My friends Jenny and Ron, along with their children, Shelby and Stella, saw me in all my glory this afternoon when they stopped by unexpectedly. My husband and son were on the golf course, my daughter was at a friend’s house, and I had the dubious honor of executing some spring cleaning. I can get in quite a state when I’m in this zone.
In one week, our house is going to be a construction zone. We are renovating the exterior—the front, the back, the roof, the siding, the sidewalks, and adding a screened-in porch. We are overhauling this sucker, and I can’t wait to see it all come together. I’m fascinated by the mere word renovation. It’s so exciting to watch your plans on paper turn into something realistic.
Last summer when we moved here, I orchestrated a gigantic overhaul. I made at least 14 trips to Goodwill, gave countless items away to friends, and pared down what we owned. It’s actually an exhilarating feeling when you have more room in your closets, more room in your cupboards, more room in your office and bedrooms, and more room in general.
- Don’t get sentimental about everything. I’ve had to learn what to let go of, from baby clothes to toys and memorabilia. Allow yourself a “bin” of things to keep for prosperity (label each bin accordingly), but realize you can’t keep everything. Some things have got to go, sweeties.
- It’s the old rule: If you haven’t worn it in a year, dump it. Why do you want to clutter your closet with old fashion anyway? Leave it behind and treat yourself to something new. If one thing goes out, another can come in, but you have to stick with this rule, or you’ll soon get overwhelmed with new items without dismissing any of the old.
- Get rid of needless stuff in your kitchen. If you don’t use it, don’t entertain with it, and all it does is take up space on your counter or in your cupboards or pantry, as the song in “Frozen” says, “Let it go.”
- With regard to old bed linens, towels, wash cloths, here’s my rule: If you wouldn’t put it out for guests to use, get rid of it. Keeping things fresh in your house helps you feel good about your own home. Step out of the shower and wrap yourself up in the right towel, not some old raggedy thing from the year of the flood.
- Dissect your garage every six months. This makes a huge difference. I just made a run to Goodwill today and dumped old speaker stands, a beadboard white bookshelf, a Pottery Barn rug and rug mat, an alarm clock, and various other things that were taking up space in our garage. Also, use bins in your garage and label them. I have a bin for light bulbs, extension cords, patio items, gardening supplies, etc. It makes it so much easier to find things. Toss whatever you don’t need anymore.
I worked hard today, but our house feels lighter, cleaner, and ready for spring.
Once that screened-in porch is built, there will be two places you will find me this summer: at the pool or on the porch.
And all the cleaning will be behind me.