It’s the end of March and many of us are well past the point of giving up on New Year’s resolutions, but we’re just jumping into spring fever and spring-cleaning season. I think this is one of the best times of year to set new goals, habits, and intentions. We’re full of springtime energy and resolve, and there’s so much less pressure and fanfare than during the first days of the New Year.
I looked around at my own apartment the other day and realized just how much winter did me in. Blankets were lazily draped on the couches, clothes were off their hangers, sweatshirts were strewn about (you have to have one in every room!). And I’ll admit it—there was a thick layer of dust on the TV and its stand, which I hadn’t even noticed all winter because it’s been so dark in here. Then the springtime sunshine came streaming in one Saturday morning, illuminating the dust like a less-beautiful version of glittering snow and making me wonder, When’s the last time I saw the microfiber dusting rag?
I tend to make grand spring-cleaning resolutions right around this time of year: I’ll never let my house get this dirty again! I’ll clean the bathrooms every week from now on! I’ll sweep the kitchen floor every night before I go to bed! I won’t buy any more clothes, ever!
This year, I’m setting more sustainable spring cleaning and decluttering goals. I want these to become more than just goals to meet or resolutions to keep, but habits to build. I’m planning to do some major purging when we move in May, but these are the daily habits I want to pursue as we keep moving further into 2015.
1. Devote 10 minutes to tidying up before I go to bed each night. I already do this about half the time, and when I do, my mind feels much more peaceful when my head hits the pillow. I also feel more positive and energized when I wake up to a tidy house (bonus: with the coffee already prepped!), and I’m not tempted to waste time cleaning up during my morning routine. All it really takes is 10 minutes to fold up the blankets, straighten the throw pillows, put the dishes into the dishwasher, throw away junk mail, and hang up that day’s clothing.
2. No impulse purchases for the home. Oh man, what am I getting myself into? I really do think this one is sustainable, though difficult. When we decided to buy a house, I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy anything home-related while we’re still in the apartment. I would wait for our new space so that I wouldn’t buy anything unnecessary. I don’t know about you, but every time I move to a new place I feel the need to buy ALL THE THINGS at Target—and not even just the pretty things! The cleaning supplies! The desk organizers! The storage bins!
I’m declaring publicly that I will not buy a single item for my home that is not a premeditated decision (note: cleaning supplies don’t count). It has to be on my list before I get to the store. If I see something I “need” or that would look great in my living room, I’m going to pass it up. If it’s still on my mind a few days later, and it fits the budget, and it fits my criteria for useful and beautiful, I’ll consider going back for it. With Dan’s approval. I realize this sounds a bit legalistic, but truly, setting firm rules on purchases helps me manage my money wisely. And truth be told, I forget about 95% of the things I just couldn’t live without while I was frolicking around Target.
3. Create a summertime capsule wardrobe. Truth time: I’ve been terrified of creating a capsule wardrobe for really terrible reasons. I like the idea of selecting favorite, versatile pieces and the freedom that comes with having a finite number of items to choose from. But I don’t have tons of versatile pieces; I have a lot of stand-alone outfits. I think capsule wardrobes work best when you have a clear look or style, but to tell you the truth, I don’t really love my style. I’m a V-neck and cardigan kind of girl. I’m not flashy or trendy. I really want to give this a try, though, so I’ll experiment with it after we move into the new house in May, and once Chicago firmly decides that it’s going to stay warm for awhile. You don’t need too many pieces for late spring/early summer (a few sundresses, some shorts, a pair of jeans, some V-necks), so I think it’s a great place to start. In the meantime, though, since this is about spring cleaning, I’m at least going to do a major downsizing of my closet by donating all the items I didn’t wear regularly (every 1-2 weeks) this winter.
Here are the resources I’m using to help me think through and create my capsule wardrobe:
- 40 Pieces in 90 Days, by Daisy at Simplicity Relished
- How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe, by Caroline Rector for TheEveryGirl.com
As you think about the new start that comes with the changing seasons, how do you want to apply that to your own home or daily routine? What are some wintery habits you can kick and new intentions you can set to make way for the freshness of spring?
In the coming weeks, I’ll share more about how I’m making good on these habits (especially the capsule wardrobe), the purging process as we move, and some thoughts on spring cleaning for the soul.