Thursday, March 5, 2020

Spring Clean Like a Nature God

When it comes to spring cleaning, no one knows how to get it done like the guy in charge of bringing in spring! (Okay, fine, nature gods are slightly more concerned with natural issues than closets and vacuuming, but it still stands.)

Just as Owl's Flower owner Iris Faulkner has to freshen up her shop and home after a long winter, Herne has an entire forest to get in shape. The city of William's Grove knows Herne as a legendary folklore figure, but he's working away season after season to keep things ticking over. Smaller scale local deities don't get a lot of notice — but they still have a lot of work.

Herne and Iris may be freshening up very different locales in very different ways, but some rules apply across both:

There's nothing wrong with going slow.

green leaf grasses

Spring comes 'round a little at a time. A few flowers bloom. A few trees start to get green. Allergies ramp up a bit at a time... The point is, even in the most ludicrous of climate zones, you don't close your eyes on snow and wake up to a fully green, blossoming world.

Just as the seasons roll out in stages, it's fine to freshen up your house in stages, too. If you really thrive on setting aside an entire weekend to do nothing but clean, go for it! But if the idea of getting an entire house, apartment, or shop cleaned for spring fills you with anxiety, do like nature... go in stages.

Friendly > Tidy

purple flower on field

We've all seen those supremely sterile, supremely organized homes in films or TV shows, or even on social media. There's something appealing about them, sure... but could you live comfortably in something that pristine?

"Clean" doesn't have to mean "pristine." As in nature, there's something comforting about a lived-in-feeling place with just a tiny bit of unpredictability. You don't have to have your shelves cleared of everything but a succulent and three books, just as a forest doesn't have to have trees lined up tidily and stripped bare of ivy.

Hold yourself to a level of tidiness that both keeps you organized and makes you feel at home.

Let the Sun Shine in

sun rays through silhouette of trees

Shed a little light on the subject. Not only will you get a better sense of what needs cleaning (and how many dust particles are floating around), light is sometimes the last little touch you need to make a room feel warmer and more open.

Better yet — and if your allergies don't object — open the windows and let some actual sunlight in. The clouds are (hopefully) finally starting to clear, and you'll be able to get some natural Vitamin D for the first time in months to power your cleaning!

Don't Forget to Look Low and Out of Sight

green leafed plants

As you're taking care of high-up shelves or things in your eyeline, remember to look underfoot. Just as a lot of things happen on the forest floor, things have a habit of ending up covered up down low. In nature, this will eventually turn into mulch to help new things grow — but clutter doesn't recycle itself indoors. You'll have to check under tables and sofas yourself.

Similarly, things can accumulate out of sight. Last time you cleaned, did you stow a lot of stray items in a trunk for lack of a better place to put them? Now is as good a time as any to do something about that.

Keep Growing

white flower with green leaves

Just as spring doesn't come all at once, nature never just stops. Things are always in motion, always blooming and changing. And just as it's just fine to go slow, it's good to make tiny maintenance a habit.

A spring clean feels good because you're shaking winter off your shoes and welcoming in new life and warm weather. But when it comes to the "clean" part, your best bet is to set up a space you can comfortably maintain a little at a time, rather than something that looks good for a hot minute before falling into disrepair before the next big clean. After all, you're the local life form: you should be able to exist comfortably within the space!

For more on forest maintenance, dating nature gods, and other grown-up responsibilities, dive into the Owl's Flower light novel series. You can download the first book free on the website, and name your price on the second!


Post a Comment