March 25, 2015

The Happy Spring Clean

My 15 minutes bus ride to and from work has me currently stuck my nose deep into Gretchen Rubins „Happier at home“. It’s the sequel to her popular “Happiness Project” she published several years ago. I am not unhappy or anything, but I learned so much from her first project that when the book popped up in our library system I just had to borough it. I’m only into the second chapter, but already so inspired.

Her words on possessions and how they contribute to our happiness basically ignited a very familiar feeling: The urge to just toss, clean and simplify the mess that is our home, ripping it from its grimy corners and overcrowded cupboards.

In other words: It’s time for a spring clean! With my mental to-do list just exploding upon Rubin’s words I realized the simple monthly cleaning schedule won’t do it this year. I need to dig deeper. As the inspiration of a month-long to-do-list wears off at the latest when I have to motivate myself to get the scrub out and work through the oven on a random Wednesday night.

Instead I thought I could do my own little happiness project: The Happy Spring Clean. A three months undertaking aimed to clean, de-clutter and enhance our home. No daily schedule, instead some actionable monthly resolutions to remind me of my goals and dreams I have for our little home.

Here is the plan.

The Happy Spring Clean

April – The month of cleaning

Develop a weekly cleaning schedule: By the end of the month I hope to have created a cleaning schedule that over time will engrain all those little chores into my daily habit – making it second nature instead of a constant source of annoyance.
Clean the forgotten spaces: Some things just need to get done and this is a simple to-do-list of the half yearly cleaning essentials.
Create and curate cleaning supplies baskets: My goal is to have a fix set of supplies ready in handy baskets to make daily chores run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

May – The month of de-cluttering

Go shelf by shelf:A resolution by Gretchen Rubin and a great reminder to tackle the clutter bit by bit to avoid paralysation.
Donate, toss, and repair: My vow to decide on the future of each item and act upon my decision by donating the unwanted, getting rid of the un-useful and repair the broken.
Give everything a place: The amount of stuff that just lies around somewhere is immense in our household; to keep the clutter at bay I want every item to have its own place.

June – The month of cherishing the season

Use your stash: Instead on continuing the add-on after the de-clutter, I first want to use what we already have.
Create a shrine: Another resolution from Gretchen Rubin and she explains it best, “Cultivating my possessions, [...] wasn’t a simple matter of organization, elimination, or accumulation; it was a matter of engagement.” I want to cherish the things we have not only by giving them their place, but by showcasing them and the memories they stand for.
Make mindful additions: Much in the mindset of the capsule wardrobe concept; I want to think about the additions I make to the house; sourcing and curating my purchases carefully.

I think I have never been so excited about a cleaning project. Bring it on spring!

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