Let's be real. Every year we dread the daunting task of spring cleaning. So this year, I turned to Paige Loczi for a few of her go-to tips on cleaning your home for spring in an untraditional, yet rejuvenating way.
Organize Your Books — By COLOR
Organizing bookshelves by color, rather than by title, author, or subject, is a well-established trend that we like to revisit when a home needs a simple, yet effective dose of love. In a way it could be seen as color therapy, but some question whether it is a cool design idea or evidence that you are a poseur who doesn't really read books. We of course do NOT think the latter and see it as a way to organize and associate your library with power of color!
There are varies reasons why one would arrange a rainbow-hued bookshelf. For one thing, it looks pretty. And though it might look stylized, using color as an organizing tool actually lends it a random, serendipitous quality that is both refreshing and a little against the rules. Apartment Therapy argued that “traditional organization methods like alphabetical by author, fiction/non-fiction or subject matter don't work for everyone,” adding that “visual thinkers” might remember the bright blue cover of the novel they read last summer, rather than who wrote it, or its title. Lastly, it fun for the little kiddos. Now they can too help you clean up the book shelf in the living room or better yet, in their own rooms without having to be literary geniuses. (we know they probably already are!)
Bring Home The Flowers
Bringing home flowers is not just a task for the guilty spouse saying sorry of for special occasions. Adorning your home with fresh cut live flowers literally brings more life to your space. It could be as simple as picking up a few stems of lilies from a bodega and arranging them in your bathroom (like our modern Victorian remodel above). The universal language of flowers crosses many cultural boundaries, interpretations and meanings. We find in feng shui, the use of the flowers as a symbol is based on the universal feeling that flowers evoke in all humans a feeling of grace and beauty.
Live flowers bring a strong healing energy. In addition to the energy of beauty and grace, flowers are said to bring good luck and numerous blessing. Paying attention to the color and number of flowers is also very symbolic when arranging your flowers. But in the spirit of anti-spring cleaning we feel its best to stay away from rules and will leave your floral arrangement to your personal artistic expression and interpretation!
Plan A Clothing Swap
WE HAVE TOO MANY CLOTHES! In the Western world, it is said to be the one thing we waste, after food and water. Whether it garments are from the Target, the thrift store of Tom Ford, we all seem to have a lot of it that we often don't wear. Raise your hand if you were recently on a trip; packed too many clothes (to have options) and ended up wearing the same two outfits the entire time.
Paige suggests for such a daunting task, start by, 1; having proper hangers. This keeps everything hanging securely and makes those pieces easier to find. 2: Some people will tell you to stack your shoe boxes, and others will recommend buying shoe organizers, the choice it up to you and your budget, but organizing your shoes and keeping them off of the floor will help a great deal. 3: Holding on to clothes for sentimental purposes are okay if you have extra storage but if they don't fit you and no longer serve you and your style, it might be time to put them in that clothing swap pile. If you still long for them during the swap then keep it! 4: Only keep pieces you have worn within the year and that are in good condition. 5: Schedule a clothing swap before you begin cleaning our your closet. This will give you a deadline and it will be a fun reward. Paige reminds us that you don't have to come home with a lot of items from a clothing swap, just a few pieces that are stunning, fit well and stand out to you.
Remember that the idea is to get you and your friends together to clean out your closets and donate to a non-profit that really needs your clothes. Consider Donation Town to schedule an easy pick-up the day after your swap. They work with most local charities including the Arc, Woman, Veteran, and Homeless Shelters, Goodwill, and Salvation Army.
Smudging Your Home With Sage
Practiced by the Indigenous peoples of America and throughout the world, smudging (or burning herbs like incense) is a ceremony that anyone can participate in without subscribing to any particular belief. It is simply a way to clear the home of old energy and to cleanse it with your positive and healthy vibrations. Whatever natural plants, resins, herbs or other aromatic ingredients are used for spiritual smudging, it is important to understand that the ceremony is a participatory one. In some ways, while it is absolutely essential to use pure organic ingredients, the ritualistic aspect is stronger than what is in the smoke. Allowing oneself to be soothed in this wonderful and aromatic smoke and to encouraging positive energies to fill a room as the smoke fills it is a way of clearing and healing the human soul, and of creating your sacred space. Being fully present, aware, positive, and centered during a smudging ceremony is the key.
Swap Out Your Throw Pillows
We all know that adding throw pillows can instantly refresh the appearance of your home. This quick fix will give your room just what it has been missing without putting a huge dent in your wallet. Add some decorative throw pillows to your favorite couch, accent chair, or add them on top of your bed to give your room the touch of color, while still providing an air of sophistication and comfort.
Since pillows are relatively inexpensive, it's one area in the home where it's easy to follow trends. Start by selecting a color palette. Mix and match prints using your selected color palette. Customize your throw pillows by choosing an array of different shapes, fabric and colors. It's okay to use a lot of pillows for a lush and comfy feel. You may find that a few pillows might spark an inspiration to finding the perfect wall color in a room, too! Don't be afraid to mix colors, patterns and materials! Paige notes that reversible pillows allow you to switch up your style and change a room by simply flipping your pillow over! How easy is that?
Clean Your Home With Green
Next time you go shopping for cleaning supplies, consider picking up houseplants instead. Indoor plants filter the air in your home by reducing pollutants, airborne bacteria and fungi are are known to add humidity needed to help respiratory and allergic conditions (goodbye springtime allergies).
Researchers have found that houseplants can purify and revitalize air in our homes and offices, protecting us from the negative effects of such common toxins as ammonia, formaldehyde, and benzene. To get the most out of your houseplants, set them up (two to three per room) so there is plenty of space around each one for ideal air circulation. Keep the air moist by misting plants often. Avoid locations in the rooms where there are drafts or sudden temperature changes. Most pollutants are absorbed through the leaves, so try to keep the leaves of your plants clean by gently wiping with a damp cloth or a feather duster — because cleaning cute plants are more fun than cleaning your house!
We encourage you to try 1 or all 6 of the tips mentioned above, but want you to do what's best for your home. The importance is to keep a healthy and clean home that inspires you and your family. Don't hesitate to contact us if you need help with a project and are looking to create a more balanced dwelling!