Briefcase Study: Has Spring Finally Sprung?! Spring Cleaning, Anyone?

In Articles, Articles: Kansas City Office, Articles: Salt Lake City Office, Briefcase Studies, SLC Spring 2024, Spring 2024 by Scott Dougan

Spring has to be your favorite season; or at least in your top three or four. Everything is new again, fresh, bright, ripe with hope of new adventures. I’m a sucker for spring. If you share even a fraction of my spring enthusiasm, you may also feel that deep-down desire to get things cleaned up and sorted after a long and messy winter. If you feel that, I’d like to offer a somewhat random list of to-do items that may allow you to harness that spring feeling, while creating some lasting impact.

My Spring To-Do Suggestion List:

Clean your car(s) really well.

I’m not talking about just a trip to the drive-through automatic car wash, but rather a deep clean (also called a detail), by cleaning everything from the carpets to the inner fenders to the engine bay. Finish with a coat of wax, and I think you’ll feel better about your car, your life, and yourself.

Wash your home’s windows.

What better way to improve your sunny-again view than with crystal clear windows? I’ve discovered the approach that uses a bottle of cleaning product attached to the garden hose. It’s fast, doesn’t require you to get on a ladder, and looks pretty good. I also scrub with a brush after applying the soap, but that’s optional for clean freaks like me.

Go paperless.

I’m a huge fan of ridding one’s physical environment of already-processed paperwork, sales brochures, receipts and more. We bought a nice scanner for our home and it makes quick work of whatever we feed into it. Subscribe to a storage service like DropBox and you’ll wonder how you survived living among such paper clutter.

Clean out the corners.

Maybe you’re not a hoarder, but I’ll bet you have some piles of stuff that could benefit from your attention. At our house, those piles magically grow in the corners of rooms and will somehow multiply if not dealt with swiftly and purposefully. Use spring as an excuse to reclaim those corners. I suggest starting in one room and finishing it completely before tackling the next. Its not always fun, but it feels good when it’s over.

Go for a walk.

Find an excuse to walk somewhere, anywhere. Maybe you can walk to the bank to close out that old checking account you no longer use. Walk to a park, a friend’s house, just pick a place and walk there. Then do whatever it takes to not stop walking regularly, even on some cold days. Pretend you’re part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and explore something in your local world while also improving your health.

Consolidate like-kind investment accounts or review your 401(k) to ensure the investments still meet your needs.

Oftentimes, we’ll get so busy with life that these things become forgotten in the background. Some tidying up in these areas can begin a financial cleansing that can have lasting impact on your net worth.

Go full-tilt and rent a dumpster.

Admittedly, one of my favorite life-change strategies is to purge life’s physical clutter like a crazy person. A dumpster will help you do that. The amazing thing is how this also helps create the momentum to clear the mental clutter as well by generally streamlining one’s life. Get to work on lightening your load; it can feel really good.

And if you choose to do none of these things, that’s okay too. You may already feel great and content with what you have and where you stand. In that case, consider lying down in the grass like a kid and soaking in the wonder of a new spring and the end to another cold winter.