: Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at freedigitalphotos.net/ A home makeover may be just what you need to give you a fresh outlook
Today, I have been busy doing something that I usually avoid, and yes, that I have many times declared I dislike intensely: housework.
I decided that today (well, actually I have dedicated several days for this task) was the time to not just shove things in the cupboard that were unsightly, thus giving a superficial appearance of having a tidy place – something I have often done when I am expecting someone to come over. When I clean and tidy in this way, the motive is to hide the fact from unsuspecting visitors of a horrible truth: I am in fact very slack when it comes to housework.
No, this time, I was doing this for me. And I was going to make sure it was going to be enjoyable. And yes it can be! Okay, during the cleaning process there are those undulations of mood: “Gee I hate this” and “I need a rest” to “oh my goodness, the place does look rather nice. Most importantly, the most rewarding thing I have found about cleaning, is not the dusting, vacuuming and that kind of thing, though yes (sigh) it is part of the process (and the rewards are well worth it).
No, the best part for me was the sorting, the organising, and mostly – making my place my own. Now I live alone, so it is easy for me to have one hundred percent freedom (well as far as the landlord would probably allow, because I rent) to do this. Now, I cannot promise this is going to happen but just rearranging things, you know, putting things in a different place, adding some decorative pretty things like flowers, well, it can be amazingly therapeutic.
In addition, throwing out stuff that ‘you might just need or want some day’ but you know deep within you that you probably won’t, it can be very cathartic to just get rid of it. Alternatively, you can put aside items that are in a fairly good condition to put in a garage sale, or to be more altruistic, you can donate them to people who might appreciate them. This is especially great with clothes. Like many women, I have accumulated far too many clothes, many which I just don’t wear. Lifeline or other op shops would be very willing to take them in.
Another motivational factor is writing a list before you begin. Systematically go through the place, and write down all the tasks you want to accomplish. Just crossing them off item by item can lead to a feeling that yes, you are getting somewhere.
Also, put on up-beat music. Before you begin, pull out all your favourites. Listening to happy music while you work (and a word of advice – stay awake from tear-jerking music, you’ll probably want to lie on your bed morosely if you play this kind of music).
Have frequent breaks. Use this time to look around and soak up the great looking atmosphere you have created.
Okay, so you have a fabulous looking place. The tricky thing is to maintain it. At the risk of over-simplifying matters, the trick to keeping it this way is merely put things back once you have removed or used them.
A tidy and creative place is something that you can use to express your individuality. If you don’t live alone, have a place that is your own, even if it’s your garden, your study, but it’s great to create a place of peace.
Set aside time to make your place, or some space your own. Don’t make it a chore: consider it a time to reinvent your place, or keep what you want, and get rid of what you don’t use.
Another plus to spring cleaning (done in the winter time!): you will find things that you forgot you had, thought you had lost, or that you will spend time just enjoying because you haven’t come across it in a long time!