Peter shares his tips on the best ar­eas to tackle to re­fresh your home (and your mind!)

Inside Out (Australia) - - Contents - WORDS PETER WALSH

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.

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