How good is this time of year in Australia?! The trees are beginning to bud and that cold harsh edge is slowly falling away from the air, day by day – it’s Spring time and if you’re anything like me, the shift in season calls for a shift at home. I’ve just moved in with my boyfriend so we’re already spring ‘culling’ to get the old out and welcome the new in. Aside from ‘nothing new in without something old out’, here are a few points of view to help you out this time of year (if you want to think of it like mid-year fresh start).
Break it down
Looking at the whole job holistically will be overwhelming and drive you mad. Lock out a couple of Saturday mornings, just two hours a pop, and nail one major ‘situation’ at a time… Bathrooms, wardrobe, kitchen, storage. The progress you make in the first couple of sessions will have such an impact you’ll actually be looking forward to the next sessions.
You might remember my ‘living with less stuff’ blog from a while back… The key out take being that there is something so cleansing about de-cluttering en-masse. Getting rid of a fair chunk of your ‘stuff’ makes you really selective about what you ‘keep’ and what you ‘choose to buy’ moving forward. The added feel-good factor of dropping bags full of goodies off at good-will also give you a nice feeling of lightness through ‘giving’ – this is a guaranteed mood booster.
Don’t limit yourself to inside the house. I’m in an apartment with a big balcony but I see what my family are going through with the family home. I watch from afar but appreciate I’ll need to deal with this at some point, so learning-learning (and sharing!). It’s all about removing the leaves from gutters, washing the fly screens and windows, and washing the grime from walls and walkways with a high-pressure hose (my friend Julee loves those new window vacuums). If you’re outside anyway it’s a good time to, take note of any flaws or issues with the structure of the house, or roofing that you might need to call in a specialist contractor like Roofmasters in (you’d be surprised how many other issues in the house can be avoided by getting the structural stuff right – I learned that the hard way when renovating way-back-when.)
Over the course of autumn and winter, we can often let the annoying jobs slide. The barbeque doesn’t get used so it doesn’t get cleaned; the deck is used less so we ignore the fact that it needs a good scrub and new coat of oil. Use your current level of enthusiasm to push on and get the less pleasant tasks done too. It’s easier to carry on with the less enjoyable tasks if you’re already dressed in your daggy cleaning clothes and you’re high on the triumph of having successfully de-cluttered the bathroom and kitchen.
Getting down on bended knee and scrubbing under the fridge and is a pretty grimy job and yes, there are some pretty frightening things under there (enter chocolate easter egg 2012, in my experience last week). Once you’re done and dusted (pardon the punny) the main reward is the self-satisfaction that the hard-core clean-up you’ve just been through is the furthest away from happening again. Tick. It’s also a good time to reward yourself by getting people over for a lunch – show off your place while you’re feeling great about it. Then, finally, shop. Shop to fill those nasty new gaps in your wardrobe, because you’re worth it J
Are you spring cleaning this year or taking more of a ‘clean as you go’ approach, like the teach in McDonald’s staff training?