Making a Clean Sweep

by Scarlett Lovitt
(Houston,Texas)

Unless you are a full-time stay-at-home mom, with constant cleaning help, most homes will accumulate a certain amount of clutter and disorder within a certain amount of time. This is because it is part of the human condition to accrue various items and hold onto them.

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You may not necessarily be a hoarder by nature, but how many of us put aside pieces of paper and documentation, intending to file them later, or leave various items of clothing untouched in the cupboard for months and years, for no particular reason? And even if most of the stuff that we own has its particular storage space, as time goes by, these drawers, shelves, and cupboards eventually become overfull.

For this reason, many households follow a practice of spring cleaning, using the time when the seasons change to alter the situation at home. But you don’t need to wait till the spring to sort out your home. If you have a few days’ extra vacation or you simply want to make a clean sweep, you should do it whenever it’s convenient for you.

Making a clean sweep does not have to be too drastic or ruthless either. You don’t have to throw away everything you own or love. But you do need to make some practical, honest decisions:

- Do you really think that you will lose the weight that you have gained since the birth of your two children, so that you can wear the clothes that have been hanging in your closet unused for the past ten years? And even if you do, would you still want to wear those styles? Maybe you – or the fashions - have changed.

- Find out if you really need those old bills from two apartments ago that were paid up in full at the time. If not, then it’s time to dump them and make more space for other, more relevant documentation.

- What is the state of your accessories and furnishings, such as area rugs? If the floral rug in the living room is threadbare and worn, it might be time to get another one. And what about the oval rug in the bathroom? Does that still do its job properly? And even if these rugs are in reasonable condition, do they still match your furniture? Do you have too many of them?

- And then there are the family heirlooms, keepsakes, and other objects that you are keeping merely for sentimental reasons. If they are taking up too much space, you don’t have to throw them all out, especially if they remind you of someone special. But it might be an idea to go through them and see whether you still feel so attached to them, especially if they have spent the past ten years in cardboard boxes in the garden shed.

By looking at them with fresh eyes, you may find a more practical use for them, such as using them for decorations in your living room. Wash and polish them and see how you feel afterwards. And remember that if something is really useless or cannot be cleaned and repaired, you are not disrespecting the memory of your loved one by throwing it out.

Remember that making a clean sweep will not only provide order in your home, but also in your life.

Senior staff writer Scarlett willingly shares her wealth of creative tips on home decorating and how to keep everything organized. Stop by her favorite store for the latest in decor floor fashion including flokati rugs and other natural area rugs.

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