The season of renewal is among us! And if you’re not quite experiencing Spring yet where you live, I’m sure you’re at least gearing up for it. It’s time to freshen things up and clear things out! But what to do? Where to start? Don’t fret. Room to Breathe has 10 great starting points for you to reset and feel lighter! Let’s start with making winter a thing of the past shall we (well, for now anyway…)
Let's get started:
1. Welcome Home
Winter is a bulky season and it can take over your front entrance. It’s time to think about putting it all away: coats, hats, scarves, gloves and quite possibly a mountain of footwear. Look at each piece with a critical eye. Anything that no longer fits or wasn’t worn this season can be given away or donated. Keep only the coats and footwear that are in regular use here to avoid overcrowding. Put away anything else that does not belong in your entrance, give everything a quick clean and enjoy the airy entrance as you walk through your front door.
2. Old Electronics Go To a Better Place
Grab a box and go hunting for those snakes of unused cords, chargers and defunct phones that seem to lurk in every drawer and cupboard of your home. Check to make sure they no longer match any electronics currently in use. Drop them off for e-cycling at numerous places around the city. For future, put a small label on the cords and chargers to identify their mate. When you stop using a particular device you can confidently recycle the cord at the same time. There’s no use hanging on to miscellaneous cords ‘just-in-case’. You’ll likely be hanging on those cords for a long time.
3. Cardboard Hits the Curb
You know all those empty boxes from Christmas purchases you’ve been saving just in case? It’s time to collapse them and get them ready to hit the curb. Take a quick look around and see if any other recycling has been piling up. Put it all in those lovely blue bins and get it to the street.
4. Toys in the Closets
Toys can take over your home if you let them and if you’ve ever stepped on a piece of Lego in bare feet ….well you get the point. Spring is a great time to work with your kids to weed out any broken or unused toys or simply to reduce the volume. Decide on a charitable organization together and allow your children to enjoy the benefits of donating and living with less.
When it comes to remaining toys that are in good condition but have been outgrown, consider toy trading! There are both online groups and brick-and-mortar stores for kids to trade their past favourites for something new! This is a great way to cycle through toys without them amounting to mass piles. To start, this online group is a great resource for Calgary, and Toy Traders in Langley for those in BC!
5. Freezer Clear Out
Like any good Canadian you’ve probably been stockpiling food for the cold weather. Oh Canada, where Costco shopping sprees and impulse purchases abound. Make sure you get the most bang for your buck and start to use up these supplies. Go through your freezer and incorporate your finds into delicious meals over the next few weeks, before any freezer burn sets in and it goes to waste! Then if possible, before doing a restock, give those freezer shelves and drawers a good wipe-down!
6. Kitchen Cupboards Reset
Revisit your cupboards to use up edible food and toss the contents of those expired packages……in the compostable green bin of course. Did you come across any unused dishes or small appliances during your search? Put them in a donate pile and get ready to give them to a worthy cause.
All of this will make glorious room in your cupboards and while you’re at it, also give everything here a good wipe-down. Kitchen spring cleaning= done! Voila.
7. Paperwork Extravaganza
It’s time to clear away any piles of paper that have grown tall over the winter. Walk through your home with an empty box and start to fill it with all the loose papers you find. Make a cup of coffee and put on some relaxing music. Get out your shredder and recycling bag, sit down, and start to sort into categories: Shred, Recycle, Action, and File. Take care of these and then take a look around and enjoy seeing all those clear surfaces!
8. Reclaim Your Space
Take a peek in your “overflow” rooms where deferred decisions are alive and well. These are spaces like the garage, basement, or spare bedroom that are filled with “I’ll deal with it later” items. Give yourself a boost this spring and start to clear these out. If it’s broken, not in use, or an unwanted gift it’s time to let it go. Find homes for the belongings that are important and free up space to use these rooms productively. With the nice weather here make sure you have room in the garage to easily access bicycles and camping gear.
9. Bedroom Oasis
The end of the winter season is the perfect time to switch out your wardrobe for warmer weather clothing. Put winter wear into bins or vacuum-seal bags and store them elsewhere in your home if you can. Any clothing that you no longer love, doesn’t fit or has been hanging in your closet all season is out the door. Clear off the tops of your dressers and under your bed giving it a nice dust and vacuum. Put on some fresh sheets and luxuriate in your newly freshened comfort space!
10. Bathroom Bliss
When old shampoo bottles, dried-up pieces, of soap and five shades of blue nail polish start to pile up it’s time to take action. Pull out everything from under your bathroom sink and the drawers. Give it all a wipe and put back only the products you’re currently using. Rinse out and recycle empty containers and fill a box with the products that you no longer want. Find a charitable organization in town (like a homeless shelter) that will take unopened products. Shine your mirror until it sparkles, put out some fresh towels, and run a hot bath to reward all your hard work!
And, as always, connect with us if you need someone to walk through these steps with you!
Happy Spring Everyone!