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Self & Space
Self & Space
Yes, Spring will be here in a snap. The first day of spring is Friday, March 20th, 2016. I started to wonder why Spring is associated with cleaning. I googled and this article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_cleaning explains the history well. Also I found a checklist approach to cleaning from Martha Stewart at http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/2007Q2/la_0407_spring_cleaning.pdf.
My take, on why Spring is a cleaning time, is because we, like animals, tend to hibernate all Winter and when Spring arrives we have more energy. It is that simple.
As the cold weather intensifies our activity and time in the sun declines while decreased motivation sets in. Add to the fact that we go through a very hectic Fall holiday season, starting with Halloween, then Thanksgiving, Christmas and the finale of New Years Eve, Winter is a time to rest and get renewed. When Spring arrives we feel refreshed and notice the dust and clutter that has settled around us.
So where do we start for a thorough Spring Cleaning? I like to first de-clutter with caution. Being to hasty can mean keeping things that don't work and parting with items that could be reinvented and just superb if figured out. Also there may be a lot of Dust Bunnies around so just bounding in their with a broom or feather dusters can stir up the dust, rather then settle it down.
First take an inventory of your clothing, shoes, purses, scarves, socks, hats, gloves, belts underwear, and jewelry accessories. Figure out what you have not worn for the past year and either donate or recycle.
Toss items with holes, buttons missing or torn and tattered into your rag pool.
Donate colored clothing, that wash you out, unflattering patterns, outdated clothing, shoes and accessories or items that don’t fit. Identify items that are taking up your precious space and see what is purposeful, useful and that you love, and keep those while making good decisions about what to part with. Items that are just not being used or that aren't purposeful can’t afford the rent in your closet.
People tend to buy new clothing every season, and this closet cleansing will make way for the new duds.
Next go through your cabinets, closets, garage and clear out all the objects that you have not used, are not working, and obsolete. Sort the items by category and then decide where they are going. Don't put items away until you have all like items, from the entire home, with like items. You choose the space for categories based on how many of each category you have and then find a drawer, cabinet, closet or space where all kept items will be contained well. If you have not used something you won in the past year you probably never will, and so give to charity, a neighbor, recycling or creative friends who can re-purpose it. My goal as a Green Organizer is to not have anything go to the dumps.
Again objects with no use or purpose are just not able to pay you enough rent to stay around. If you are a person that stocks up on laundry items, toiletries and food, stop it unless you have oodles of space just sitting around for you to warehouse stuff. Get rid of anything that is toxic, unhealthy and just plain old ugly but in a Green Way. Google how to dispose in a Green Way and find hundreds of resources for disposal and re-purposing unused items. Paint must be disposed of properly and you can look on http://earth911.com to see where to dispose.
The next place I like to de-clutter is the kitchen.
Get rid of any pans or pots with a coating of any kind and or that are aluminum, scratched or dinged. Check out this article on pans to keep and pans to let go of at http://eartheasy.com/blog/2009/01/healthy-cookware. Pare down all your gadgets and tools you have two or more of, and weed out what you do not use and or will never use. If you have three sets of plastic mixing bowls realize you only want one, unless you plan to go into catering. If you have 50 wine glasses, and rarely entertain large groups, pare down to 12. Ask yourself what is the point of an overstocked kitchen with 19 expensive knives if you are not the Barefoot Contessa. Even Ina Garten lives with one set of dishes and two different sets of pots and pans. She uses my favorite All-Clad and Le Crueset. People collect kitchen tools thinking they will master cooking, like the TV chefs. It is not the tools but the time, effort and creativity that make you a great chef. http://www.i-deal-lifestyle.com/1/post/2011/07/how-kitchen-organization-makes-a-great-chef.html
Next clean everything out of your furniture, drawers and under your bed (bad Feng Shui to have ANY items under your bed), and again weed out stuff that is not being used and or will not be useful. Sort items by category, like with like, to see how much of everything you own, and then consider what items are lonely, abandoned and not utilized and find them a new home. Learn more about Feng Shui at www.fengshuiorangecounty.com
There are also the bathroom areas, where we have usually stocked up on soaps from every hotel we've stayed in, on-sale products, hair products we never use, every hair clip imaginable yet rarely worn, and creams and potions and lotions all probably having some hydrogenated and or mineral oils in them which cause cancer, or how about those out dated products that you want to throw away. It recently took 8 man hours to clear and clean and organize one woman's bathroom. We found products from 2007. When we helped her symbolize the bathroom products she said symbolically it meant "rest and peace and self care" every time she picked up a bath product. When asked, "did the products ever truly give that to you?" She remarked "never". Although if she would have had bathroom time and relaxation regularly the feelings of rest, peace and satisfaction may have been created, and it is all in the feeling, of feeling well that counts.
Then clean, and if you do not know how to clean, hire someone who does or get a referral. Cleaning is cleaning is cleaning! First you dust with wet cloth and dry cloth, not a feather duster, since it just spreads the dust around, then vacuum everywhere even under and around furniture, then sanitize kitchen and bathrooms, then clean the walls, fixtures, and floors. It is not rocket science just manual labor. Be sure to use non-toxic cleansers and green products, like white vinegar, lemon juice and just plain old water.
Now take a deep breath and welcome the beauty of Spring.
Marla Stone, MSW, Professional Organizer will help you get your life, space and self organized with great techniques and a team effort
Call 949-709-7000 for a free 30 minute get organized consultation now!
Marla Stone earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of I-Deal-Lifestyle, a Self and Space Organization Service.
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