Easter has passed and that means I need to get my b-u-t-t in gear and start a spring cleaning frenzy. There’s nothing better than heading into the summer months with a freshly organized home so you can enjoy time with friends & family. Even though our New England winter was unbelievably mild this year, it was still mentally and physically draining. I don’t know about you, but our family was sick a good 80% of the time from December through February. Fun times…I just coughed a little thinking about it. Without fresh air circulating we are exposed to more toxins and more viruses: indoor air quality can be 2-5 times more toxic than outdoors. Top that off with dry interior heat and cold dry outdoor air, and well, that explains some things.
All set with that. Spring is a time for us to restore our health as we transition to increased levels of fresh air and daylight. Yeah! So here are some things you can do to get started.
De-clutter and organize. What items need new homes? What clothes have you been hanging onto, only to cause you stress because they still don’t fit? What piles of paperwork and bills have you just thrown in a drawer (hope I’m not the only one)? What toys has your child outgrown? What foods are still lingering in your pantry or fridge? Find your stashes and piles, go through them, and give them whatever new home you deem appropriate. Organize, donate, swap, sell, repurpose, and recycle as much as you can. Getting the physical clutter out of your home will give you some mental clarity to deal with the remains.
Ok, ok. Maybe not so realistic… but a girl can dream, can’t she?
Clean, safely. After you have determined what stays and what goes, give everything a good cleaning. Heavy winter boots have brought pollutants to your rugs, closed windows allowed toxins to continuously re-circulate, pets have nested on your furnishings, food has spoiled in your fridge, hard to reach places have collected dust. A good cleaning can feel as good as a home makeover, but to keep you feeling good avoid harsh chemicals that lead to headaches and respiratory issues. They might do the job, but they will also do a job on your health. Avoid products that contain ammonia or chlorine bleach, and especially anything that says “Keep Out of Reach of Children”. You don’t need to drink out of the bottle to ingest a chemical. Chemical residues and fragrances left from these products can be ingested through our skin and respiratory tracts through inhalation. Look for products with a Green Seal, or better yet use a homemade solution. So many great resources online, spend some time researching.
Bring the outdoors in. Give your patios or gardens a head start by planting seeds inside. Or create an indoor herb garden with decorative containers that spruce up a neglected space in your home. Indoor plants help to cleanse your air and add a fresh and natural aroma.
Design a small cutting garden that will allow you to pick fresh flowers to display.
If you have no clue where to start, we do – so ask us we have resources for you. Get a master landscape plan. Get a one-hour consultation and then DIY. Take a class at a local nursery like Pettengill Farm in Salisbury, for you locals. There’s a range of options to fit your needs and level of aggression.
Revive your décor. Now that you’ve cleansed your senses, home, mind it’s time to think about bringing some summer living inside. There are so many small and budget-friendly things you can do to prep your home for the changing seasons. Focus on textures and colors as these are the elements that enhance a connection with the outdoors. Slipcovers/upholstery, layered window treatments, area rugs, bedding, towels, dish clothes, table linens, pillows, throws, lampshades, paint, and accessories can totally change the feel of a space. Invest in the core items you want to last forever – pillow or comforter inserts, furniture, wall art, and allow your décor to be a continual process of discovering things that you love.
Spring/summer is the time of year when all the outdoor markets start up – find some great bargains and DIY projects. Check out the Newburyport Home & Garden Expo on April 21st. Take the family and visit Todd Farm in Rowley on Sunday mornings, spend a few days at the Brimfield in May/July/Sept, and get over to Pettengill Farm in June/September for their Vintage Bazaar. Of course you better come to our open house @ the studio on April 29th! If nothing else, to see the cows.
Don’t forget – Earth Day is April 22nd. Make a pledge to do one thing that brightens your health and our future.
Have a happy and healthy week!