Written by Contributing Blogger, Audrea.
And so it begins…the last month of summer. The month where you start to smell fall creeping in but the heat makes you feel like it won’t be anytime soon. It’s my month where I start to prepare for the second half of the year, harking back to the days of preparing for school and for the dreaded September 1 move. And just like many Augusts before, I’m preparing for yet another move.
Not wanting to pay for storage and realizing that I have everything I really need, I’m really trying to be selective this time around. Tonight, as I sit in my 380 square foot apartment I contemplate what I really need to pack. I can’t stand clutter, and like to keep a tidy home. A place that I can come home to after a hard day’s work, take off my shoes, make a nice dinner and just relax with a good book (and/or a glass of wine). It’s hard to feel relaxed if there are stacks of papers reminding you of to-dos, a full sink of dishes and a pile of clothes to be put away.
It’s amazing what a clean home can do for your psychic and your stress-level. Have you ever come home from a relaxing vacation and walked into a mess? It’s like you’re instantly a stress-case again. All the good, healthy endorphins is replaced with that ugly, stress-causing energy that sucks you’re well-rested, relaxed glow. In Gretchen Rubin’s book, ‘The Happiness Project’, she said the number one thing that made her the happiest in her year-long expert was keeping a clean home. And in Marie Kondo’s book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’, she advises “Keep only the things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. When you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too. As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need in life and what you don’t.”
As I prepare for my next round of decluttering, I want to share a few hints I have picked up along the way:
- Clean your sink every night: I had a friend in grad school tell me this and it really works. Every night before bed, make sure that your kitchen sink is empty. That means dishes are gone and the sink is washed down. It’s amazing how good it feels to have an empty sink when making coffee in the am
- Make your bed: It takes 2 minutes and the effect is fantastic
- Lighten up: If you haven’t used it in 6 months, you don’t need it (NOTE: Holiday decorations and power tools don’t count)
- Buy flowers: Buy yourself an inexpensive bouquet of flowers each week and divide into different vases around the house. The cheery, flowers really brighten the atmosphere and it’s worth the seven bucks
- Splurge on some help: Every once and a while, hire a professional to come in a deep clean. It’s like a massage for your home
Keeping less and keeping things tidy means you spend less time cleaning, freeing up time to do more things that make you happy. So roll-up your sleeves, give stuff to charity, put in a little elbow grease and prepare to feel lighter and happier.
Image Quote: William Morris