or nab one from the living room) so you can switch off the overhead light 30 minutes to an hour before you turn in.

Night three: Clear out any clutter that's stressful to look at, like papers, makeup, and random jewelry piled on your dresser or bedside table.

Night four: Move your alarm clock out of sight (but somewhere you can still hear it), so on the nights it takes you awhile to fall asleep, you can't stress out about what time it is. Charge your phone somewhere besides your bedroom, or at least across the room where you can't reach it from bed.

Night five: Stop tolerating a bed that isn't completely comfortable. Too hot every night? Get a fan, and switch from a duvet to a top sheet. Partner always stealing your covers? Try two twin-sized sheets or duvets instead. Aching neck every morning? Invest in a pillow made for your sleep style (here are the best pillows from BuzzFeed Reviews).

And here are nine other bedroom upgrades for better sleep.

12. And the Bedtime Cleanse: Dedicate yourself to going to bed and waking up at the same time each day for a week, including on the weekends. To make it a little easier, adjust your evening routine so you're more likely to be tired when that time rolls around.

Nathan Pyle / BuzzFeed

Some things that might help: Finish dinner two or three hours before bedtime, skip the alcohol and caffeine, switch off any and all screens the last hour before bed (f.lux and Night Shift mode help, but in the last hour it's still best to stay away entirely), and choose some relaxing activities to do instead. Try coloring, reading a print book, taking a warm bath or shower, doing a face or hair mask, painting your nails, drinking herbal tea and stargazing...whatever makes you cozy. Then actually get in bed at bedtime, and out of bed when your alarm goes off.

If a sudden schedule change feels basically impossible, The National Sleep Foundation suggests small 15-minute adjustments. Usually go to bed at 1 a.m., but wish for an 11 p.m. bedtime? Hit the sack at 12:45 a.m the first two nights, then dial it back to 12:30 a.m. for two more nights, and so on.

(Stressful thoughts keeping you up? Leave your bed for a bit, get comfy somewhere else with low light, and read or like, play solitaire with an actual deck of cards, until you feel sleepy again. Avoid looking at the clock. And if it happens consistently, it could be a sign of anxiety, which is 100% treatable.)

13. The Bottomless Bag Cleanse: Completely clean out the backpack, work/gym bag, purse, or diaper bag that you've been using for months. Empty out every. single. last. thing.

Disney

Say goodbye to the used tissues, empty gum wrappers, old receipts. Then dump out any crumbs, maybe wipe it down with a damp cloth to clean it a little, or take a stain-remover to any suspicious spots. Now put your bag back together, but without all that excess junk, and enjoy feeling lighter and more organized every time you reach for it.

You, feeling proud after trying even just one of these cleanses:

Disney

Are you the ultimate Spring Cleaning pro? Enter now to win a trip to LA and have your cleaning hacks featured in a Nifty video. Click here!

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