Yep, it’s that time of year: Time to open and clean windows, flip mattresses, clean bedding and pretty much what-ever-cleaning-needs-to-be-done-now-that-the-weather-is nicer and we want to get our homes spruced up!
But, is it all work or could we have a different kind of motivation behind it this time?
A young Japanese woman’s book on decluttering and organizing (which has sold over three million copies worldwide) gave me a ‘light-bulb moment’: “Hold each item,” she says, “and ask, ‘Does it spark joy?’” If the answer is yes, keep it. If the answer is no, then give it away.
Marie Kondo’s book, the life-changing magic of tidying up, is now one of my favorite books ever on the subject of organizing. The heart of her message is helping people get rid of unneeded things in their homes and closets – which can truly weigh them down.
So, I’d like to give you a list of what you might want to spring clean. (Of course, this is just a list – don’t feel pressure that you have to do it all or now. Only you know what will bring you joy with your spring cleaning). And then while you are cleaning and decluttering, ask yourself which possessions give you joy…and which don’t. What a great way to get rid of all our stuff!
- Start in the bedrooms. Launder all mattress and pillow covers, dust ruffles, blankets and comforters. Go through your dresser and bed side tables and declutter. Vacuum under the bed and behind furniture. Get rid of anything that’s causing too much clutter as old magazines, un-used exercise equipment, etc. Your goal should be a clutter free, calming effect so that you will want to sleep there!
- Bathrooms. Launder all shower curtains or clean shower doors and tracks. Go through your towels/linen closet and throw away any old towels/sheets that are ratty. Submerge your shower head in a plastic bag full of warm vinegar and secure with a zip tie and allow to soak until clean. Clean floors, counters, sinks, toilet, bath tub and mirrors like you never have! Go through bathroom cabinets and drawers and throw away all out-dated items and prescriptions.
- Kitchen. You may want to clear out/organize all your cabinets and drawers, especially your pantry – throw out all out-dated food, old flour, old spices, cereal, and anything that could cause bugs to come in. Clean and wipe insides of drawers (especially the utensil drawers), cabinets inside and outside, counters, stove top, microwave, oven, inside of garbage cans, back splashes and appliances. Empty and scrub down the inside of your refrigerator and throw away any food or condiments that are old. End with a good cleaning of the floor.
So that you don’t feel completely overwhelmed, I’ll continue this wonderful discussion next time! But while you wait, walk through your home and start your own list of what needs to be done this spring.
And the best reward of cleaning and getting rid of clutter and stuff? You will feel like a ton of weight has been lifted off your shoulders!
Manna from Heaven
Looking at our everyday tasks and responsibilities, we see that not all of them are enjoyable. But we can ask, “How can this spark joy in God’s heart and in my own?” A change in why we do things can bring a transformation in the way we feel about them.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Philippians 4:8