Saturday, February 27, 2016

Almost Time for Spring Cleaning

With this unseasonably warm weather (anyone remember what Halifax looked like this time last year?), I am already in gear to start my spring cleaning. There's something about the change of the season and the promise of sunshine that makes me want to tidy, organize, and purge, purge, purge. I have a deep fear of junk, and I am constantly trying to de-clutter my life and my home. Sometimes, this can be a real challenge. Here are some books that can give you some tips and help make the process a little less painful!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is written by Marie Kondo, a Japanese cleaning consultant and inventor of the KonMari method. The premise here is that you can simplify and organize your living space correctly once, and then never have to do it again. This book can get a little bit hokey (among other things, Kondo implores you to talk to your possessions and your home, and insists that every article of clothing has a soul). However, if you're able to get through it you'll find that Kondo is teaching you some important lessons about minimalism and how to live a life based on something other than material possessions. She strongly believes in having respect for your possessions, and for keeping only those things that "bring you joy." Her approach certainly does make it easier for you to let go of things you've accumulated over the years but no longer really want or need, and she does it all with a guilt-free approach, never admonishing the reader for having collected all of this extraneous stuff. It may not be for everyone, and there were a few moments where I found myself rolling my eyes, but it has definitely helped me develop good habits for purging my life of unnecessary clutter.

Author of's column "Ask a Clean Person", Jolie Kerr has a written a book titled My Boyfriend Barfed in my Handbag... and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha. Touted as being a "hilarious and practical guide to cleaning up life's little emergencies," Kerr focuses on everything from the absolute basics of cleaning, to very specific questions such as "what should I do when bottles of home brewed ginger beer explode in my kitchen?" Many of the topics she covers are things you would never dream of calling your mom about, and may even have you clearing your search history after a stealthy Google. While I am a true believer in the spring clean and throwing/giving stuff away, I would have to say that I err on the side of messy in my day to day life. Regular housework is just not my forte and is not something that I find very interesting, but reading Kerr's book made me laugh, held my attention, and gave me many little eureka moments when I discovered something I could incorporate into my life (or realized a cleaning problem that I didn't even know I had). While some of the content could be considered a little racy (she really does cover ALL kinds of messes), if you have a sense of humour, this book is for you!

Erin Rooney Doland, editor-in-chief of, is nothing short of an organization expert. In her book Unclutter Your Life in One Week, she teaches you not only how to organize your home, but how to eliminate clutter in order to ease stress and anxiety, and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed within your surroundings. "There is no one-size-fits-all answer for organization. Erin offers useful and innovative suggestions for tackling the physical, mental, and systemic distractions in different areas of your home and office each day. Her down-to-earth approach will help you part with sentimental clutter, organize your closet based on how you process information, build an effective and personalized filing system, avoid the procrastination that often hinders the process, and much more. Once you cure the clutter, she shares practical advice for maintaining your harmonious home and work environments with minimal daily effort." - publisher

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