Spring cleaning! I’m such a fan;-) This year, I decided to take it above the traditional “flip the mattress” and “dust the floorboards” and really focus on deep cleaning in terms of making sure I’m getting maximum use out of the stuff in my apartment I love, and finding homes for things I don’t. Here’s 5 steps I’m taking to do that.
Take inventory of my kitchen cabinets and freezer and meal plan with those items.
Even though I don’t keep a ton of extra food lying around the house, my cabinets certainly have the stray cans of beans, boxes of Pasta Roni, and pumpkin puree leftover from the holiday season. And in my freezer right now I can account for frozen pierogis which have been nestled in there for over a year, and enough leftover lentil soup to feed all of Staten Island. This is the season I’m going to use up these items once and for all, and then make sure to ask myself twice next time I’m about to make a ginormous pot of soup to freeze.
Minimize and decant products in the bathroom.
My bathtub ritual is one of my favorite ways to unwind at the end of the day, and I realized recently that what separates my bathroom from that of a fancy spa (well, ok, besides the pre-war floor!), is that spas don’t have a million products lying about with a variety of loud labels staring at you in the face. So I corralled all my various shampoo/conditioner/lotions, picked my very favorite, and ordered these cute decanters which I poured them into and then recycled the plastic bottles they came in. (You can do the same thing using old glass soda bottles and pumps, mason jars, etc.) Now all the clutter on the sides of the bathtub and sink is gone, and my end of the day relaxing session is much more relaxing;-)
Find homes for all the things you no longer need/love.
It’s been said a million times–the best way to have a clutter free home is to constantly be editing what comes in and out. My big spring overhaul looked something like this:
After finding all the items that I didn’t need/love, I sorted into piles of:
- Sell on Ebay (i.e. items I was pretty sure I could score a minimum of $40 for to make taking the time to photograph/post/factor in the selling fees worth it)
- Bring to Buffalo Exchange to “exchange” for store credit (i.e. clothes and shoes that no longer held appeal to me but are still in style and which someone else may want to buy. you can also get cash for your items the store takes, but the exchange rate is 50% of the sell back price for store credit and 30% for cash, so I typically take the credit for the next time I need to go shopping.)
- Give to family/friends. (i.e. particular items I know someone in my circle would love. examples of this are Augusten’s outgrown baby clothes that he hardly made a dent in–I’m passing along to my sisters for their future babies. or books which I don’t anticipate rereading, passing on to someone I think will enjoy them.)
- Donate. (i.e. all the rest of the items that are still in good shape but don’t fit into one of the above categories. this is my favorite NYC charity to donate to, as they also come directly to your apartment to pick up the goods.)
- Recycle/trash. (i.e. if something is broken/worn beyond repair, it goes in this pile.)
Use the “turn the hanger” trick.
I first read about this on another blog, and thought it was brilliant. At the end of a season, how do you really know if you didn’t wear something once? Easy–start the season by turning all your hangers backwards, and as you wear an item, turn the hanger around. Once the end of spring/summer hits, I’ll have a clear visual of the pieces I truly didn’t wear once, and they’ll probably make it into one of the above categories.
Use all of your good stuff TODAY.
Once Augusten was born, my husband and I had a lot of talks about enjoying the present. We’re both Type A’s, and with that comes being extreme planners–good in many cases, yes, but we didn’t want to get into a cycle of thinking so much about the future that we missed these precious moments with little man. So I put a mantra on the back of our front door which we see every time we leave the house, reading “The good ole’ days are now.” #truth
And with that came the realization that I had a tendency to save the good stuff for “special occasions”–the fancy candles to burn for when we had out of town guests, the expensive bottles of champagne for when someone got engaged, the cloth napkins for dinner parties. Well, no more. Because today is special, today is a little celebration, today is the best of days. Along with this little life mantra, you’ll also start finding that you’re not hoarding all the nice stuff in the closets, drawers, and cabinets, and this in itself makes for a great end to spring cleaning!
Would love to know…what are your spring cleaning tips you abide by? Share below!
p.s. in case you missed it, 5 steps to having a perfectly tidy NYC apartment.