I’ve always been an A-type personality and as soon as the warmer weather hits, I naturally start thinking about spring cleaning and become a woman with a mission (much to the dismay of my entire family). Lists are made, days are marked off in the calendar and each room undergoes an entire re-org. I’m not gonna lie this may take me weeks (TIP: It helps when you have Amy Schumer or Dave Chappelle’s NETFLIX special on in the background) but I take comfort in the fact that this only happens once a year, and then I’m in my happy place.
#1: RECYCLE AND RE-ARRANGE FURNITURE
Since I live in a downtown Victorian house, space is limited (that’s my living room above and there’s not enough wiggle room for a coffee table once you add kids and toys). To give the illusion of a refresh, I move the furniture and accessories I already own to different spots throughout the house. For example, a treasured vintage market lamp that originally sat on a highboy near the kitchen now sits on the sideboard in the front window; the highboy that it sat on has moved up to my toddler’s room, replacing her dresser, and her dresser is now holding games, placemats/tablecloths and serving ware in the dining room.
#2: SORT BASKETS, DRAWERS AND KID’S TOYS
Throughout the year random toys, books and papers are constantly being shoved out of the way, which also means they get forgotten. So, starting with the baskets under the couch, I create toss/keep/donate piles. I do this with the kids so they feel like they’re a part of the spring cleaning process and they learn how to say bye-bye to their stuff (too-baby-ish/broken/making room for ‘big girl’ stuff) while giving them a sense of control that we all know they need to have. Then I work solo so I can toss those restaurant freebies and anything-they-think-they-want-but-won’t-miss, in peace.
#3: DEEP CLEAN WALLS, WINDOWS AND FLOORS
This is the big one. Erasing your home of fingerprints, dirt marks and grease stains. With two sets of little fingers touching the white kitchen cabinets and gallery wall (ok, pretty much every wall in the house) along with well-worn spills along baseboards and floors, there are splotches of grime on every surface. And while I appreciate a good vinegar and water spritz, these stains need more muscle like Pine-Sol Multi-Surface cleaner. There’s a new fresh scent called Spring Blossom (with jasmine, magnolia and orange blossom notes) that has 4X the cleaning action and deodorizes while cutting through grease, grime and dirt. I admit I was impressed at how shiny it left my hundred-year old hardwood floors
#4: PURGE THE WARDROBE
I’m still navigating my way through professional organizing consultant, Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, but what I’ve picked up so far is that I should only hold onto things that are meaningful and bring me joy. When it comes to my closet however, my thoughts veer towards, ‘does it fit and does it make my butt look perky/waist look small/legs look slim’? Still, her mantra resonates and this season I’m giving my closet a ruthless edit. All clothes, shoes and accessories that I haven’t worn in the last two years are going buh-bye (because let’s face it: if I don’t fit into those pre-baby jeans now, it’s…not…happening). On the bright side, I have room in my closet to add clothes (yay, shopping!) that will fit my well-earned, curvy bod and potentially provide that much-needed joy). Lately I’m obsessed with one-shoulder tops to show off my collarbones and floaty, multi-striped dresses that’ll add some much-needed pattern to my mostly black/navy/grey wardrobe.
#5: START SEEING GREEN, PANTONE’S COLOUR OF THE YEAR
I’m boldly bringing greenery inside, however I do not have a green thumb. Every plant that crosses the threshold ends up dying a slow and painful, death. And believe me, I’ve tried everything. Inspired by countless IG photos of big-leafed plants in gorgeous, modern rooms, I decided that it was time to make a concentrated effort. The winning foliage is a mid-sized fiddle leaf fig plant that I’ve positioned with West-facing indirect sunlight and water once a week (fingers crossed it makes it to the one-month mark). And it sounds crazy but it’s already making such a huge difference. It brightens up the décor of my living room, I feel happy when I see it, and it’s helping—in its own small way—to purify the air in the home.
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