January 17, 2023


The It-Feels-Like-Spring Cleaning Guide

By: Lydia Pitea

I got a new vacuum for Christmas. 

I’m so excited!

I can almost hear the feminist influencers scream as I type this. My whole life I’ve heard jokes about men getting their wives vacuum cleaners as a present and how horribly cliché that is. And while receiving something that applies to “work” or “chore’n” doesn’t seem all that nice…. For a new homeowner with many more rooms to clean and the cheap, on-its-last-legs machine from my one-bedroom apartment days, it’ a revolutionary, life-changing thing. 

This upgrade to my cleaning regimen has made me start the process of spring cleaning early. 

And let’s face it, spring cleaning doesn’t always happen. By the time spring rolls around, habits are solidified, schedules set, time in short supply, and the warming weather beckons us outside – leaving our mess from the previous year inside. 

Let’s get a jump on the year. The hurry of year-end giving is behind us, but the charitable goals and priorities for this year are ripe for the taking. 

So let’s take: 

Take the time.

January is a good time to create a rough plan and budget for the year. I like to start with intentions (not goals as these don’t necessarily have a metric to measure for success). 

Intentions for me look like things I intend to incorporate or build into my life. For example, this year I intend to read 100 books and I intend to finally finish making a few costume pieces so my baby cousins will stop hounding me for “not being a fine lady” when we visit Colonial Williamsburg as a family. My charitable intention is to set up my tithe and automate it through my DAF so that no matter what, my giving to my faith is secured. 

Take the money.

After I have my intentions, I can better budget for the year. 

Of course, budgets include rent/mortgage and food etc., but they also need to include other important areas, like specific hobbies and charitable giving. I’ve found that if I don’t include those each separately as specific line items, they can get muddled or completely choked out by other items in my “discretionary spending” line. Once you look at what you need to spend money on and all the different things you want to spend money on, then you can decide how much you can truly dedicate to non-necessary items.  

It may take more time than usual to sit down and approach your budget/year this way, but by front-loading your year with effort you are saving future you a lot of hassle and making sure your intentions have the appropriate space to thrive throughout the year.

Take the opportunity.

 You’re young. You have time to build wealth and build a legacy you can be proud of. Take charge of the opportunity now to begin the work needed to craft that legacy. The time and money aspect may seem daunting, but like investing in your future by opening a retirement fund, you can invest in the world’s future by dedicating some of your resources towards the principles that will build the world you want to live in. 

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” as the saying goes. While we’re young, it’s so much easier to approach newness: new ideas, new priorities, new challenges. 

Don’t let the opportunity of time get away from you. Take the opportunity to set a new intention. Make charitable giving a lifelong intention now. And if you’d like a partner for the ride, consider the Novus Society. I’d be honored to help.