The big clean-up: for your home and your mind
In a couple of weeks it will be spring. The meteorological spring has already begun. Many people associate spring with the bog spring cleaning, which is very popular in the Netherlands. It’s kind of obvious, because Dutch houses are very different in the summer and winter. In the winter we choose cozy materials to curl up to on the couch. We love to enjoy a good glass of wine, sit under a blanket en preferably next to the fireplace. Or we choose a good book with a cup of hot chocolate. But when the first sun beams start to shine and the snowdrops show their heads, we throw out the blankets and enjoy the first warmth of the sun. Bye bye woolly cushion, hello fresh colors.
In my house winter stuff get’s stored as soon as the tulips and daffodils begin to grow in our garden. In the winter I light candles each night after dinner, but in spring and summer there’s no candle to be found. This need for the sun and spring, goes hand in hand with a good spring cleaning. And apparantly, I’m not the only one.
A clean house, a clean head
One of the most popular books at the moment is The life-changing magic of tidying up from Japanese cleanup guru Marie Kondo. Her books is cleaning up closets and filling thriftshops. The idea of her book is very simple: you put all your belongings on the floor and check wih each product: does this product make me happy? Are there some old vases which you will never use again? Throw them out. Off course you don’t have to let go your old favorite sweater. Kondo is a bit spiritual: the thinks the stuff has a soul and even thanks her handbag. She also thinks a house has to be tidy. I don’t agree with the soul-thing, but I love a tidy house. For example, when my kids go to bed, they have to put all their toys in their special toys baskets. No colorful Playmobil dolls in my beautiful light Scandinavian interiør at night, please.
Giving used stuff a new life
It's a pity to just throw away your used stuff. Last week I brought make-up and care products to the Food Bank, secondhand books to a book buyer, posters, old(er) dishes, baking tools, vases to the thrift shop. Children’s clothing which became to small, went to a special thrift store as well. Lamps you can sell on second hand websites and I give stuff away for free through a give-away corner on Facebook too. When you are tidying up, you can make a lot of people happy with your second hand stuff. And you will get something in return: peace and rest in your house and head. According to Marie Kondo it’s important that your house is basic, with light colors and not to much stuff. I couldn’t agree more, but my best friend, who’s house is colorful, vintage and stuffed, doesn’t believe that nonsense. So I try to give her my old stuff. Everybody happy!