Rebecca Morse: Hallelujah, let’s bring on the spring clean

Original article appeared in Messenger Community News, September 2, 2015.

spring clean

What to keep and what to throw out? All part of the spring clean fun.

SPRING has sprung. Hallelujah!

It’s been such a long, cold struggle to get here I feared my kids had watched Frozen so many times they’d actually triggered Elsa’s eternal winter.

But we’ve endured and emerged out of our hibernation into the glorious spring.

Spring is the season of rebirth and renewal. Spring shines light into the dusty, cobwebbed corners of the house. Spring sees us shed our heavy winter wardrobes and bedding.

It’s the perfect storm to fuel an insatiable urge to spring clean.

Maybe it’s enhanced by the hayfever drugs.

But, for me, this is a rare and primal drive almost as strong as the pregnancy nesting phenomenon, during which I found myself like some deranged, domesticated hippo scrubbing skirting boards into the wee hours.

But while my urge to clean is strong, my execution needs work.

So I’ve enlisted the advice of Sarah Shanahan, an Adelaide “professional organiser”. I, on the other hand, am a “professional disorganiser”.

For me, getting three children out of the house of a morning is a minor miracle. On the days when nothing is overlooked, I crack the bubbles. I can make a bottle last a good month.

Now how is a professional organiser even a job I hear you ask, for I am also a professional mind-reader. Well, as it happens, the organising and decluttering movement is sweeping the globe.

Sarah subscribes to the KonMari method outlined in the bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Cleaning Up.

It’s based on the principle of asking yourself whether an item sparks joy in your life when you’re deciding whether to keep, store or chuck.

Looks like my ironing board is heading for the scrap heap then. If I can just remember where I’ve put it.

Spring cleaning tips

SARAH recommends starting your spring clean in your wardrobe, while you’re packing away your winter woollies. Be ruthless.

BUT if you can’t bear to part with something, pack it away in a plastic tub. If you miss it after six months, bring it back. Otherwise it’s off to eBay, Gumtree or your local charity store. Ladies, look at it this way, more room in your wardrobe for those new purchases.

NEXT, move on to the linen cupboard. Mine is messier than a doctor’s handwriting. I know there are life hacks that involve folding a fitted sheet like origami and storing your pillowcases inside your doona covers, but my storage strategy consists of stuffing things into the cupboard until they fall on my head when I open the door.

YOUR third mission, should you choose to accept it, is the pantry and the fridge.

SPRING is the time to discard the comfort food and start getting into good habits for bathers weather. Start with the random spices up the back. Why do I have so much paprika? What does one even use paprika for? I can’t find the salt and pepper but if you want a little sprinkle of paprika on your sandwich, we’re good to go.

GETTING started on your spring clean is the hardest part. Sarah says start small and stay on task. This is easier said than done.

My cleaning spirit animal is Dory from Finding Nemo. I’ll start sorting through a drawer and three hours later I’m reading old school yearbooks and lamenting every hair choice I’ve ever made.

OK, team, let us go forth, invest in storage boxes and label makers and spring clean.

Remember, if it doesn’t bring you joy, it’s got to go. Anyone got a mini-skip I can borrow?

Follow Rebecca on Twitter @rebeccamorse10

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