Spring Cleaning and Decluttering Checklist for Modern Babes
Do you ever find yourself in these neg situations?
- You have a full wardrobe, but when you need to get ready to go somewhere you suddenly HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR. You leave the house with clothes strewn all over the bedroom floor in a mad dash after trying on 10 outfits because none of these fit right, felt comfortable, looked chic or truly expressed your style.
- You finish each season never having worn like 50% of your summer or winter wardrobe and accessories. The majority of your scarves, accessories, jackets, or summer dresses never see the light of day cause you always revert to the same pieces.
- You terrorise your kitchen looking through drawers, cupboards, the pantry, freezer or fridge for that one utensil, spice, canned good or piece of frozen banana.
- You routinely have to throw out food from your fridge or freezer because it’s gone off or you’ve forgotten what it is or that it was there.
- You add a new item to your mental catalogue of things gone MIA on a fortnightly to monthly basis. Seriously where is that pair of sunnies, that bra, that essential oil, your favourite ring? WHERE ARE THEY!?!
- You phone battery is always dying by mid-afternoon and your inbox is bloated AF and makes you feel all kinds of FML.
My friend, it’s time for a serious spring cleaning and decluttering adventure!
I know I know, I tried to make it sound all fun and cheery, when really it will take up a whole weekend you could have spent brunching, binge watching Netflix and “gallivanting” (as my mum would say).
But, I do urge you to forge ahead with this endeavour because the pay-off is so MAGICAL and TRANSFORMATIONAL, not to mention SATISFYING!
You are going to shift and expel all the stuff that isn’t serving you, leaving you energetically light, free and bountiful.
Well, an excess of things will weigh you down not only physically, but mentally, and this holds us back in life in many ways…from simple daily impracticalities, inefficiencies, and annoyances to actually affecting how we show up in the world.
Because, when you have all this stuff in the way that isn’t really adding any value or is actually adding problems to your life, it sucks your limited supply of energy, meaning there is less energy to direct at things that will support and delight you.
Okay you’re convinced…let’s do disssss!
Here’s 7 places to tackle on your spring cleaning and decluttering checklist:
Complete this list over spring to eliminate the baggage, clutter, and trash, and prepare you for an enchanting summer!
If the majority of your wardrobe isn’t made up of items you can throw on in haste and look fabulous in, you’re going about things wrong. It’s time to pare back to a collection of clothes that really suit you and make you feel like a
million bazillion bucks.
By now, you already know what looks good on you, just as you know the items that do you a disservice. There are those pieces you always end up throwing off on the fly before you head out because it “just doesn’t look right”. You want to make it work cause it really is a fabulous piece… and you paid big $$ for it… and it’s a one-off… but let’s be real babe…
If it just doesn’t suit you, is too small or too big, or you never find yourself wearing it, then chances are that sucker is doomed to live a sedentary life if it remains in your closet. And if you force it, you’ll just end up feeling lackluster anyway. A day wearing a shitty outfit is a day wasted am ey right? Just say adios and let it go to a good home.
In addition to these wardrobe cloggers, get rid of all the clothes that are no longer wearable (stains, rips, etc) and things that no longer fit. The same goes with your shoes, bags, hats, scarves, belts, underwear and other accessories. Try to go through each category one by one so you can see how much you have of each type.
You don’t have to be a ruthless sartorial assassin like some minimalists would advise, but do be realistic….
Will you ever wear that dress again that you haven’t fit into since uni/college?
Are you only holding onto that designer vintage find cause it’s designer, and not cause you actually wear it?
Will the babydoll look you held onto all these years ever transform into something resembling flattering? (hint: ABORT!)
Have you outgrown your short shorts and mini skirt days? 🤔
These are the very difficult and emotional questions you must ask yourself.
Be strong, you will get through this 😓.
From there, it’s time to manage your goodbyes respectfully.
- Rather than throwing a ripped, stained or damaged item straight in the bin, see if you can use it as a cleaning rag
- Consider if there are any items you could give new life to and hence keep with a few alterations. e.g. cutting jeans into denim shorts, raising the hem of a skirt so it sits better, cutting the sleeves off a top. Sometimes a little DIY can do wonders and beats throwing things out or into landfill.
- Gather your damaged but mendable items (i.e. missing button, loose hem, worn heel etc) that you want to keep and put them aside for fixing in bulk or taking to a seamstress / cobbler.
- Share your discarded goodies with friends / family cause one lady’s trash is another lady’s fash. Or organise a clothes swap party. Or sell on Facebook/Gumtree/ebay if you have the inclination.
- Anything leftover, donate to charity.
It’s also totally okay to use this a an opportunity to assess what pieces you want to add to your wardrobe based on what’s missing or needs to be replaced. So take note.
This spring cleaning step alone will make you feel all kinds of fabulous and breathe new life into your wardrobe. You’ll discover pieces you’ve newer worn, old favourites, and you’ll be inspired to try new combos because you cleared out the crap.
Trust me, your swagger will match the likes of Kanye when all the socks in your sock drawer match.
#2 Beauty Products
If you’re transitioning to a more natural approach with your beauty regime take this spring clean as an opportunity to purge the nasties, i.e. toxic perfumes, clogging foundation, drying cleansers, unnecessary chemical primers, etc.
Basically anything with suspicious ingredients. And it goes without saying, those eye-shadow palettes, foundations, and lipsticks you’ve had since your uni days must go.
Take note as you go of any products that need replacing with a natural alternatives and start building out your wishlist.
My favourite place to source natural beauty goodies is Aussie site Nourished Life, which stocks everything a gal could need from makeup to fake tan to sunscreen and shampoo.
A good place to start if you’re starting your natural beauty kit from scratch:
- jojoba oil to clean skin (using oil cleansing) and as a moisturiser
- coconut oil for a hair treatment and body moisturiser (find a bunch more ways to use it here)
- BB cream and face sunscreen
- natural mascara
- lip balm (I love Hurraw organic Vegan lip balms)
Make your bathroom a sanctuary, containing beautifying non-toxic goodies, candles, and plants. One of the best things I ever did was refine my beauty kit and stop accumulating products that I only used a tiny portion of before they went off or knew were bad for me.
There’s something very luxurious and chic about having a “capsule beauty kit” containing well thought, curated and beautiful natural products (as opposed to a bunch of junky stuff that is full of scary pore clogging chemicals, carcinogenics and irritants).
#3 Fridge, Freezer & Pantry
You’ll find containers of frozen quinoa from months ago, bags of frozen “don’t know what that is,” expired bottles of condiments, spices you never knew you had and perhaps a few packets of grains and superfoods you never worked out how to use.
What you’ll end up with is a fridge and pantry worthy of envy that can be spread all throughout the Instagram kingdom.
Kitchen Spring Clean Steps:
- Go through all your kitchenware (pots, pans, electronics, gadgets, Tupperware, etc) and get rid of things you know you’ll never use or have hit the end of their lifecycle to give your cupboards some space!
- Next move to your pantry and fridge. Empty out every drawer and shelf and give it good wipe all over using a natural cleaning solution like bicarb/vinegar/essential-oil. As you place every item back take stock of any condiments, cheese, etc that’s going to hit its used by date.
- Try to transfer and organise all your spices, grains, nuts, dried fruit, etc into jars if available to make these more accessible (reusing jars and containers from nut butter, olives, and protein powder to super-organise your kitchen is a great idea).
- If you still have items in your pantry that you no longer include in your diet, donate them or pass on to friends or family.
- Now gather all the items that are soon to hit their expiry date and make it your creative mission to work out how to use these up in a tasty cook up over the next couple weeks. (Invite your friends over to help you eat it all if you need to. Just don’t waste the food, please)!
If you haven’t already, setup your recycling system. This can be as simple as adding a designated bin for recycling items.
Now that the kitchen is clear of unwanted items, it’s time to do all the usual cleaning things you put off:
- Clean out the coffee machine
- Wipe down all surfaces including benches, shelves and cabinets
- Clean the stove top
- Clean out your oven
- Scrub down your sink and taps
This is the bit I personally hate most, but it can be made bearable if you crank some uplifting tunes or an interesting podcast that will have you so absorbed you’ll forget that you’re scrubbing 6 months of grime off your gas cook-top.
Let’s be real, you put this mamma through a lot and it deserves some love.
Take everything out and give your bag a shake out, even a hand wash/wipe.
Only put back the items you really need to carry around with you.
E.g. 2 lipsticks vs 7.
Organise everything in its rightful compartment.
Dig through your wallet too and unload any unnecessary cards.
Much better, right?
You use this guy all day errday, so let’s agree that an hour or so spent spring cleaning this department will certainly benefit you.
- Clean out your phone of all the unused and pointless apps crowding your storage. Yes, Pokemon go, can…GO!
- Delete dud selfies, repeat scenic shots (how many images of the beach does one really need?) and the foodie shots you’ve already long ago uploaded to Instagram.
- Go through your contact list and delete old connections you’ve outgrown or the people you want to phase out of your life.
- Install / setup the apps that will improve your life (meditation app, a to do list manager, period / cycle tracker, etc)
#6 Music / Spotify
If you spend a lot of time listening to music, you probably do this anyway, but organising your songs into playlists can make a life a lot better with little effort.
I personally use Spotify for my music library which makes creating playlists effortless and integrating music into various parts of your day a breeze too.
Having ready to go playlists for different scenarios will mean you’re more likely to use and benefit from this natural mood-lifter throughout the day.
Here’s some ideas:
- Jazzy playlist while you’re cooking
- Slow and smooth RnB to play during a hot bath
- Base heavy hip hop and uplifting electro beats for your workouts
- Chill indie beats for lazy weekends on the couch reading
Obviously depends on your musical preference, but you get the gist.
Now, if your playlists have been crowded with songs that you’re just not that into, e.g. when you add a whole album from an artist but only really like 50% of the songs, spend some time during your spring clean to delete all this music from your music library and make dem playlists the freshest of fresh.
#7 Social Media / Blogs / Emails
Your soul and sanity is crying out for this. Let’s begin.
- Facebook – Go through your friends list and unfriend / unfollow people you’ve parted ways with long ago or just don’t see the need to maintain ties with.
- Instagram – Go through you instagram feed and unfollow any account that makes you feel neg about yourself or your life. You know the culprits…
- Blogs – Review your feed of blogs and publications that your follow and unsubscribe from anything you’ve outgrown or isn’t useful. This makes room for better more relevant content to flow in.
- Emails – Use Unroll Me to bulk unsubscribe from emails clogging up your inbox. While I’m pretty certain “inbox zero” is NOT a real thing, by doing this regularly, I’m staying close to keeping within the realm of a respectable inbox 20).
- Digital Subscriptions – Are you subscribed to any memberships you don’t use or publications you don’t read? Save yourself the monthly $$ and cancel these in bulk.
Look at all the other social media platforms and newsfeeds you use and review who you follow. In some cases you may want to consider deleting your account altogether.
This decluttering step could make the most profound impact on your daily life, because it all leads to less emails, less content junk, less scrolling through posts you don’t care about or ones that flare-up negative emotions, less reading mindless crap or irrelevant articles, and less online shopping triggered by email campaigns and promos.
CLEAN YOUR DESKTOP. Then go through and organise all your documents, photos, music and other files.
Setup a back up system through the cloud, Dropbox, hardrive, etc.
And back up your stuff. You will never regret backing up your stuff.
This is true adulting at it’s finest.
#9 Paperwork / Publications
This is the most painful and tedious, but perhaps the most satisfying…
You’re going to delve into the dark recesses of your filing cabinet and paper storage and get this stuff in order, and by order I mean LET THE FUCKERS GO….mostly.
Obviously hold onto any legal / tax documents as necessary, but for the most part, the majority of us don’t really need to hoard all this paperwork anymore. Go paperless if you can.
Chuck out old receipts, throw out manuals you never opened and will never open (those poor instruction manual writers), and donate/offload that stack of magazines you will never open again so someone else can enjoy them.
The main spring cleaning and decluttering checklist is over, but you’re not done yet…
If you’re really serious about this spring clean, you will commit to every room, every drawer, every cupboard and every shelf. Go through it all and purge, purge, purge.
Then embrace the unimaginable joy that follows a good clean and ordering of things. If, you’re like me you’ll already feel lighter just thinking about it.
The best part about it is, when it’s all over, the adventure continues!
While there will be loads of things you get rid of, you will also discover many things…
- Ingredients and pantry items to experiment with in the kitchen
- A pair of shoes you’ve never worn (but want to)
- A book that good lost in a pile of things to rediscover
- A favourite closet item that’s been missing for months
- A better way to live
Now go! Get messy, then start the season afresh.