And we’re back! It’s Maria and Olivia checking in. How did your two-week spring cleaning challenge go? We wanted to recap our own experience with the challenge before diving-in to challenge 3, kicking off on April 1: Talking Trash!  

Thanks to the natural health experts at Bastyr University, who have generously sponsored this series, we’re off to a great start in 2019.

Start us off, Olivia—how’d you do with spring cleaning?

Olivia: Let’s just say it’s a work in progress. This challenge was a great kick starter for other cleaning projects I have in mind and at the very least it helped me get organized for tax season. I tackled the main problem areas in the house which was an immediate relief. Some of the more hidden spaces, like cabinets and closets, still need some work but I’m optimistic. I feel like spring cleaning was just the jumpstart I needed to make this year the most organized yet.

Maria: To be honest, I wish I had gotten more done. I find it challenging with a busy schedule to do a lot of cleaning on the weekdays, which means the cleaning must be done on the weekends. The first weekend of the challenge, I got half my house super clean and unloaded a bunch of old stuff for donations. That all felt really good. Second weekend of the challenge, not so much. And now the half of the house that was super clean just two weeks ago is ready to be dusted again. That’s the thing about cleaning—it never ends.

Olivia: So true, Maria! I’m always saying that exact same thing just as the house begins to feel cluttered again right after a massive cleaning. I try to remind myself that it still would be worse without the effort so that keeps me motivated to deal with messes as they come up. My biggest breakthrough this challenge was figuring out a system for paperwork that always seems to pile up. I’ve now designated a drop off spot for mail and receipts that need sorting which keeps the stacks of paper out of my way and I know where everything is when I need it. Along those lines, my husband and I set aside time to prepare for taxes by collecting receipts from around the house and organizing them in the most helpful way. Before, we were just putting all the receipts into a bag and sorting them out later, now we are stacking them so they will already be in chronological order when we need them next year. Certainly not rocket science but it is definitely making me feel more in control of our space and tasks.

Maria: I made great progress toward my personal goals and a little extra room in closets and drawers. I also made a few small interior improvements and updates for better organization. I installed a new decorative wall shelf in my hall that’s now the designated landing pad for my keys and sunglasses. I’m normally someone who walks in and dumps whatever wherever but I’ve actually been using this shelf and you have no idea how much time and grief I’ve saved myself just by not having to look for my keys.

On a related note, since the first of the year, I’ve got my teenager helping with his laundry weekly and dishes every night. There’s still work to do so I’ll keep chipping away at it for another week or two, but our challenges were also designed to be flexible so that anyone can start or stop at anytime.

Olivia: Those improvements around your house sound lovely. It’s all about the small improvements! The progress I’ve made so far has really encouraged me to keep going on my wellness journey. I’ve definitely been more conscious about how I spend my time and utilize my resources. The simple act of getting organized around the house has helped renew a sense of clarity and reduced stress in my day to day life.

Maria: My intention with the sequence of our first two challenges, digital detox last month and spring cleaning this month, was to identify the value of my time and space. In terms of wellness goals for the year, my primary goal is to reduce or eliminate the outside factors that are overwhelming, distracting, and stress inducing. So far, both challenges have improved my self-awareness and I’m feeling motivated to keep working on it.

Olivia: Those are great takeaways from the challenges so far. I’m really curious how we end up feeling after our next challenge, talking trash. I know we discussed setting a goal of 30 minute walks, four days a week while picking up trash in our neighborhoods, so I know we definitely have our work cut out for us. I’m planning on rolling some of that goal into beach and public space clean up events organized by Surfrider, I Love a Clean San Diego, and San Diego Coastkeeper. Want to volunteer with me?

Maria: Absolutely! I see this challenge as merging a little bit of physical fitness with environmental fitness. I’m not sure I’m feeling very enthusiastic about the challenge given all the trash (and dog poo) in my neighborhood but I’m planning to do some live videos on Instagram to talk about the effects of littering—and there will be lots of trash to talk about. In the meantime, I’ll be looking for one of those trash pick-up sticks if anyone knows where to find one.

Join Maria and Olivia by challenging yourself with 14 days of talking trash starting April 1, 2019. Follow along and share your experience using #EdibleSDWellnessChallenge and tagging Edible San Diego.

Instagram: @ediblesd | Twitter: @ediblesandiego | Facebook: @ediblesandiego

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About the Contributor
Maria Hesse
Edible San Diego's executive editor is a personal chef and lifestyle designer, podcaster on Modern Casserole, amateur pug photographer, grant writer for Media Arts Center San Diego, and co-author of The Intentionalist Cooks. Find her on Instagram @mariafromediblesd.