Spring Cleaning by the Signs

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It’s spring! The air is warmer, tiny buds are beginning to unfurl on bare tree branches, green shoots are poking up through the cold earth, and the world is filled with a fresh sense of renewal. It’s no wonder that, as the landscape changes around us, becoming more vibrant, lush and beautiful after the monochromatic tones of winter, we’re filled with a corresponding urge to update our living spaces. Spring cleaning is universal: It’s all about clearing the clutter from our homes and doing a top-to-bottom deep-clean, scouring all the nooks and crannies we’ve overlooked all winter long. And there is a definite link between our physical surroundings and our inner emotions; setting our homes to rights makes us feel more focused, confident and optimistic. But the actual process of cleaning is far more individual, based on the particulars of your Sun sign. What’s your cleaning style? How can you maximize your natural strengths from the Zodiac?


For Aries, your primary spring-cleaning gifts are your energy and willpower. Still, even armed with that legendary drive of yours, no matter how determined you are in the moment, tackling the job of cleaning your house from top to bottom is no easy task. The problem? Your tendency to lose interest halfway through — or sooner — and move on to something more captivating. Cleaning is dull, tedious work, after all, and it’s tough to find ways to jazz it up. That’s why you need to utilize another gift from your Zodiac sign: your natural leadership. You’re excellent at rallying the troops to get the job done. With your can-do spirit, you can inspire family members or housemates to attack dirt and clutter like warriors going into battle. Once you get everyone around you moving, you can keep offering direction as needed until the job is complete.


Practical Taurus takes a slow and steady approach to spring cleaning. You go about it in a simple, step-by-step manner, first assessing what needs to be done, then getting the various tasks in order in your mind, and finally starting on the most reasonable or pressing one. Since you have excellent endurance and follow-through, you’re sure to complete the job, even if it takes an entire weekend or longer to get your living space into ship shape. Your challenge with spring cleaning comes in when you’re in a lazy, self-indulgent mood and just don’t want to commit to that level of hard work. But this should be an easy issue to manage; you’re too sensible to let the mess spiral out of control for long. Since you see the value in keeping your home clean and organized, sooner or later, you’re sure to make it happen. If you’re having a hard time getting motivated, promise yourself a reward, such as your favorite sweet treat, for a job well done.


Chatty, intellectual Gemini is more likely to talk about how much you need to clean, or plan it out in your head in grand detail, than to actually do it. To turn all that well-intentioned forethought into productive action, make spring cleaning a social event. Set a date, and ask a few good friends to come over and help you get going — and keep going until the job is done. Play some lively, fast-paced music that will get everybody moving. Make a list of specific tasks that need to be completed so you can cross them off as you go; doing this will give you a sense of accomplishment that will make you want to move on to the next item on the list. And be sure to arrange the items on your list in order of importance, with most crucial tasks first. That way, if you lose interest in the project halfway through and abandon it for something more fun, at least you’ll know you’ve tackled the most pressing problem areas.


For Cancer, who is both deeply emotional and a homebody by nature, cleaning and organizing your living space each spring simply makes you feel better. For you more than most, there isn’t much separation between your home life and your emotional life. When your house or apartment is clean, open, airy and comfortable, you feel brighter from the inside out, more optimistic and energetic, and better able to meet the other demands of your day. But when an entire winter’s worth of clutter and dust has accumulated, the idea of spring cleaning could seem utterly overwhelming. If so, you simply need to get started. You’ll find that you gather steam as you go along. Better yet, use your natural leadership skills to enlist help from roommates, family members or a few good friends. You can even turn a weekend spring cleaning session into a fun group event, with a prize waiting at the end — perhaps hot pizza or Chinese takeout for everyone to enjoy once the bulk of the work has been completed.


With Leo’s natural sense of style, you feel your best when your home is a stylish, bright and welcoming space where your many friends and family members can gather. Thus, spring cleaning for you is nothing less than a necessary act of renewal. Fortunately, you’re blessed with both high energy and excellent follow-through; once you commit to the task of cleaning every room from top to bottom, you’ll carry it through to the end, when your home has been restored to its sparkling, stylish and gorgeous best. Since you’re both social and a magnetic leader, invite others — roommates, family members or good friends — to help you get the job done. You’ve probably noticed that people don’t seem to mind doing your bidding, and this should hold true even with something as tedious as spring cleaning.


Cleaning and organization are Virgo’s natural forte, as they are intrinsic to who you are and how your mind works. But spring cleaning can become problematic if you allow yourself to get overly detailed or obsessive about it. The key for you is to learn to be satisfied with “good enough,” and to ask for help. Your natural tendency is to take all the work onto your own shoulders, but it’s far more practical to let your housemates or family members pitch in. Remember, though, that making it a team effort means biting your tongue when you feel the urge to criticize others’ methods. Yes, your way is probably the most practical, but you have your own tasks to attend to. To avoid the trap of micromanaging everyone around you, make a detailed list of specific tasks to be accomplished, and then delegate them out to everyone involved. Then set a strict rule for yourself: Commit to tackling your own projects while letting others complete theirs in peace. Once everyone has done their share of the work, you can all relax together and enjoy the fresh, clean space you’ve created.


As the sign of the Scales, it’s important for Libra to restore balance and harmony to your living space. You have a strong sense of style, and you’re at your best when your home reflects your aesthetic tastes — and when it’s in good shape to host company at a moment’s notice. But if you’re like many social Libras, you might have clothes and shoes strewn around your bedroom, or empty makeup and hair care product bottles piling up in the bathroom. It’s hard to pick up after yourself thoroughly when you’re always getting ready for the next business meeting or social event! Spring is the perfect time to get everything organized, put away or thrown out — whatever applies. Don’t forget that you can make space in your closet by donating last season’s styles to charity. Apply the one-year rule: If you haven’t used it in a year or longer, it’s time to let it go. If you’re tackling your cleaning with housemates or family, make sure everyone has a specific job to do; that way, everyone can shoulder their fair share of the work.


Scorpio loves being in control, and that includes controlling your surroundings. If your living space has spiraled into the chaos of messiness or filth, it can take a surprising emotional toll on you. But the madness has to stop somewhere, and once you get going, spring cleaning can feel wonderfully like cleansing yourself on a psychic level. Therefore, rather than allowing clutter and dirt to upset your composure, it’s time to turn your focus toward regaining control over your domain. While some like to clean alongside family members or housemates, you might prefer to tackle your spring cleaning solo, since you know how you want the job to be done — plus, you may not be sure what might turn up as you clear out closets and drawers. It’s just safer to tackle it on your own! That way, you can be in charge of decisions about whether to keep, toss or donate various items — or find them a new, more appropriate hiding place. You’ll love the deep sense of regeneration that comes from doing the job thoroughly and completely.


For free-spirited Sagittarius, the idea of spring cleaning is about as fun as being cooped up indoors on a beautiful, sunny day — in other words, no fun at all! If you want to accomplish your spring cleaning in a timely and thorough manner, you’ll have to focus on the big picture. In this case, the light at the end of the tunnel is the fresh, airy home you’ll be able to enjoy once you’ve tackled the job head-on. As spontaneous as you are, you might shudder at the idea of setting aside a particular day to do your cleaning, but if you don’t put it on the calendar, you’ll find all kinds of excuses to keep putting it off — and you know how it is with tasks that are out of sight going right out of mind. So go against your own nature by scheduling your spring cleaning, and remind yourself to keep things in perspective: One solid afternoon of hard work should take care of the bulk of the job, and then you’re good to go for another season.


Hardworking Capricorn doesn’t mind the idea of spring cleaning. After all, you want your home to reflect the best version of yourself, and if you have a surprise visitor, you want to feel assured that it’s in good shape for hosting. Plus, you just don’t feel clear-headed or efficient when surrounded by clutter and filth. But making time for spring cleaning can be tough; in fact, the very idea of working it into your busy schedule could cause you stress. And if you’re like other Capricorns, you’re so busy on a daily basis that you may not make enough time for regular tidying up. You’re likely to hurry through cooking your meals and grooming yourself, leaving dirty dishes and laundry to pile up — which makes the prospect of actual deep-cleaning that much more daunting. The way around this obstacle, of course, is simply to approach it in the same practical, levelheaded and responsible way you approach everything important in life. Set aside the time, make a list of must-do tasks, and then get to work. You’ll feel better and better as your surroundings improve, reflecting all your hard work.


While Aquarius is a free and independent spirit, you’re also able to follow through on any tasks you deem worthy of undertaking; once you get going on a project, you’ll carry it through until it’s complete. Thus, you’re able to tackle spring cleaning without much drama, stress or stalling — but why not make it fun for yourself? Try downloading an app to help you stay organized about specific projects you want to tackle around the house and yard, or upgrade your vacuum cleaner or steam mop so you have the most efficient, state-of-the-art equipment on your side. Since you’re a humanitarian and an environmentalist at heart, create space by donating old clothes and unused household items to charity, and be sure to use all-natural cleaning products that are free of harsh chemicals and additives. You’re also quite social, so why not turn your spring-cleaning session into a fun social event? Invite friends, family members or housemates to join you, play some music, serve refreshments, and make it a party.


For selfless, emotional Pisces, a task like spring cleaning can be overwhelming. While you love the feeling you get from a clean and well-organized home, making that vision a reality is rather daunting, especially if you live with extra clutter and mess from pets, children or houseplants. While hiring a cleaning service may seem like an outrageous splurge, it may be the best way for you to get the job done while staying emotionally balanced. It’s only once a year, after all; if outsourcing the job spares you from feeling cowed and hopeless — and gives you that cheerful boost of optimism that comes from a shiny, refreshed home — it’s worth the cost. If outsourcing isn’t an option, you can also share the cleaning burden with family members or friends. Think about it: You help them in many ways on a regular basis. They can help you with one afternoon of hard work. Ask a practical, organized friend to make a list of specific cleaning tasks, such as wiping down baseboards, dusting ceiling fan blades or washing couch cushions, and ask them to issue you tasks one by one. That way, you’ll stay focused as you accomplish your goals.

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