Let’s face it, none of us enjoys cleaning the home. It’s annoying and boring and tiring and never-ending, but if you don’t do it regularly enough then your home will be in a constant messy state that will be really difficult to make it appear pretty and maintain it’s homely comfortable vibe. You’ll end up only being able to focus on the pile of clothes dumped in your room, the messy stains on the living room carpet, and the unnerving pile of whatever that is on the kitchen work surface, and that’s no way to live. When you have a home, it should be your safe haven that looks after you and keeps you happy to be living in it. You should want to invite people over for dinner parties and movie nights, not feel embarrassed at the thought of people seeing what your home looks like.
So where can you start? It’s important to remember that it’s not only about making sure that there are no dirty dishes in the sink – you first want to have a huge sort out and go through what you want to keep, and what you want to throw away. This will declutter your home, allowing you to have a blank canvas again that you can work on. Think of it as wiping off last nights makeup so that you’re left with a bare, fresh face to make even more beautiful all over again.
Here’s how you can do that.
The loft, basement, or storage room
Essentially all three places amount to doing the same thing – holding onto useless, lovable junk that we’re not ready to throw away, so instead we keep everything boxed up and concealed, locked behind a door. But when you really think about it, what is the point if you don’t even remember what’s in there? There are certain things that we may hold on to, like our old blanket or bicycle from when we were a child, that have a lot of sentimental value, and this is understandable. But for those rusty garden chairs and that ripped rug that you said you’d repair three years ago – they need to go. So have a sort through everything and see what things you can’t bear to get rid of, and what things you can. Before you think about throwing things away in the trash, have a think if it could potentially be of value. You would be surprised as to what you can sell online nowadays. Do You Remember those McDonald’s toys you used to collect when you were younger? Well, these can actually sell for a decent amount of money if you’ve managed to collect a whole set and keep them in good condition. So don’t overlook the value of something just because you don’t think it would be worth anything. Do your research and find out properly first.
The first kind of mess that comes into your head when you visualize a bedroom, is clothes. Us girls can have our wardrobe and drawers overflowing and yet still say we don’t have anything to wear, and so we end up going out and buying even more. While there’s no problem to have a slight fashion obsession, there is no reason that your bedroom should suffer and feel cramped and cluttered because you refuse to sort it out. It’s time to have a root through your closet and decide what you’re keeping and what you’re getting rid of. The best way to do this is to pull everything out, don’t worry about trying to be neat – that part comes later. For now, grab everything and dump it into a big pile either on the bed or the floor. Then just start sorting through it all splitting it into three smaller piles: Keep, Trash, Give. Anything that you plan on keeping should be organized nicely with tops, bottoms, dresses, and so on. Do the same with all of your shoes too. No matter how hard it is – if you haven’t worn those stilettos in the last two years and you know you won’t again, regardless of how pretty they are to look at – it’s time to let go!
Never forget about your garden. Just because it’s on the outside doesn’t mean that it’s any less important. Just think about when the summertime comes, one of the great benefits of having your own backyard is the fact that you get to lie in it whenever you want and bask in the sun. You can throw your own barbecue parties and invite your best friends and family over. But none of that can be done if you’ve got an overgrown swamp on your hands. Mow the lawn so it’s all the same short length, then go in around the edges and trim the sides as this will clean up the whole grass area perfectly. Cut down any overgrown plants that are winding around everything causing havoc, or just pull them out altogether so you can lay down some new greenery and flowers just in time for the summer. And whatever you do, don’t forget about the weeds – these are an absolute nuisance for any garden, and the worst thing about them is they always come back. There’s no magic cure to get rid of them – sooner or later, they will be back. The only thing you can do is slow down the process, and this is by regularly removing them from the root. It’s a bore, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
Now you know where your attention should be going, change into your sweatpants, tie your hair back, turn up the music, and get sorting. It doesn’t always have to feel like a chore – you decide on the type of experience you have. You could invite your girlfriends over, pop a bottle, and then work that way! It can be fun and playful depending on how you go about it.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.