Spring Cleaning For Dummies

They say if you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait five minutes. Well, up here in Portland, we’ve been waiting approximately 3 days for the blustery winds and sub zero temps to die down and I’m pretty convinced that I’ll be stuck under my covers forever.

I don’t particularly like the idea of getting frostbite, so I’m avoiding the outdoors at all costs.

Actual example from this week: “I’m going to the gym.” *Feels apartment building swaying in the wind whilst lacing up sneakers* “On second thought, I have Sweat with Kayla on my phone and a perfectly comfortable living room floor that will work juuuust fine.”

Today I really stretched it by taking 2 different cars just to get to my Barre refresh that should be a 2-minute drive away. Naturally, I had a little TOO much fun in the Old Port last night, so my car spent the morning getting some sun and wind burn down by the ferry terminal. I wasn’t about to hoof it 20 minutes to my car in -10 wind chill hell, so I shamelessly Uber’d it. Besides that, I’ve basically hunkered down for the day and spent some serious time examining the growing piles of dust bunnies lingering along my floorboards, realizing how much I desperately need a new vacuum.

Today is the perfect day for SPRING CLEANING! Besides a good trip to Staples, few adult activities get me as excited as spring cleaning does. But there has to be a plan of attack to make it worthwhile, otherwise it just gets real overwhelming real fast. I like to break it up into different steps: purge, deep-clean, and feng shui.

PURGE

I usually get the most gratification out of starting with a good ‘ol purge of the closet. In doing so, I feel a mix of nostalgia, conflict, and eventual accomplishment as I wave good-bye to my college ‘going out’ shirts. Yes, the shirts that I have made excuses to keep for almost 10 years straight. You’ve gotta be honest with yourself here. Are sequin-edged, push-up tank tops really going to make a comeback in 2017? Maybe. Will it be socially acceptable for you to wear it at 32 years old? Nope. The good news is that someone out there WILL be okay with looking like a disco ball, and you might be able to make a little cash. Bring your pile of gently worn duds to the nearest consignment shop. While many of them require your pieces to sell before you get anything from it, some will pay you up front. You might make enough cash to buy a few new pieces as replacements!

DEEP-CLEAN

If you’re like most of the population running around like chickens with their heads cut off, you probably don’t have time to spend on sucking up dust bunnies and scrubbing toilet bowls every week. Hey, I hear you. We all have more important things to do, like work or go out for drinks and leave our cars downtown. As long as you’re keeping your place tidy enough for guests, deep-cleans aren’t totally necessary more than once a month, I’d say. I think I’m going on a couple of months at this point, so pushing it a bit. It’s always a good idea to keep your closet stocked with cleaning supplies (especially on days that you’re unwilling to venture out into tundra-like conditions). A few staples to always have on-hand: a broom and dust pan, a solid vacuum cleaner, disinfectant wipes, Clorox spray and paper towels, toilet bowl cleaner, and Windex. Wood polish is nice to have as well, but mostly because it makes your place smell like citrus heaven. Clean from top to bottom in each room. Chuck the dust and dirt off your blinds and book shelves – You can vacuum everything up at the end!

FENG SHUI

Once everything is spotless, it’s time to rearrange – Yah! Feng shui, by definition, is “a philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment”. Doesn’t that just make you want to install one of those walls of bubbling streams in your kitchen? I should’ve become an Interior Designer, I swear to God. I have this uncanny ability to acknowledge the negative energy of a space and visualize how to best fill it with the furniture and decor I have to work with. Then I head over to Home Goods and spend all my money on new stuff to add to it. And now you’ve learned a fun fact about me – I like to move things around and decorate in my free time. Seriously though, try it out. At the most, it will turn your mood around. At the very least, you’ll get a few oohs and ahs from your friends and family on their next visit.

And there you have it: How to spend your day spring cleaning instead of rotting your brain with Netflix! Happy cleaning.

j

 

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