Mar 31, 2020
Health & Lifestyle | Kristina Cassar Dowling
I don’t think this article could have come at a better time. With most of the world on lockdown; either full-on quarantine due to recent travel or on self-isolation out of either fear or respect - there’s a lot of us spending an awful amount of time in the house.
While holding down the fort is quite an easy task for the introverts and general remote workers out there; the commuting extroverts might be finding it hard not to pull out every strand of hair in their body and frantically run into a public space due to extreme bouts of FOMO (that’s Fear Of Missing Out - for all those who missed that and panicked). But we’ve got a solution for you: spring cleaning.
Stop your complaining, we’re not talking about polishing your door handles with a toothbrush kind of spring cleaning; we’re talking about reshuffling your stuff to find their purpose in your life again. “Ahh, Marie Kondo style”, you say…. well, yeah Mr Mainstream; we’re gonna Marie Kondo your life while you’re voluntarily trapped in your home.
This is a concept I’ve been practicing for years; (guess I should have given Netflix a call before my Japanese icon huh?) and it’s all about choices. In life, we are given choices on what to do, how to act, what to think and how to deliver our thoughts - hoarding is also a choice, one that in my opinion should more often than not be avoided.
Sustainability is not only about buying the zero packaging product that’s certified organic and vegan; nor is it about going to pick it up on your electric scooter in your hemp shoes, shampoo-bar washed hair flowing in the distance. That’s all cool but that’s not what it’s about.
Sustainability is knowing when to say no to the things you don’t need. It starts with that extra tofu burger at lunch and it scurries all the way down to the latest pair of headphones you’ve been hungry for, for years. Two real examples from my life. I’ll always take that extra tofu burger and I, honestly, love my stuff - things I’m currently working on, but there’s sanity to this… here we go.
4 hot tips to spring clean your house
Whether you live alone or with your family, your personal space might need some decluttering. Go through your stuff and separate it into different sections: a) need b) want c) treasure d) no value.
The need category is pretty straightforward; you need your toothbrush and your minimum 14 pairs of underwear; so keep them.
Top tip: Try out Project 333 for a minimal style wardrobe
The want section is the most selfish of sections, but humans are selfish and you’re allowed to keep things you selfishly want - you’ve worked hard for them and you earned them! If you feel like there are big ticket items in your life that you don’t want anymore; sell them online or donate to your favourite charity.
Top tip: Find a charity that’s close to you and supports a cause you believe in - it will be easier to donate that way.
The treasure segment of this show is the most sentimental one; these are things you can never let go of - and that’s totally fine. These items do not contribute to the clutter in your life, they contribute to the memories.
Top tip: Keep a memory box. I have one from when I was about 10 years old with old trinkets from school friends, notes we passed around school, my first dog’s tennis ball, the ring box we used on our wedding day, the keys to our first car. Cute stuff. Keep them forever.
The no value part of this journey is probably the hardest to come to terms with but the easiest to identify if you’re in this game for the long haul. If you think of this in the mindset that; someone is going to give this jacket, for example, a better life - one that I cannot give it. It doesn’t matter that it’s a Levis Strauss denim, if it doesn’t fit you; it’s wasted in your home. It’s time to let go.
Top tip: It’s great to give to charity, but selling your stuff at a reasonable price is also okay… no shame or guilt at all. Think about it; people hunting down a denim jacket will buy a used product, stop it from hitting the landfill and refuse to contribute to the fashion industry, that we all know is rather shady.
If you’re in the house for a week, your spring cleaning will be pretty much taken care of by then. Buckle up; you’re in for a freeing adventure. Your mental health (and the planet) will thank you for this!