Daylight Time Is Spring Cleaning Time

Daylight savings time — still observed in most states nationwide — begins again at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 5. The practice is rapidly declining in popularity, but most readers will temporarily lose an hour to the switch nonetheless.

The transition is increasingly associated with sleep deprivation and upticks in other dangers such car accidents, heart attacks and strokes. Daylight time apparently produces a mini-jet lag that can have subtle but marked consequence on the body and mind.

To reduce daylight time’s initial health impacts, Northwestern Medicine suggests adjusting one’s circadian rhythms by getting more natural morning light, exercising and going to bed an hour early in the week leading up to the change.

Even if you approach DST with little or no personal preparation, there are things you can do around the house to take advantage of the seasonal shift, Apartment Therapy says, and prepare for the longer nights of spring and summer.

First, of course, you’ll want to reset every clock. Then, take care of some of the seasonal chores that make your home safe and comfortable: Change the smoke detector batteries, reverse the ceiling fans to counterclockwise, and rotate or flip your mattresses and couch cushions.

This is also a great time to #sort and #declutter winter clothing. Chances are that those heavy coats and woolen sweaters are already falling into disuse, so make sure all of them are cleaned and stored, eliminating and #donating any that just didn’t make it into the rotation to

Outdoors, you’ll have an extra hour of light in the evening to #clean the gutters, #organize the garage, powerwash the deck or prepare your garden for #spring planting. Just be careful going up that ladder as your body slowly adjusts to the new time.

The mental health benefits of making your home #clean, #organized and #clutter-free are well-documented — and they may even outweigh the negative effects of losing an hour of sleep and adjusting to the change in light.

Until a proposal to make daylight time permanent becomes law, we’re stuck with it. So make the most of it by using it as a reminder to do the seasonal tasks you’ve been meaning to do. Time’s a-wastin’!

How to Use an ‘Extra’ Hour

Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 7, when most U.S. households turn their clocks back one hour. That means people will be able to take adavantage of an “extra” hour to do whatever they see fit.

In actuality, the hour isn’t “extra” at all, having been borrowed from the clock earlier in the year to provide more daylight in the warmer months. You may feel like like going to bed earlier for a few days, but plan now to make the most of that extra time.

Dreamed up by a New Zealand entomologist and an English golf aficionado who wanted longer daylight hours for their pursuits, DST has long been championed as a way to conserve energy. Its first widespread use came during World War I as a strategy to conserve coal.

Most of the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and France never completely abandoned the practice, although it remains unpopular among dairy farmers. DST has become so popular among retailers and the general public, in fact, that four U.S. states have advanced proposals to make it permanent.

So what will you do with that “extra” hour? The first, most obvious option is to sleep though it in order to adjust to the new schedule faster. If you wake up early instead, you can use the hour to do some of the household winterizing chores you’ve been putting off.

Alternatively, you can take that extra hour and use it to #organize, #decutter and #clean a single spot in your home — a drawer, desktop, shelf, closet or room — and benefit from a newly streamlined space throughout the winter.

If you really want to thrive through the darkest months, consider making this a practice every week. Take one hour — any hour in the week — and use it to organize. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish if you set aside the time and make #organizing a part of your routine.

If you find any articles of #clothing, small appliances or other household items that have some life left in them, bag or box them and take one of your extra minutes to contact for a #contactless #donation pickup.

Time is the most precious commodity we have. Take advantage of your “extra” hour this week, no matter how you choose to spend it.

Use Your Extra Hour to Declutter

First proposed by Benjamin Franklin as a way for Parisians to save money on candles, daylight saving time became ingrained in American society as a way for farmers to make the most of longer days. In the 1970s, daylight time justified itself as a solution to trim energy usage. Today, those long summer nights are still coveted for leisure activities.

Daylight time comes to an end this weekend, so people in most of the nation (except for those in Arizona and Hawaii, which do not observe it) will turn their clocks back an hour on Sunday morning before dawn. And while it may be disheartening to see darkness fall before dinner, you can use that extra hour in your schedule.

Many Americans see the extra hour in the middle of the night as a bonus hour for sleep. However, few will actually take advantage of the extra hour of rest, the Harvard Health Blog says. Since most people’s bodies have become accustomed to rising at a particular hour, regardless of what the clock says, it will take several days to adjust.

If you’re up early, however, you can use the extra hour to do something you’ve been meaning to do anyway. Follow Simply Designing’s advice and do an hour of decluttering every day starting with the kitchen, and your home will be cleaner and more clutter-free in just seven days.

Be More With Less suggests getting rid of 100 things in a “decluttering burst” that lasts only an hour. Grab a box for donations and a bag for trash, set the timer, and eliminate 10 things from the junk drawer. Then move on systematically to the kitchen, car, closets, bedroom, and so on. When the bell rings, you’ll be amazed at how quickly the eliminated items have piled up!

Sound impossible? It isn’t. In every one of those rooms, there are products that have expired or failed to live up to their promise. “Just in case” items are the worst kind of clutter, the blog says, because “just in case means never.” Get rid of them, and you will be able to “stop living in fear of not having enough.”

Once you’ve used the extra hour that daylight time’s end has provided to get rid of a few things, contact for a donation pickup; it’s another time-saver in your ongoing decluttering quest that helps veterans nationwide. Then, take solace in the fact that you’ll be spending five months of wintry darkness in a newly clutter-free home.