Floor to Ceiling Guide to a Cleaner Space this Spring
The weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer, spring is almost here. There is no better way to welcome the new season and shed the heavy weight of winter, then with a spring clean!
A two-fold approach with first a de-cluttering followed by a deep clean will make your home feel shiny and new. Where do you start?
Winter leaves our homes bursting at the seams with new gifts and piles of items ready for retirement. You can clean room by room or by category – think clothing or books. Regardless of where you start, a systematic approach will help you carve out the necessary time and conquer the clutter most effectively.
The Kitchen is the most used room in the house. Considered by many as the control room, it is where we store our food and equipment, prepare our meals and often base our clean-up activities.
But when was the last time you used that fondue pot, waffle maker or slow cooker? According to Chef Jamie Oliver, there are less than 30 essential kitchen equipment pieces that you need. Of those, the tools worth investing in include good knives, wooden chopping boards, and a food processor.
All those other gadgets we pull out once a year, take up valuable real estate and should be sold or donated. Can’t live without your annual fondue night? Message friends to see about borrowing one or connect with your local cheese shop about renting one. Let someone else store the large kitchen equipment and instead, focus on kitchen essentials. If you’re simply looking to clean your kitchen, this article from Affordable Kitchen and Baths is a great place to start.
Our living rooms are where we relax, entertain and often the place we reflect our interests with displays of books, music, and movies. These shelves can become easily overwhelmed. Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method from her bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” recommends tackling items by category.
With books, you take every book off the shelf and then go through each one asking if it “sparks joy” and if you will ever read or re-read it. If the answer is no, you thank it for its service and donate it. The same process applies to music and movies. Forcing yourself to go through every item, although tedious, will leave you with a space filled with items that you truly love.
The KonMari Method can also be used for clothing, and the bedroom closet is usually one of our most daunting spaces. The goal should be to pair down to a foundation of timeless pieces that can be paired with anything in your closet.
And while you are cleaning out, you should create a series of go-to outfits that will eliminate “What will I wear?” from ever being asked again. Need some motivation? Plan a clothing swap with friends and over a glass of wine, exchange your cast-offs for something new-to-you. At the end of the night, send all the leftover clothing to a local women’s shelter.
Toys and Kid’s Gear
On the topic of swaps, the Spring is a great time to plan for a swap meet. Kid swaps are popular fundraisers with community centres and local schools. For a small table rental fee, you can offload unused toys and kids gear while someone else advertises and organizes the event. Just promise yourself to donate whatever you don’t sell by planning to drop off unsold items to a thrift shop immediately following the event.
Another great spring activity is to do a complete walk around your home, note items that need maintenance and create a plan of attack for the year that takes into account seasonal appropriateness.
Before summer hits, quick projects like touching-up baseboard paint and steam cleaning your carpets can easily be a done in a morning and will give your home a polished look. Looking to take on some projects that may require trades workers, engage them early and schedule them before they get busy with construction in the summer months. Some will even give discounted rates on their off-season.
Having de-cluttered your space, you can now give it a deep clean from windows to flipping mattresses. Drag out the ladder and spend time on “out of reach” areas and attack tops of cupboards, light fixtures, and door frames. Clean out your refrigerator and behind your appliances. Launder your shower curtains, clean your walls and baseboards. Then create a schedule for regular cleanings like vacuuming and dusting.TIPS
- Before you get started, schedule out when these spring cleaning sessions will take place. You can chip away at it daily taking on a cupboard or drawer at a time or block out a few hours to get through it in one go.
- Purchase the necessary supplies to store and clean-up including large storage bins, labels, markers and garbage bags.
- Engage a friend to help you and in exchange, treat them to dinner. You’ll have someone to keep you company and make what can feel like a chore, a fun activity.