While I have not joined the gang of my friends and acquaintances who have subscribed to the Marie Kondo discipline of tidiness and cabinet nirvana, I recently read something she said that did resonate: our home is one of the few spaces in life that we have complete control over, aesthetically and otherwise. Our office, schools and even public appearance are subject to outside constraints. For this reason, taking pride in our homes is a matter of more than simple cleanliness. And spring is a natural time for reflection, assessment and improvement.
Here are our top tips for taking back your space, and making it something you are personally attached to:
- Start with hidden essentials
Let’s face it, we clean over and over again, day in, day out. We’re gonna hit that kitchen sink again tomorrow, we’ll be hunched over the toilet again in no time. Don’t kill your project by tacking on the stuff you have to do every day anyways. Think about the stuff you won’t do as part of your regular routine: defrosting your freezer, flipping your mattress, wiping your baseboards, organizing your shed, shampooing your curtains and cleaning out your eaves.
- Schedule time for the good stuff
Forget about sparking joy, let’s be realistic. Spring cleaning is not the time for seeking happiness in the objects around you. However, fight the urge to order pizza and sink into your freshly vacuumed lazy-boy, bored and defeated by the mindless tasks ahead of you by scheduling some time to organize the things you really care about. It’s not baseboards and windows, be honest. For me, it’s my spice cabinet and aspects of my closet. I always schedule some time after a few hours of heavy cleaning to make the spaces that I truly care about look better. This helps maintain motivation and gives me a chance to recover and reenergize. It always feels great to see the monochrome palette of my closet, my personal uniform in top order: black, blue, white, black, black, black , camel, black. Inhale… Maybe there is joy?
- Hire out
Some jobs are too big, too dirty or too dangerous to do yourself. Plan to hire these jobs out so that you don’t keep putting them off. Procrastinating on certain tasks can lead to expensive problems or annoying your neighbors. For example, letting your eaves and gutters overflow can lead to drowning the soil around your house and result in cracks to the foundation and structural damage to your home. Magnus Cleaning has a professional vacuum for cleaning out eaves in a safe, economic and expedient manner. Let them do it for you. They can do your inner and outer windows and panes at the same time. You can also hire kids in the neighborhood to rake up the rotting leaves on your lawn and take the time to focus your energy on some of the repairs your yard might require after a long Canadian winter.
It’s true; we are well into May by now. But thankfully, Spring has been hanging on for a couple months now; giving you the chance to jump on the Spring Cleaning bandwagon without looking like you stayed in hibernation a few weeks too long. Move forward with realistic goals; don’t expect a spiritual reawakening spurred by the ideal shoe organizer, but don’t resign yourself to a weekend of family feuding and complete misery. Approach this year’s cleanup with the determination to 1) tackle hidden essentials first, 2) schedule time for the stuff you like and 3) hire out the stuff that is unavoidable but too hard.
Get at it!