If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed and out of control with everything going on at the moment - I cannot recommend a Spring Clean highly enough! For a lot of people a clean house means a clean mind and might be just what you need to get you out of your funk. We're big on making out home feel lived in, and loved as well. While we're all stuck inside for the time being, we think it's time to rejuvenate the feeling of pride in your home.
Keep reading for our favourite activities to clean up your house from top to bottom!
For us, step one is decluttering - there is truly no point starting anywhere else! We like to go from room to room, tackling a little bit at a time, so as not to overwhelm ourselves. We already live quite minimally, but we're not immune to changing our mind on a purchase, or simply growing out of them if you're like our incredibly pregnant founder, Emily 😉
Decluttering has sometimes been said to be the exact opposite of living a Zero Waste lifestyle, but we actually feel like they're both quite complementary practices. While transitioning to a more minimal lifestyle, you learn to cherish the items that you do have, however it can still be hard to detach from some material possessions entirely, with the thought that you might wear/use/need it again one day. It's all a process of where you're at in your life - we're not about to tell you what to do! - but you'll know when it's time to let it go. Time to Marie Kondo your possessions, and ask yourself if you have any emotional attachment to it, and if not - out the door it goes.
It's important to follow up this step with the right moves though - don't just chuck it in the bin! See what you can donate, whether that's to friends and family, a charity or animal shelter straight to a donation bin. For electricals and appliances as well as anything else you're unsure about, check out RecyclingNearYou for the best way to recycle them consciously. Our first thought is always to see if someone can directly benefit from you're hoping to declutter - think "one man's trash" and all of that. It's a great way to ensure your unwanted items are going directly to another person instead of sitting around in a Vinnies for a year before heading to landfill. Pop it up on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree for a couple of dollars, or even for free if you want it out of your hair.
*It's important to note that while we're supposed to be self-isolating there are a few things to keep in mind of you're going to sell it to somebody. Try doing a bank transfer instead of cash, and make sure to give it a clean too!
Too lazy for any of that? Yep, we feel you - decluttering is exhausting. Our pals at Man Rags are here to help with that. They're on a mission to recycle and repurpose textiles and will even collect your old clothes and shoes from your front door. They're now offering this Australia wide, for a fee of $25 which can be redeemed back into credit to spend on brand spankin' new socks and jocks! Not bad, eh?
Tip : You can even take this process one step further and declutter your online world and paper documents. Now's the time to finally scan those old files, sort out your inbox and your desktop folders. You'll feel *so* much better for it. While you're at it - log onto all your pesky bills online and opt for paperless statements too!
Now for the next step - cleaning up!
When it comes to choosing eco-friendly cleaning products, there is actually quite a wealth of choice available in your local supermarket nowadays, however we prefer to make out own! When transitioning to a zero-waste household, we started to take not of all the chemicals we had been using on the regular and discovered how truly awful they are for you + the environment. It's so easy to make your own all purpose cleaning liquid, and we typically have a bottle of Dr Bronner's All in One Soap for anything else we need. Here's what you'll need to make your own cleaning spray:
2. White Vinegar
3. 15-20 Drops of your fav essential oil for scent
Change those lightbulbs!
Lights are the biggest energy consumers in household - can you believe they are responsible for more than 40 percent of the average household energy bills?! Home appliances also consume energy but that's a task for another day.
If you're living in Melbourne, The Victorian Government are running a scheme to help make energy upgrades more affordable in an effort to decrease greenhouse emissions and encourage innovation in energy efficiency.
Basically, the VEU provides Victorian households and businesses access to discounted energy-efficient products and upgrades. Have a look at their website here and register for the rebate!
Composting / Cooking
Now is an excellent time to look into setting up a home composting system if you don't have one already. You can read out guides to composting here! Unsure about how to get started? Have a look at your local council's website and see what is available in your area, or check out ShareWaste!
Still have energy to burn?
Here are some extra things you can do to keep your hands busy!
-Learn a new cooking skill (pickling, sprouting, making nut milk),
-Make small repairs that you've been putting off!
-Look after your indoor plants, or even buy some online!
-Start seedlings in an empty egg carton
Let us know what you've been up to in the comments below! x