Spring Clearing - Room by Room
Spring is officially here and summer is just around the corner, and with it comes a renewed sense of energy and direction. Now is a great time to refresh your spaces and shift into summer gear.
The last two years have challenged us all to rethink the meaning of home and how we use our spaces.
Perhaps your dining room, which once hosted family dinners, is now a home office, or maybe that Rec room has temporarily transformed into an in-home gym.
Either way, our spaces say a lot about us, how we spend our time, and what we value.
Spring Clearing isn't just about cleaning, but a time to shift perspective and intention, and clear away what no longer serves us to create more space for what does.
So, in honour of #WorldOrganizingDay, let's go over some tips and tricks to refresh your home, room by room.
It's time to start shaking out the winter vibes in this space.
Let's be honest, your living room has evolved over the last 2 years to be more than just a place to unwind - it's entertainment-central; the place to binge all your favourite shows, host the occasional family game night, and maybe even pose as a yoga studio now and then (pun intended).
Start with editing out what no longer serves you or the space.
DVDs and CDs, although once useful, are now obsolete and take up tons of space.
Most movies and music can be found on streaming platforms. If you really can't part with these, make sure to only keep the ones that you truly love or can't find online.
Be careful not to fall into the common trap of wanting to keep it just because you spent a lot of money on it once. Yes, that might be true, but let's face it, they're almost redundant today.
Next, take a look at magazines and other print materials hanging out in your space.
Are there ones you've previously read or no longer want to read?
Remember, just like CDs and DVDs, most articles can be found online.
Lastly, the decor. What items are needing a refresh? Changing something as simple as pillows or throw blankets can make a big impact on your space.
Next, let's declutter and edit the kitchen.
Go through your fridge and pantry, removing items and putting them on your kitchen counter or table, whatever allows for more space, so you can see everything. Sort through the items, keeping what you need and removing any expired food items.
I'm a big advocate of not wasting food and keeping this process as green as possible by recycling what can be recycled, and composting any organic materials if possible.
Many cities have Green bin programs, so take advantage of that during this step, or use a backyard composter if you have one.
You can also donate any non-expired, non-perishable food items to your local food bank. Many grocery stores have designated donation bins near the front entrance to make this process easier.
Next, go through your cupboards and drawers and remove any broken or chipped dishes or glassware. In the process, take an inventory of each item and evaluate how many pieces of each item you need.
Next, take an inventory of kitchen appliances. Most households have an abundance of kitchen gadgets which mostly never get used. How often do you really use that waffle maker?
Check to see which ones do the same thing (e.g. Instant Pot can replace crockpot and/or rice cooker) and keep only the ones that you actually use. There is no need in having multiple items that all do the same thing.
Let's start by editing the closet, removing any clothing, shoes, and accessories that have overstayed their welcome.
Ask yourself the following questions as you move through your closet:
1. Does this still fit me?
2. Is this outdated, out of style, or no longer fitting my personal style?
3. Did I wear this in the last six months or the last year? If you didn’t, the chances are you’re not going to wear it again.
4. Does this make me happy when I look at it? Does it get you pumped to wear it or do you feel overwhelmed, disinterested, or neutral about it?
5. Is this ready to wear? Check to see if it needs mending, cleaning, or dry-cleaning first.
For more great tips for organizing your closet, see my previous blog post Closet Organizing Tips & Tricks
Next, we move to linens and soft textiles.
Changing up your bedspread is a great way to freshen up your bedroom, but can be expensive. Try adding some new pillows and other soft textiles to create a cozy atmosphere.
A lavender linen spray can add some extra comfort to your space, and can even kill germs and bacteria, so it's a win-win.
Adding a plant to your space adds a splash of colour and texture, and even filters the air so you can breathe easier and sleep better at night.
Next is the bathroom. Take a look through your cosmetics and personal items and discard any old or expired products or medication.
If you're unsure about whether a product is expired, take a look at the back and there will be a mark indicating the shelf-life of that product. Make sure to take any expired medication back to the pharmacy for safe disposal.
Like any space, small changes to decor and textiles, like new towels or a plant, can make a huge impact and freshen up your space.
This is one of my favourite spaces to do a nice spring/summer clearing.
Lightbulbs and batteries can be dropped off at most home renovation stores, like Home Depot and Lowes, and old electronics can be dropped off at your local EnviroDepot.
Old (empty) paint cans can be added to your regular recycling bin, but any cans with remaining paint need to be dropped off at our local hazardous waste depot.
If you're not sure what goes where, then download out the handy Recycle Coach app at https://recyclecoach.com/.
Make sure to store items in plastic containers rather than cardboard boxes, and try if possible to keep things off the ground. This way, we avoid any potential damage from water or pests.
Adding shelving to your space is an easy and often inexpensive way to take advantage of vertical storage space and keep items off the ground.
Make it an event. Invite friends and/or family to help, put on your favourite tunes, and have some fun! Spring Clearing doesn't have to be a chore - it can be enjoyable too.
Remember to stay hydrated, take breaks when needed, separate projects into smaller tasks, and work at your own pace.
After so much change in the last two years, taking time to make small changes to our spaces can help us align with what matters most in this post pandemic world.
Home is more than a physical place of bricks and mortar, it's a space to relax and restore, and (re) connect with ourselves and loved ones.
I hope this Spring Clearing - Room by Room guide will be helpful to you and your home.
Enjoy the season and stay well,