Recover your Home & Heal Yourself
As January 2016 comes to a close and it is finally sinking in that, we have started a new year (as you stop writing 2015 on everything). There is no better occasion to dedicate some time to getting your home ready for a new year. Invest some effort, and elbow grease in February to achieve a cleaner, more organized and peaceful home. I have compiled a list of missions for you to complete, one day at a time.
To start give yourself a reward. A small gift for you and your home, a little affordable luxury; Buy a Bunch of Flowers. It gives your house that feeling that spring is just around the corner, and lifts your spirts.
- Start with the hardest first Vacuum the Rugs and Clean all the Floors. This task will take you to each room in your home and you will discover all the problems those rooms have and how much clutter needs to be sorted.
- Now that you have discovered all the problems that need fixing, ie wiggly knobs, dead light bulbs, stacks of movies and games around the TV; sit down and Make a List. This list will include all the areas of items that need a good cleaning, a decluttering or re-organization.
- Purge your Pantry – it can become the black hole in your kitchen where unused items go to hide.
- Create an OUTBOX area. As you work through your house you need a place to put things that will never be used by you again, stuff that needs to GO…… But not yet, so make sure it’s out of the way in an area that won’t bug you if it gets a little messy for a small time.
- Start the deep clean on your house with One Small Step. Pick a Drawer, any drawer and remove everything. Clean the inside with a damp cloth and then put back everything you still use, and anything you don’t walk it over to the Outbox. Then wash, rinse and repeat at your own pace every drawer in the house. Maybe that’s one a day or one a week, that’s your choice
- Your Kitchen Inside – Out. If you feel that the general exterior surfaces of your kitchen are in good shape, choose the “inside” and focus more on organization. If you feel that your kitchen could use some attention on the “outside” at this point, focus more on cleaning. Inside – clean out your fridge, cabinet and drawers; don’t forget to clean your oven. Outside – clean the sink until it shines, as well as the outside of all the appliances (fridge, stove, dishwasher, microwave etc), wipe down all cabinet and counter surfaces, and clean the garbage pail.
- Take a Time Out – on a quiet day turn off all distractions and sit on that chair in your house no one ever sits in, look around remember what it looked like when you moved in all empty, visualize how you would like to see the room in the future. Go back to your list and pick a project to be completed by the end of the month.
- Choose a Closet – don’t worry about how far you’ll get. Go in armed with an outbox, a trash bag and a vacuum and do your best. Go for it and work fast, know that any amount of straightening, rehanging, decluttering, scrubbing and dust-bunny hunting will make a dent.
- Sexy Time… Maybe not – Make your way to the bedroom, and give it a good deep clean. Put away all clothes, books and belongings. Declutter surfaces. Strip the bed, and launder all bedding, including mattress and pillow covers. Flip and rotate the mattress. Vacuum curtains or clean blinds. Clean windows and mirrors. Dust all surfaces and wipe down fixtures and ceiling fan. Vacuum and clean under the bed, side tables and dressers. Remake the bed. Enjoy a sound sleep in your freshly cleaned room.
- Un-Accessorize – go to your main living space and strip away some of the accessories. Put away magazines, straighten pillows and throws. Get rid of some of the knick-knacks. Strip your design down to a cleaner, less cluttered version of itself.
- Bathroom Purge – Spend a quick hour clearing out your bathroom cabinets. Dispose of everything that, you haven’t used in 12 months, is past the expiration date, is empty or nearly empty, you don’t need any longer because you know you aren’t going to use it! Then make a list of products you need to buy.
- Your home has a Black hole: the Linen Closet – overstuffed and often filled with old and overly-worn things that are rarely, if ever, used. Go through your, towels & washcloths, sheets & pillowcases, duvet covers, comforters & blankets, dishcloths & tea towels. Make three piles, good ones that you actually use (put these ones back neatly), ones in decent shape that you have not used in a year or more (put these in the OUTBOX) and ones that are worn out (rip up for rags).
- Deep Clean the Bathroom – Grab the towels that are out on hooks or bars, along with the shower curtain (if you have one) and throw them in the washing machine. Clear the counter put everything in a box and transfer out of the bathroom temporarily. Put your cleaner in the toilet and let it sit while you clean the sink, scrub the tub and give the drains a good flush with vinegar followed by hot water. Clean the toilet. Then, do a good overall clean of the counter, tiled walls and floor. Finally, shine up the mirror and replace the towels and countertop goodies.
- Front Door Stop – Create a landing strip area at the front door with a console table or shelf. Get in the habit of sorting through your incoming mail and any other paper you’ve brought home with you (newspapers, flyers, catalogs) and immediately toss or recycle what you do not need.
- 5 min Room – Like the last one this is a habitual mission, make it part of your life. Pick a room every day and spend 5min cleaning the surfaces, scoop stuff up, put it where it goes. Glasses and mugs to the sink, magazines in the rack, junk mail in the trash…. This isn’t about going on a full room cleaning binge. It’s just a quick reset to get things under control in the speediest way possible and then move right on to whatever it is you want or need to be doing at the moment.
Finally don’t forget to take time for yourself throughout the month in between missions, read that book you have always meant to, have coffee or wine with a group of friends, or take a hike with family. In addition, at the end of the month when you have made it through the mission, look around at your home; you have hit the reset button and are ready for another year.
P.S. remember to get rid of the OUTBOX to charity.