Spring in The Step
If there is one month that is marked with natural wonder, September takes the prize. Already little buds of green are popping out of the otherwise ‘dead’ tree branches throughout town. But my favourite are the Peach blossoms – they are a dead giveaway…spring is in the air!
When nature makes a turn for the best you must also follow suit – and starts spring cleaning! Time to put the stuffiness that comes with the winter snug out, clean, de-clutter and reorganize
Sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be, if done quickly and effectively and more importantly, with a plan. Implement the six ‘R’s and keep your carbon footprint to a minimum. And, most of all, have fun – put on your favourite playlist, make games out of chores for the kids, and get your hubby to dust off the DIY kit, as it’s bound to come in handy soon!
First step, prepare very carefully a plan for each space of your home. Second step, determine the problem areas in each room, and then decide what you are keeping, selling, giving away and throwing-out. This will help de-clutter your home.
When it comes to going through your closet to make those seasonal changes in your wardrobe, this is the rule to follow: when one piece of clothing enters one must be removed, and this is not always easy to do. Everything that hasn’t been worn or used in the last two years is to pass along or to throw away, if it is no longer usable.
So, to help in sorting through all the stuff, sort them out as follows:
1. REUSE / KEEP
Not everything needs to be thrown away at a whim, nowadays there are so many ways of reusing what has been designed for a specific purpose, to be used in a new way. For instance, an old tin container can be used for storing stationary. Or, punch a few holes in them, and use as candle holder when entertaining outdoors.
But it also need not be only the smalls – consider giving an old piece of furniture a new splash of colour by painting it, to be reuse in another room for another purpose.
2. REFUSE / THROW AWAY
Throw Away anything that has expired – such as your medical supplies and cleaning agents, old batteries, no longer working appliances etc. Remember to dispose of wisely and in a manner not harmful to nature or people. And while you are at it – why not invest in some green cleaning agents. Do away with chemicals that leave your skin dry and your pans tasting funny. “Throw away” also means finding out about local recycling places. So wisely dispose things off in an environmentally friendly way.
3. RECYCLE / RELOCATE
Recycling does not need to mean the obvious. Recycling also means relocating, or reusing in another way. Move things around until you find a suitable use for them if you don’t want to throw them away, or have grown an attachment to them. But be honest with yourself, whatever can’t be reused or relocated, has to be disposed of.
4. REACH OUT / GIVE AWAY
There are a great number of people in dire need of the supplies we throw out on a daily basis. You can please a family in need, or ask at the local churches, by giving them objects, clothes or furniture you will no longer be using but that are still good for another life elsewhere. It’s the same for cans of paint, varnish or construction material which can be used in renovating a room or a community space where there is no budget for any materials or supplies. But again, make sure they are still usable and non-toxic before handing them over elsewhere.
5. RETAIL / SELL
Got something you think is worth something, and don’t know what to do with it. Sell it. Often we hang onto things of value that we don’t need. Have a yard sale, garage sale or jumble sale. Either way, you are bound to get a few of the unwanted goods out of the house and gain a little extra cash to treat yourself to an ice cream after the hard work is done.
“There must be a reason why some people can afford to live well. They must have worked for it. I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use.” – Mother Teresa
This is an important ‘R’- this should be considered a mandatory part of de-cluttering, organizing and living green. Research! Nowadays there are many websites and blogs which give you a whole new perspective of reusing and recycling, not to mention a good number of green home solutions. Use the resources you have available and find ideas even before you start the big task of spring cleaning.
An after note
De-clutter your home and have your spaces organized. You will feel exhilarated, like someone put the bounce back into your step. It will be as if a big weight has been lifted, and you are able to breathe again. If the idea of a full house spring clean seems too much for you to handle, then do a few areas over a course of a few days, or weeks. Try it with the room you use the most first.
Stress is often caused by a lack of organization, especially when you are looking for something you are sure you had. Being organized will save you time, energy and a lot of frustration.
Green Drain Cleaner: Add half a cup of white Vinegar down the drain, followed by half a cup of baking soda. Plug up the hole and keep it there, and wait until the fizzing stops. Now follow with half a kettle boiling water. Voila!!
Pan Degreaser: Add hot water to the pot or pan. Add ¼ cup vinegar and the juice of 1 lemon. Allow to soak for a few minutes. Drain the water, and wash as normal. If grease is still stubborn, add a spoonful of baking soda and use one half of the lemon as a scourer to rub over grease to release it.
Glass Cleaner: Mix 1/8 cup Vinegar to ¼ Tablespoon Cornstarch (Maizena) and 1 cup warm water in a spray container. Don’t spray too much!! Clean with newspaper for a streak-free finish.
By: Imelda Morupule
Plot 80, Unit 4, Letlanya House, Gaborone International Commerce Park, Botswana