Spring Cleaning for Self-Care

Yellow Tulips Spring

Happy Spring!

It’s mid-May already and the weather here in Boston is heating up, yet I’m reflecting on some exciting happenings in April.

I kicked off my favorite long weekend of the year – Patriots Day / Boston Marathon – with a dance party on Friday morning.

The event held at Fenway Park was full of such good vibrations…Marky Mark would have been beside himself.

The high vibration carried over to Monday where I cheered on runners from the half-marathon mark.

Spring Boston Marathon







I closed out April in Pittsburgh with 600 organizers and productivity consultants at the National Association of Professional Organizers Conference.

In the past, packing for travel was challenging and time consuming for me. Decisions about what clothes to pack was only one part of it. Figuring out what products I needed to bring and what would fit in my toiletry bag was not fun.

In the past, I’ve spent more time than planned in Sephora and searching online for the best products. Then I was introduced to a paraben-free, nutraceutical-grade skin care line.

Since that time, I’ve saved countless dollars and hours that would have been spent testing and returning products.
When people talk about simple tweaks that reduce effort and increase value, this is a big one for me.

By reducing the number and types of products that I use, it has simplified my morning routine, decreased my packing time, and contributed to better overall health.

A few things I learned:

  • According to a 2014 article published by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the average person living in the U.S. is exposed daily to more than one hundred chemicals from cosmetics, soaps and other personal care products.


  • Many products that are assumed safe include ingredients that are untested and unregulated.


  • It’s known that some chemicals can and do enter the bloodstream through topical application. Eliminating these chemicals can reduce the potentially day-in and day-out toxic load on the body.


 Spring Cleaning for Self-Care: 

  1.  Just like food, cosmetics and personal care products have expiration dates, usually 12 – 24 months.
  2. For those products without an expiration date, here’s a general guideline: The closer to the eyes, the sooner the product should be replaced.
  3. Throw away any travel-size toiletries older than 2 years.
  4. Toss anything with aluminum, fluoride, or paraben preservatives.
  5. Go to the Environmental Working Group’s website for guidance and education on product ingredients. Pay close attention if potentially harmful ingredients are included in the products that you use.  Be particularly mindful of those products that do not wash off your body, such as lotion, creams and oils.
  6. Check out your city’s Household Hazardous Waste program to see if they will accept discarded cosmetics and perfume.
  7. Search here for places to safely dispose of expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines.
  8. Replace fluoride toothpaste, especially for children.
  9. Substitute bubble bath or anything you soak in, with sea salt, Himalayan salt, Epson salt and essential oils.
  10. Instead of aerosol room fresheners, fill a spray bottle with filtered water and a few drops of an essential oil that smells delicious to you. Lavender, lemon and orange are classics.


Taking stock of your medicine cabinet and discarding expired products can streamline your personal care routine.
What’s more impactful is the potential for decreasing your body’s toxic load by reducing the consumption of unneeded or possibly harmful chemicals.


If you think the pursuit of good health is expensive and time consuming, try illness.
~Lee Swanson



What are you taking stock of and clearing out this spring? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

My Sentiments on Handling Clutter

It’s not surprising that it’s more difficult to make decisions about sentimental items than other items when you are decluttering and organizing your space. Sentimental items have an emotional weight that your latest department store purchase just doesn’t hold.  Do you still have piles of holiday cards from 2016 or earlier that you’ve been intending… Continue Reading

Year-End Review

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.  It seems like yesterday we were ringing in 2016! Looking over my calendar to take stock of all that happened during the past 12 months is something that I love to do. It was a full year. In the spirit of year-end reviews, I’m sharing a summary… Continue Reading

More On Gratitude

Polite thank-yous communicated to the person who bagged your groceries or delivered your take-out are expected. Science is showing that being grateful in a deeper way is tied to happiness, success and health. In a study of patients at risk for heart disease, those who practiced gratitude showed signs of a healthier heart.  After 8 weeks… Continue Reading

Use What You Have

When creating an organized space, a common misconception is that more square footage or beautiful containers from The Container Store are ultimate solutions. From my personal experience and working with clients, I’ve learned that an overabundance of bins, baskets and containers can lead to chaos rather than order. More isn’t always better, there’s more to… Continue Reading