Everyone has heard of spring cleaning. We all do it, to some degree. By the time winter is shedding it’s doldrums, and the days start getting longer, we’re already going through closets and drawers, pantries and cabinets, and sorting, organizing, cleaning and primping for warmer weather.
I feel the need to do this in the fall as well. We have, at least, another month or two of warm weather (it’s close to 90 today!), but some reason, even after all these years when back-to-school means very little to me, it’s still a great opportunity to declutter and start fresh.
This is never so obvious as it is now. Everything I am reading online these days points to Marie Kondo and her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I am completely intrigued. If it weren’t for the fact that I am trying very hard to NOT add another book to my bookcase, I’m positively sure I would have already been sucked into this movement.
- Instead of tackling rooms, you tackle categories (I can get with that)
- Put your hands on everything you own and ask yourself if that item sparks joy (you must become an object whisperer). If it does, it stays. If it does not, it goes. (this would take days in my home)
- Only your most joyful possessions get to stay. Everything else goes to the land of unwanted toys.
- From that point on, everything will be in it’s place, always. You will have whittled your possessions down to only those that are truly necessary.
If you do this, completely and totally, you have reached housekeeping nirvana. And, it is said, you will never have to clean again.
I find this a little far fetched. And I am challenging myself to not spend the $10.81 to buy the book on Amazon. I don’t think I have to touch every single item I own to know if it makes me happy or not. I do think a seasonal clean out is a good idea, and it probably is wise to take everything out of closets, drawers, pantries and cabinets for a thorough tidying.
This is how I plan to go about it – you can call it Sommerizing:
- Go through storage containers & match lids with containers. This applies to non-plastic as well. I don’t need that Corning Ware dish with no lid.
- Check all serving bowls & platters for chips and cracks. Get rid of those that are damaged.
- Take everything out of the pantry & clean the pantry with a water & distilled white vinegar solution.
- Throw away opened & partially used bags of food (i.e. chips, bread, crackers, etc.)
- Repeat this with all cabinets in the kitchen and discard anything past its’ prime, dingy, broken, cracked or unusable.
- Take everything out of the refrigerator. Thoroughly clean the shelves, door shelves, crispers and all the nooks & crannies! Discard old salad dressings, sauces and condiments.
- Take everything out of medicine cabinet & clean with vinegar solution. Discard old medication. Clean outside of bottles & tubes before restocking cabinet.
- Repeat this with bathroom cabinets. Go through make up bags, travel bags, and the box with all those mini hotel toiletries you’ve been saving. Discard old make up, clean remaining make up containers, and donate the mini bottles of hotel shampoo & conditioner.
- Take everything out of your closet. Try on all your clothes and check for fit and damage. If it doesn’t fit, it goes. If it’s damaged, and it’s not something you wear regularly, it goes. If you haven’t worn it in 2 years, it really should go. Clothes in good condition can either be donated to a local charity, or can be sold through eBay, ThredUp or PoshMark.
- Repeat this with dresser drawers and nightstands.
The main gist of all this is to take everything out of its’ place, clean the area and put back only what you use on a regular basis. And even then, discard duplicates and streamline your processes. I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of the clutter! I am leaning towards a much more minimalistic lifestyle and aesthetic. We just don’t need so much stuff!
What are doing to reduce your clutter? And, have you tried Marie Kondo’s method? Did it work? I’m dying to know.