As a cold and gloomy February shuffles along to a slightly brighter end and snowdrops and crocuses begin to peep through the warming earth, there is just a hint of spring in the air. As we shake off that winter hibernation feeling and get a new burst of energy our thoughts are seemingly programmed to turn to spring cleaning and home organisation. What is it about those first warm sun rays that make us want to clean windows and wash curtains? Why are we suddenly noticing grubby paintwork and dusty picture frames? And what about the mess? Why is it that the jumble of items on kitchen surfaces and hastily folded piles of bed linen and towels, unnoticed during the winter months, now seem almost unbearable?
The only thing to do is to get stuck in. Everybody will have their own method. One room at a time? Or is it better to do all the windows on one day and all the paintwork on another? It doesn’t really matter, as long as the job gets done. But where, oh where, do we put all that stuff?
Firstly, decide what it is that you really don’t need. In the kitchen, it’s amazing how many past-the-sell-by-date food items we can find tucked away at the back of cupboards, alongside that ¾ of a packet of quinoa left over from a recipe tried once and unappreciated by the rest of the family. Be honest with yourself. Are you ever going to try it again? Do you really need all those unmatching teaspoons or blunt knives cluttering up your drawers? What about Auntie May’s 2009 Christmas gift of a banana slicer? Do you really think you’re ever going to use it?
It’s the same in the bathroom. The medicine cabinet has become unruly. Doesn’t it make your headache worse having to rummage through various opened and barely used ointments and odd packets of tablets recommended by friends as a wonder cure for this, that and the other but that never worked for you, just to find the paracetamol? Chuck it out! Sort your towels out. You will have far too many. After all, how many can you actually use? Get rid of the worn, second-hand ones your mum gave you when you got your first flat and just keep those wonderfully soft, personalised towels which you splashed out on as pure romantic indulgence.
Disposing of obsolete or unnecessary items can give you a great sense of wellbeing. And once you have had a good clear out you might find you don’t need any extra storage space. But if you do, now is the time to reward yourself with that cute, shabby chic welsh dresser you’ve had your eye on for ages. You deserve it.