'Tis the season for spring cleaning. With social distancing in full effect, and summer just around the corner, we feel that there is no better time than the present to start sprucing up our space. Not only does decluttering create a more mindful abode, but it can also contribute to your mental well-being. So, whether you like to clean room-by-room or tackle the entire house in one sweep, below are some simple and sustainable tips to get you through the season.
Repurpose Everyday Items
One of our recent go-to’s has been making our own chemical-free cleaner. Not only is it all-natural, but it can also easily be customized with your favorite combination of scents. To make a standard all-purpose solution:
Mix 1-part vinegar to 1-part water in a glass spray bottle (plastic can occasionally react with essential oils, so it’s important to use a glass container)
Add 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil
You can also add citrus peels to the above mix for extra cleaning power
Clear the Clutter by Categorizing
One of the most rewarding parts of cleaning is clearing out your closet. Start by separating all of your clothing into four categories – to donate, to sell, to throw-away, and to keep. Take your time when sorting and do your best to avoid creating a “maybe” or miscellaneous pile. Once you’re finished with clothing, move on to homewares.
Learning to let go of unnecessary possessions is not only a helpful decluttering exercise, but it also reminds us to have a “want better, not more” mentality with new purchases. Plus, getting rid of unused objects doesn’t mean it has to go to waste. Items that are still in good condition can be donated to someone in need or gifted to a friend. When it comes to donating, look locally for a no-contact option. Safely dropping off things you no longer use (but are still in good condition), will not only contribute to your community, but it will also help reduce your environmental impact.
Set Small Goals & Stick to Them
When it comes to cleaning, it’s best to commit. Setting small goals and sticking to them will make each task less overwhelming and motivate you to keep going. Start by making a list and cross things off along the way. If you live with others, cleaning can also be a fun group activity. Dedicate specific days and times to complete household chores with your roommates or family. Be diligent with daily projects and take comfort in knowing that almost no task will take as long as you think.
Master the Art of Organizing
Making sure that everything has a home will save you a lot of time in the long run. Spend a few minutes to walk around your home at the end of the day. Is there loose paper on the table? Are there dirty clothes in the living room? Assessing the state of your space is an easy indicator to your organizational needs. Here are some tips to help restore order:
Laundry to Linens: Small baskets are a great way to keep household linens organized and looking fresh.
Magazines to Books: A small storage rack can lend a helping hand to stray publications, records, and books.
Mail to Miscellaneous: A catch-all tray can help tidy loose change, letters, and other everyday essentials.
Collectibles to Toys: Shelves are a simple and straightforward way to organize objects that you want to keep out for play (or display), while a basket makes it easy for small hands to take out and put away toys.
Mastering the art of organizing goes beyond making sure everything has a home, it also means learning to accept the imperfections that are a part of the everyday. Instead of stressing about keeping everything in its place, give room for the patterns of daily life knowing that you can easily set the space back in order.
Celebrate Successful Spring Cleaning
Once your checklist is complete, it’s important to celebrate a job well done. While this will look different for everyone, we always find that indulging in a sweet and special treat is the perfect post-cleaning reward.