It's not too late for spring cleaning
Spring sprung early this year and then took a back seat as winter made another late appearance, throwing the seasonal change-over off-balance. That meant that many of us skipped the annual ritual of the Spring clean-up. But lifestyle expert Janette Ewen has a message on that point — better late than never.
“Spring is a natural time to tidy, because you are letting air in. It’s almost as it that flow works on a sub conscious on your mind as well," says Ewen. But if you missed the first wave of Spring, Ewen cautions against waiting until the next natural marker in the fall. And Ewen says it’s not just your mental health that can suffer from clutter — it’s your pocket book as well.
“Canadian Tire sponsored a survey that found 68 per cent of Canadians say they’ve rebought something because they couldn’t find it in their house and another 71 per cent say they’d rather toss things out than find a place to store them!”
Ewen has a well-honed system for keeping clutter udner control. “I do a mini purge about once a month. I sell some stuff on Kijiji, which lets me make a little money, some of which goes to a favourite charity. If I get lazy, my assistant makes me do it. Staying on top of it helps me avoid getting overwhelmed.” To help you from getting suffocated by stuff, Ewen has some suggestions:
- Sort stuff into three plastic tubs — one for recycling, one for garbage and one for stuff you’re going to give way. Be disciplined — if you haven’t used it in the last year, you probably won’t. For sports equipment, she’ll stretch it to two years. Before you unload items, consider doing a swap meet with friends — a great way to extend the life of items that no longer work for you.
- Allow yourself a cabinet for sentimental memorabilia. After all, some things are worth keeping.
- Designate a shelf system for various types of items; one for temporary pieces that you’re not sure you’ll need long-term or not, one for craft or hobby supplies, one for seasonal.
- Use modular storage systems to create customized units that fit different spaces throughout the home.
- Instead of keeping mountains of mags, go through copies and pull the pages/pics/pieces you want and put them in file folders that can be housed in attractive holders.
- Use dead space by, for example, putting shelves above a garment pole in a closet. Consider a second shelf even higher up for items rarely used. Keep a foldable stepladder for easy access. How about under-stair storage?
- Use an under-the-bed storage unit.
- In the kitchen, line the space above upper cabinets with baskets (make sure they have lids)
- Pretty storage items will motivate you to stay organized. Ewen likes Debbie Travis’ line for Canadian Tire.
- When purchasing new furniture for the home, look for pieces that offer functional storage, such as ottomans with lids or closed entertainment units. Tomorrow — tips from Ewen on switching up decor for Spring.