Spring Cleaning Your Home and Life

It’s almost spring cleaning season! Time to pack away all your winter linens and clothes and store winter gears and tools.  Get ready to change curtains, air out the house, and bring the yard or garden back to life.  But why stop there? Why just spring clean your home when you can clean and declutter your life as well?  

According to the guru of tidying up Marie Kondo, every piece of possession you have is a relationship you have in your life – from clothes to home appliance, kitchen gadgets to DVDs, books to even files on your computer.  Every piece that occupies space in your home or hard drive, takes up precious real estate even in your mind.   Makes sense, right?  It’s hard to find peace of mind in a dirty and cluttered space. 

So we took from Marie Kondo’s groundbreaking approach to decluttering as seen in her New York Times bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and gathered other tried and tested tips to spring cleaning.  The aim is to help you not just keep your space clutter-free, but your life as well.  Having said that, the steps here are not be-all and end-all.  Take the what’s doable for you so even the process is pressure-free and  tidy!  Let’s start!

1. Visualize what you want your home to look like. 
Visit interior design homes, search pegs on Pinterest, in short, get inspired.  If you think, a real, lived-in home with children and pets would never look like that, you’re doing it wrong.  The idea is to get inspiration and to build up the desire to make your space just as beautiful. 

2. Schedule your spring cleaning date and do it all at once. Or not. 
According to the Marie Kondo’s book, do the tidying up all at once.  For some that might be doable and for others that would just be plain impossible.  Work on the schedule that works for you and everyone in your home.  It could take a day, a weekend, or even a month.  It doesn’t matter how slow you go, so long as you get there. 

3. Clean up by category, not by area.  Or tidy up by area, not category. 
Cleaning up by category means you purge your belongings by clothes, documents, books, files, kitchenware, miscellaneous, etc. This is great if your sole purpose is to declutter.  But if you also want to target cleaning up as well as minimizing clutter, then doing it by area would be more efficient.   

4. Does it spark joy?
The heart of Kondo’s method is this question.  She says, as you clean up and declutter, hold every item or possession you have in your hand and ask yourself, Does this spark joy? Yes, then keep it.  No, then find it another place – in a recycling center or donation box.  Not sure, then it probably does not spark joy.   The trick is to let everything in your home pass through your hand and this question. All the knick knacks in that drawer under the sink. The storage room.  The unopened luggage at the top of your cabinet.  Leave no drawer, bag nor box unopened and sifted through.  And don’t forget your hard drive.  

5. After decluttering, then comes the cleaning. 
Once you’ve found a place for all the things that don’t spark joy, it’s time to bring out the cleaning tools.  Clean one room at a time, from up to down. Meaning from the second floor to the first, from the ceiling to the floor.  Change curtains.  Air out your mattress and pillows and vacuum them.  With more space made available to you, vacated by all the things you’ve decided to discard, cleaning will be easier.  

6.  Invest in cleaning supplies. 
Having the right tools and materials will make cleaning less of a burden.  Place them all in one movable cart so you can move from room to room in one go.  The cleaning is not done when you’ve cleaned your whole home. Now, you have to clean your cleaning supplies. Do that before you pack them away so that the next time you need them, you can use them right away. 

The whole process of letting go and tidying up may seem like such a huge task because, well, it is.  You’ll feel the hugeness of it more when you’ve gone through it.  You’ll feel the big weight off your shoulders. You’re home will feel so much airier. Even your mind will clear up, giving you more ‘memory space’, so to speak, to think about more important things.  Happy spring cleaning!