By: Jordan Elizabeth
Spring is here, and according to Martha Stewart, it’s time to clean up. Generally, I do enjoy a good Spring refresher...for about 45 minutes then I’m over it and consider hiring a cleaning lady for the 1,000th time that month. It’s true - you and your stuff are cooped up all winter, and you gotta let that fresh air in, dust it all off, and brighten up your living space to end the crippling depression induced by the cold weather and being trapped indoors.
If you never hired someone else to clean the grout in your bathroom and don’t want to spend a week doing it yourself, here’s my lazy-woman's guide to a spring refresher:
1. Dust Under Everything That Isn't Heavy.
This is the one time a year you should actually move things out of the way to dust, and not just dust around picture frames or the DVR box. There’s a lot of stuff under there that might be getting into your lungs and slowly putting you into respiratory failure. On the flip side, when you only fully dust once a year, the added build-up makes it super gratifying to clean, hence you won’t stop after 5 minutes. By the same token, don’t be a hero and move bookshelves and other heavy furniture. Getting those last pesky dust bunnies is no excuse to get a hernia or have an armoire fall on you like you’re an angry villager in “Beauty and the Beast.” Do what I’m do and just move on - and hope you’re more of a go-getter next time around.
2. Purge Your Possessions!
We all have too much crap. So when you’re moving stuff around to dust and organize, use that time to really go through everything you own. I make 3 piles: stuff I can donate, stuff I can sell on eBay and stuff I think I’m too fat for right now but think I can get into if I lose some winter weight/wear enough pairs of spanx. Donating clothes and home items not only makes you feel like you’re a really nice person, but if you have enough, The Salvation Army will pick it up for you and it’s also a tax write-off, so everybody wins. As for selling things, I’ve sold everything from jeans to jewelry to electronics on eBay. If it’s in good shape, chances are you get someone to pay you for it (just don’t do free shipping, because between that and the fees eBay takes out, you’re not making any money). And a final note about getting rid of clothes: I suggest not trying on your Spring/Summer clothes right away. If you’re like me, you’re a tad “softer” after all those Hot Chocolates with marshmallows, so just wear your stretchy workout gear until you lose your winter fluff, then give it a go. Remember, we are fighting winter depression, we can’t fall into a fashion depression.
3. Buy New Sheets.
I’m not going to pretend I will redecorate, buy fresh flowers, or in any way overhaul my apartment just because the sun’s out. What I will do is buy new sheets and a new duvet cover. Here’s the deal: I wash my sheets every 2 weeks which I think is passable. But once I’ve looked at them for months, I’m over them. My mother would tell me to rotate pairs, but that seems like a lot of storage and I still haven’t mastered the fitted-sheet-fold, so I generally just toss them and buy new ones bi-annually. Call it frivolous, but it freshens up the room, gives you a new lease on life (maybe that’s over selling sheets, but there is something about a new bed set that puts a spring in my step...see what I did there?).
4. Paint One Wall.
No one has time to paint a whole apartment, let alone house. I’ve planned on painting every apartment I’ve ever lived in and have never done it. But when I decided to paint ONE “accent wall” (HGTV taught me that), it only took me 4 weeks of procrastinating to get it done. And then it took literally 2 hours to do, which is shorter than a Happy Hour! Pick a bold color and/or pattern, map it out with that fun blue painter’s tape and get going! It takes an afternoon at best, and really does make a difference. I get more compliments on that one wall I painted stripes on then I think I have ever gotten personally in my whole life.
Lastly, open the windows and let that spring breeze get that funky smell out. I don’t know who has the time to clean the refrigerator coils or wash the curtains. Okay, I know a lot of people find the time, but that’s not important. What is important, is to do just enough work that your home feels clean and bright, but you’re still done in time for that 6:00pm dinner reservation with patio seating. Because nothing says “spring” like having a glass of Rosé outside.