Happy New Year to you all. Tis’ the season for resolutions and promises for the upcoming year. I hear a lot about working on ourselves, inspirational mindsets and much more. This is all amazing, and I am all for that, but personally if I do not have a clear clean space, I cannot do any of these other goals. I don’t know about you, but the first steps for me in a new year include making my environment clean again, and more manageable.
Time to say goodbye:
Accordingly, if you have read some of my previous blogs such as: “Cleaning the things that help us clean.” You would know I am a sucker for a good deep clean and organization. I think this is a crucial time of year to do both of these things. Fortunately, I find that we can be the most motivated to freshen up our lifestyles and actually stick to the claims we make during our New Year’s resolutions. Although I love Christmas more than the average person, there is a time to take down all the decorations and start a new routine.
In fact, my first advice is not to do everything in one day. I have been the crazy person that takes down all the decorations, cleans the entire house, organizes every room and complete the once a year chore. Let me tell you, I was so wiped this time last year I could barely move after doing all of this in a day. Give yourself a certain amount of days to complete your list. Write it on your calendar, in your phone, or simply a sticky note you can stick on your fridge. Write it down so you will stick to it and allow yourself a timeline to get everything done.
Where do we start?
The real aching question is where to start? Do you feel that you are very clustered? Are you having anxiety about dust and grime that has built up over the holidays? Try and pick your top concern and start here. For me, I get really itchy that I have way too much stuff and need to get rid of all my junk areas hidden around the house. I start with me closet. I go through each and every piece.
This is how I organize my pieces and start to get rid of excess clothing. I look at each piece, if it’s not something that fits me it goes into a donation pile immediately. Then I look and see if it’s something I have worn within the last 18 months unless it’s a special occasion piece. If I haven’t worn it within this timeline, I understand that it’s something I am no longer reaching for and probably need to get rid of. I try to see if it’s something I am not emotionally attached to and if not then it’s going for donations.
Then once I have all my pieces, I organize the contents left in my closet. Some might think it’s a bit extreme to organize your closet but this helps me so much when I am running late, so I know where everything is, and if I am looking for something to add to an outfit I am not spending precious time digging in my closet. I start with the far right; I have everything always color coordinated. Starting, I work from right to left with reds, then oranges, then yellows, green, blue, purple, grey, black and finally white. I place all my tank tops in this order on the far-right side of my closet. Then after I place the next season of clothing which is light white shirts and sweaters. Then I move into heavy sweaters and sweatshirts, then to jackets, and coats.
Finally, I have dresses. I try to do this, so I have the really long bulk items towards the side of the closet I am not usually opening as much. This also optimizes the space to use underneath!
The dreaded cleaning list:
Next, I try to also do the more appealing chores first to get myself motivated to start this entire process. However, there are just some things I really hate doing, but let’s be honest we need to get them done. If you have cloth drapes around your curtains you know what I am talking about. I have learned a few hacks to clean these easier without dry cleaning or hand washing them. Take one window at a time, (I have learned if I clean them all at once it doesn’t turn out great.) I put them in the washing machine with a super gentle detergent, and a splash of Oxi Clean. Don’t add anything else, I have tried, and it makes my curtains fade and almost appear sun faded more quickly. I wash them on gentle, with cool water so they don’t shrink and then tumble dry low.
Moving on to the blinds next. I have plastic and wood blinds and I like to take a super quick route. I really like to use some sort of disinfecting disposable wipe. It allows the dirt to come off without smearing it around like a microfiber cloth does. While also sanitizing and removes built up dirt and possible pollutants. I have extreme allergies and cleaning these 2 items more frequently has actually helped with my allergies indoors.
The final stop we will talk about is something that might shock and scare you, some of you might not be ready for this one. We are going to deep clean all the kitchen cupboards and the drawers. I used to think I had a clean and organized kitchen but then I learned the truth. I thought I have all of these nice little plastic organizers in the drawers, and this keeps everything clean, right? Wrong! I dare you to take out the silverware of the organizer and look at how many nasty crumbs and who knows what else are in there, then lift this out and see what is left in the drawer. Don’t be ashamed, it happens to all of us.
I found so many crumbs that I always missed. To me this really grosses me out. I put all my clean dishes away in there but are they really clean if it is just going to sit in crumbs, dust and that left-over stray Cheerio from a cereal box from 3 years ago. I like to take my vacuum and use the hand attachment to clean out all the crumbs for each of the drawers. Then take a non-toxic cleaner and wipe the inside of each so its sparkling clean. I like to wash all the plastic containers with some sort of mild antibacterial soap to make sure everything you put back in the drawer is actually clean.
As a result, this is also a great time to clean out the fridge and check on all the foods you have. I sometimes forget that sauces don’t last forever. We also have grocery pick up and sometimes I order the wrong thing but then the nonperishable just sits in our cabinet. I like to donate anything extra, whatever we can spare, and anything that hasn’t been used or reached for a while. This is a really great time of year we can donate and give back while also deep cleaning our spaces.
What will you clean?
Moving towards our ending. I would love to know what you clean to jump start your year! Is there anything special that you always find yourself doing at the beginning of the year? I would love to know some of your tips and tricks. If you’re interested in learning more about us head on over to our Facebook Page, we’d love to have you!