THREE KEY SPOTS FOR SPRING CLEANING
Peter shares his tips on the best areas to tackle to refresh your home (and your mind!)
Decluttering guru Peter Walsh tackles one of his favourite times of the year
Q I know I should get started on spring-cleaning, but it’s all a bit overwhelming. Where should I start?
A Alice, Glenorchy, TAS I love spring. The weather warms up, the trees and lowers bloom, people feel more romantic. But one of my favourite things about spring is that it’s time for spring-cleaning!
It’s not that I love to clean, it’s more that I love everything that spring-cleaning can bring. There’s the promise of rebirth, of regeneration. It’s a time to take stock of the past year and look at what’s gone right and what hasn’t. Spring-cleaning is not just about dusting and cleaning the home. It’s much broader than that and gives you a chance to clean out some of those areas of your life – physical and mental – that you’ve been meaning to address.
Does this sound a little vague? Well, let me clarify what I mean with my three favourite areas to tackle at this time of year. 1. Clean out your wardrobe. You should have three types of clothes in the wardrobe – those that get you compliments, those you feel good wearing, and those that it you NOW. The rest should go. Yes, I know you paid good money for that item. Yes, I know there are items that still have the price tags on them. Stop making excuses and get rid of all the pieces of clothing that will only ever be worn by an imaginary other you. Here’s why. Those expensive clothes you don’t love to wear? They’re mistakes you’ve made that can’t be undone. We’ve all made mistakes, but stop looking at yours constantly and reliving them every time you open your closet. Thin out your wardrobe, keep only what you love and wear, and you’ll ind it much easier to get dressed in the morning. 2. Sort out your pantry. There are plenty of reasons to give the pantry a clean-out. First, the back shelves are where old food past its expiry date goes to die. It’s also where those exotic, spontaneous supermarket choices hide. Clear it all out – it’s either bad-choice fantasy food or past its best. Second, it’s hard to eat a healthier diet with those chips and biscuits front and centre. Reorganise your pantry with the least healthy foods in the hardest-to-reach spaces. A functional pantry will inspire you to make more healthy meals – and if your kitchen is a place of good-for-you choices, you’ll be more likely to stay on track. 3. Banish one bad habit. Take a few moments to think and re lect on the past year. What are some things in your life you wish were di erent? Is it the amount of food or alcohol you consume? The lack of communication with a former friend? The amount of time you devote to a health regime or a hobby? What are some steps you can take towards changing the behaviour you want to improve? It’s possible. Spring, with all its promise, is the time to do this. Choose just one area or behaviour and start a plan to accomplish that goal. This form of spring-cleaning is the best gift you can give yourself.
“IF YOU ONLY HAVE 10 MINUTES! ” Spend ive minutes pulling food items from the back of your pantry. Discard any past their use-by date and use the rest in at least three meals for the coming week.
Peter Walsh, the ‘get your whole life organised guy’, is an Aussie currently based in Los Angeles.