After months of a dark and cold winter, I understand fully why spring-cleaning exists. The sun is pouring into my windows (which is wonderful), except now I’m seeing all the dust that has accumulated over the past few months. Eeks! Hey, it’s hard to thoroughly clean when it’s cloudy and dark outside for weeks at a time. And, in all honesty, when Vitamin D levels are low.
This month I have been slowly tackling some of those deep-cleaning chores. It isn’t fun, but it is rewarding. As I’m cleaning, I’m also looking for little ways to “dress up” the house as I go. I bought a new pillow for the sofa and some new hand towels. It wasn’t expensive but made a big difference in my daily life. Spring-scented candles give the atmosphere a boost, especially on rainy days. And, most importantly, adding a bouquet of fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s to our table makes all the difference. I promise you, no matter the state of your house (or your mental health), if there are fresh flowers on the table then things seem right with the world. There is hope.
My spring-cleaning has been helped along by these two books:
The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith – First, I’ve got to tell you, I bought this book for a dollar at my local library’s used book sale. Score! This book is filled with beautiful, inspiring pictures and loaded with ideas and tips for organizing and decorating your house. The best part is that her ideas are attainable. She pulls ideas from her real life. And now it has me dreaming up ideas for my own house.
Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan – This book is like the dictionary for cleaning tips and ideas. It is filled with “recipes” for making your own cleaning supplies that are not toxic or harmful to the environment. I know what you’re thinking and I was thinking the same thing too: Do they actually work? Yes, of the recipes that I’ve tried (it’ll take a lifetime to get through all of them), they worked. I will admit that making all your own cleaning supplies is not always convenient but there are a few that I can’t live without.
In fact, this book inspired the all-purpose spray that I use to clean everything from counters to windows to electronics. I fill a spray bottle with half-parts vinegar and bottled water and several drops (about 10, depending on the size of the bottle) of essential oil such as lavender or grapefruit. It’s so easy and cheap and works on everything!
In addition to cleaning, we’re also slowly painting our way through our house. But that’s a topic for another blog post.
Click here for a complete spring-cleaning checklist from the guru, Martha Stewart.
Do you have any tips, inspiration or advice for spring-cleaning projects? Please share in the comments.