Super Spring Cleaning

24 May

Not kidding, this was my apartment at one point.

I know, my posts are a bit random right now. It’s taking me awhile to get back into the swing of things. This is especially difficult since I have no routine right now. Honestly, I don’t really know what to do with all my free time; it’s kind of freakin’ me out.

But hopefully that’ll change once I start my internship. I filled out the paperwork today and I start next Tuesday! Yay!

Anyway, back to the topic of this post. One of the things I’ve been doing to keep busy is super cleaning my apartment. It feels so good! I know, most of us hate cleaning, even I hate cleaning 98% of the time. But this kind of cleaning is more like purging. It’s getting rid of all the clutter and that just makes us all feel better.

My system:

Step 1-Pick a room and pull out everything that you can lift.

Step 2-Clean the room itself. Sweep out the cobwebs and wash the spots off the walls. Clean the windows and vacuum.

Step 3-Clean the things you couldn’t move. By clean, I mean really clean, not a light dusting. That duct tape that’s been on it for ten years, the gum stuck to the side. Yeah, all that stuff.

Step 4-Now it’s time to start moving things back in, but slowly. Before you put anything back examine it. Ask yourself the following questions about everything.

Is it broken? Then fix it or get rid of it.
Do you use it? If not, get rid of it.
Do you want it? If not, get rid of it.

Yes, those questions are that simple. It doesn’t matter if it was a gift from your mother-in-law. Or if it’s something you “might need someday.” Sentimental value is valid only so far. Photos have value. Grandma’s handmade quilt has value. Six year old paper roses that are crushed and faded so badly they’re unrecognizable do not. I know it hurts, but you have to think about what’s truly valuable to you.

Anything you decide to keep, clean it before putting it away. And by away, I don’t mean back in a box in the closet. Find a place for it. Yes, the closet it a valid place for things like extra blankets and shoes. But it’s not for junk storage (you shouldn’t have any “junk” after all this anyway”).

Now, the big question. Why would anyone want to do this? Because by recognizing what’s truly important and getting rid of everything else, you give the important things a higher place in your life. It’s kind of like this:

Ten years ago, your grandmother gave you a handmade quilt for your wedding. It was so beautiful and you fell in love with it. So much in love with it that you’d hate it see it get worn or dirty. You decide to put it in the closet for safekeeping. Now ten years later, your grandmother has passed away and you’ve forgotten all about her beautiful quilt. It’s buried in the closet beneath clothes that are too small (but someday you’ll fit back into?) and a broken VCR.

Until the day you clean. You get rid of the 27 inspirational wall hangings that were gifts from your in-laws, you get rid of that box of VHS tapes. You pull everything out of that closet and find your grandmother’s quilt. It’s really too beautiful to keep tucked away in a box, you think. So you pull it out and hang it on the wall.

You’ve just given something important a much more prominent place because you got rid of all the other crap.

I think that’s a much better use of space and that’s what this process is really about.

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Posted by on 2011/05/24 in Life, Random


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