Spring Cleaning is one of my favourite annual rituals.
I know that this is not the case for most people who appreciate the end result; they see the work itself as a chore.
The complete opposite would be true for me.
The snow is melted, the birds are singing and the days are getting longer. I always see it as possibility.
The beginning of a new quarter and the start to a new season are great opportunities to review our habits and our environments, and maybe take on a new practice or two.
To do a proper spring clean, is to do it with a systematic approach.
You do not want to waste your time or your energy by zigzagging all over the place. Quite simply, you start from the top and you work your way down. You work left to right, room-by-room.
You start with the most important room in the house – The Master Bedroom.
I already hear the collective gasps from parents across the land when they thought I’d say the kitchen!
Nope, and for the record, I’m not sorry for disappointing you. Not even a little. The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but the heart isn’t anything without a soul!
Master Bedrooms have been overlooked for far too long. They are not getting the respect that they deserve. That you deserve.
No longer last on the list, this room is now it is the first you clean, the first you unpack and the first you decorate!
This is a practice that I encourage all people to take on, for life. It is one of the highest forms of self-care that you will ever do for yourself.
Stand in the entrance of your bedroom and ask yourself: Does my master bedroom make me feel like a master or a servant?
The degree in which you answer that question will indicate the scope of work, but it will also indicate the reward.
In Feng Shui, the Master Bedroom is one of 3 very critical pillars to always consider.
Why? The Chi (energy) of adults affects everyone in the household.
The master bed relates to your ability to rest, which directly relates to your ability to make money.
How many things are on the floor?
People who are bogged down will feel bogged down. They feel bogged down because things pile up.
Where your attention goes, your energy goes. Literally.
1 in 4 North Americans deal with depression or some form of mental illness. I’ve never met a depressed person that didn’t have challenges with clutter. Ever. Not to say that they aren’t out there, but I’ve not met or worked with one.
The word uplifting is exactly the effect of when you lift all of the clutter off of the floor, and from your life.
Take an inventory of how many things do not belong in the space.
Dirty dishes, books & magazines not read. The laundry – in all its various stages. How many things belong to another person or room? What’s the overall vibe?
Links to the Master/Servant question.
Before you clean, you do a little clearing.
There are many ways to clear and shift the energy of a space. Light, air, smoke and sound being a few of my favourites.
Even if it’s a cold day, open the windows for 10 minutes. Fresh air into any space is always a great way to infuse energy into the space and you!
I always see spring cleaning as an opportunity to let so much more in – Light, Air, Joy.
Press play on your favourite playlist.
Infuse sound into the space and this task. It will make it easier and more fun.
Open all blinds and window coverings.
Diffuse high quality essential oils.
I diffuse essential oils daily in my home and my work. It is my number one daily practice, even if I’m travelling.
Oils can help you with your focus or ease anxiety.
Use a household cleaner that is plant and mineral based.
This is a new practice I took on nearly a year ago and I’ve never looked back! Indoor air quality is five to seven times more toxic than outdoor air quality mainly due to conventional cleaners.
I use one that complies with EPA standards and is biodegradable.
People always forget that the skin is the largest organ. It takes 26 seconds for chemicals on your floor to enter your bloodstream, or your pet’s blood stream.
I’m barefoot in my bedroom all the time, how about you?
Clean it like you’re going to sell it… but get to keep it.
Ask any contractor and they’ll tell you, the time that people purchase baseboards are when they’re selling their house! They know missing that simple feature leaves a negative impression and devalues their home, but they’ve justified living without, in many cases for years.
This is an opportunity for you to elevate yourself by elevating your space.
Wipe down walls and ceilings.
We start from the top. Use a vacuum or a flat soft fabric broom to remove dust from ceilings and walls.
Remove and wash any and all window coverings.
Wipe down any light fixtures or ceiling fans. If the light fixture is complex, you may want to remove and hand wash certain pieces.
Replace any burnt out bulbs.
Spot clean walls. Wash if necessary.
Wash all baseboards, casings and vent covers.
Remove and launder all bedding.
Vacuum and shampoo your mattress. If you have down pillows, air them out by putting them outside, or fluffing them up using the no heat/air cycle in your dryer.
If you can, hang your linens like grandma used to. You will sleep better.
If you don’t have nice linens and pillows, buy yourself some. Immediately. Buy them before you even start your Spring-Clean. I assure you it will be the sweetest reward at the end of a job well done. You will appreciate it every time you walk into the room.
Clean any upholstered furnishings.
Screens Windows and Casings.
Remove, vacuum and wash all screens before reinstalling. The bathtub is one of the easiest ways to approach this with a detachable shower head. Be sure to do both sides for every step.
Wash casings. Wipe curtain rods. Reinstall any removed washed window coverings. Finish with glass, always.
Thoroughly Dust Bookshelves
Take everything off and wipe it down, wash the shelves, don’t forget the top.
Organize your books, pair down magazines.
If it’s going back on the shelf, make sure you love it and that you like looking at it.
The change of seasons is a great time to review our clothing.Remove anything from winter, including footwear.
Remove anything that needs to be repaired or is worn out.
Storage spaces are critical to spaces. If they are too full, they don’t get used properly and then clutter spills out.
I’m not suggesting you take on a full re-org in the middle of your spring clean. It will most likely be the one thing that bugs you once your Master Bedroom spring clean is complete that you can revisit later.
Make your bed.
(Another post in and of itself) If you’ve got a Master Bathroom, ask yourself does it feel like it’s a feature?
Same rules apply. Start from the top and work your way down.
Vacuum and shampoo rugs.
Wash and wax wood floors. Seal any grout if you’ve got tile.
You’ve stirred up a ton of energy that you want to settle. (You may also want to settle yourself). Smudging at the end of a cleaning seals in all the beauty and the intentions for the space.
A stick of Palo Santo is easy to use. It has a scent that men and women both love equally.
Designate your Master Bedroom to be a Clutter Free Zone
Clutter is like a magnet. Ever notice as soon as you have a little, you will soon have a lot?
It’s like some energetic law of environments, it just happens. That’s why you will want this to be your very first clutter free zone.
NO TOYS in the Master Bedroom. Ever.
If you have kids, or even live with kids, you realize that their stuff is everywhere. This is the one space that must be seen as the most sacred pace of all. No one gets to leave his or her stuff lying around.
Not even you.
This is your opportunity to teach your children (or even your partner) the importance of your personal space. You get to teach them boundaries. You get them how to treat you and your space. You start setting a standard.
No workspaces in the Master Bedroom.
You will want to do all sorts of things in your Master once it’s completed. All I’m saying is that the laptop and the work just can’t live out in the open.
Use a laundry hamper.
If you need to keep your laundry in your room, it’s important that your hamper isn’t a plastic basket.
See it as a functional piece, but have one that’s got some style. There are many great options out there to choose from. I have a great appreciation for retro laundry hampers.
When we have places for our things, clutter has a harder time showing up.
Keep all horizontal spaces clean and clear.
Nightstands, dressers, vanities, floors – if it’s flat, keeping them clear takes daily effort, but it’s minimal, and the payoff is huge!
Give yourself a bowl or a tray that can collect any of the bits of things you may gather during your day. Again, choose tray or bowl that resonates with you.
When you use something that you like, you treat it with care. Before you know it you start treating yourself with more care.
Make your bed every day.
The room could be spotless, but it won’t matter unless you complete this small task with a massive impact. Remember this room is greeting you at the end of your day too.
Small changes make big impacts.
Add fresh flowers or potted plant like lavender to your nightstands. Having living things around us elevates us in subtle beautiful ways.
If you have hardwood, or tile, adding a matt or runner to either side of the bed is always a nice addition. They are instant comfort, easy to launder and maintain.
Your Master Bedroom is where you start and end each and every day.
I trust that at the end of your spring-clean, you will feel elevated and agree that Spring-Cleaning starts with the Master, always.
To learn more about Natasja Fischer, The Transformationalist, visit natasjafischer.com