If you live north of the Tropic of Cancer, it’s well and truly springtime. And with the milder weather and refreshing breezes comes the feeling that it’s time to cast off the shackles of winter and emerge unencumbered and reenergized.
That’s right: it’s spring-cleaning time.
Many folks think of cleaning as a chore – a thankless task with no end. But spring cleaning can be so much more. It’s a chance to annihilate physical and psychological clutter and reshape your home – and your life – the way you want it to look.
That’s why we love spring cleaning. It’s a time for your home to recapture its joyful youth – and for you to benefit. So we’ve put together five tips that just might kickstart your home rejuvenation.
1. Get inspiration
Once you have a clear vision of how magical your place can look, you’re halfway there. (And it’s nice to be halfway through a task without even getting up!)
While you’ll get the basics from such experts as Martha Stewart, you’ll get more excited by sources that show you how amazing your place could look when you’re done.
We’re also huge fans of design-home site Dwell, which always grabs the attention of our inner interior-design fanatic.
And we particularly love Apartment Therapy, which combines practical tips for making the most of your space with some breathtaking images.
So find whatever inspires you into action, and you’ll be well on your way to re-creating your dream space.
2. Find motivation
You know how when guests come over, you frantically pick up around the house in order to convince them that you’re not a total slob? Well, it’s time to take that to the next level.
We all procrastinate. Deadlines are our friends: they spur us to action and keep us honest. So we recommend organizing some sort of event that will make sure that your home-rejuvenating regime stays on track. This can be hosting a dinner party, having houseguests, or something as simply terrifying as inviting a bunch of relatives over. (And – we have to say it – many Airbnb hosts love the motivation of keeping their space immaculate and beautiful for guests.)
3. Practice detachment
We’re strange creatures. We imbue inanimate objects with personalities and emotion.
But things are just things, and the more things you can let go of, the more physical and intellectual space you’ll enjoy. This means being absolutely ruthless about letting go of things. We have so much, and we use so little. Let go of what you don’t use.
We’re not telling you to give up treasured family heirlooms, but we are hinting that those clothes you haven’t worn in three years might be better off one someone else’s back.
Getting rid of things doesn’t mean throwing them away: they can be redesigned, repurposed, or given to people who need them more than you do. (We loved the ideas in this article on 8 Ways to Get Rid of Stuff.)
(Zen Garden image courtesy madcowIV, Flickr)
4. Find balance
Rejuvenating one’s home often means finding balance between displaying objects and storing them out of sight. It can mean taking an overly cluttered room and moving things to another room with more space. Or it can mean using innovative storage solutions to pack stuff away.
But don’t be limited by your own space. As protagonists for the sharing economy, we are constantly looking for ways in which collaboration can enhance our lives. Do you and your neighbors both need a barbecue grill? How many power saws does one neighborhood need? And honestly – how many cans of turpentine are there per garage in the United States?
Figuring out what you can share with those around you means that you not only have more space to enjoy, but also enjoy access to a wider range of goods and services…while reducing waste. It’s win-win-win all around.
(Weber image courtesy ckelly, Flickr. Surely one per block is enough!)
5. Rejuvenate yourself
When renewing your home, don’t forget its most important component: you.
With the weather improving and social activity rising, it’s a wonderful opportunity to kickstart personal goals. You might consider adapting your diet as springtime fruits and veggies start flooding the market again. It’s also a great time to consider joining a gym, as most folks who made New Year’s Resolution-fueled trips have disappeared from the treadmills.
We hope these tips have gotten you excited about what you could do with your home this spring. For additional inspiration, check out the spring-cleaning hacks and tips on our Spring Refresh Pinterest board. And if you have ideas of your own, please share them!