How To ‘Marie Kondo’ Your Way Through Spring Cleaning

Are we the only ones who spend hours scrolling Pinterest for #bedroomgoals, but secretly find spring cleaning an intimidating task?

We wish we had a staff of cleaners to keep our rooms immaculately neat à la Marie Kondo, but most of us can’t muster up the strength to tackle a major spring clean even when the Lunar New Year rolls around.

Whether you’re a serial cleaner or a just a hot mess (like most of us), we could all borrow a few tips & tricks from the ‘KonMari’ method and the expert’s cleaning philosophy. Here’s our step-by-step (AKA too-lazy-to-read-her-book / got-distracted-by-other-shows-on-Netflix) guide to CNY Spring Cleaning!

STEP 1: COME UP WITH A GAME PLAN

Relax - no actual (read: physical) cleaning yet! The first step is about mental organization. Begin by making a list of all the areas you’ll need to tackle — from wiping down your windows to clearing out your wardrobe.Next, set aside a full day (or even a weekend) for this project! We know it sounds like a lot, but it’s much easier to do it all at once than to spread it out over weeks.

STEP 2: TOSS UNWANTED ITEMS

BUT WAIT. Before you start chucking things out, Marie Kondo recommends that you take every item out of its storage. This means emptying your shelves, cabinets, wardrobe, one by one — so that you can evaluate what to throw out forever.

We’re sure you’ve heard of her “Spark Joy” theory (that also sparked a thousand internet memes and spoofs). It’s exactly what it sounds like: only keep items that spark joy and discard everything else. We’re not extremists here, so we’re gonna suggest a middle ground between hoarding and throwing everything away.

Here’s a simple quiz we’ve devised if you can’t decide on what to toss:

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Psssst — save this onto your phone or print it out so
you can always have these on hand while you’re cleaning!

Everyone prioritizes things in their own unique way. Just use our quiz as a starting point and come up with your own criteria for what stays and what doesn’t — you do you, girl!

Pro-tip: Instead of throwing everything into the chute, try donating some pre-loved items to charity organizations (like Salvation Army or Pass-It-On that accepts a wide range of things) or re-selling them on Carousell for some extra cha-ching!

STEP 3: CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN

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It’s time to get down to business. While the items are out of its storage (and in a pile on the floor, presumably), here’s your chance to wipe, dust and sanitize! And because we love you (and love watching life-hack videos), we’ve compiled some of our favourite cleaning hacks to save you some time.

  • Did you know you can clean the microwave by heating a bowl of water mixed with vinegar for 3-minutes?
  • Use a dryer sheet to wipe dust off, instead of paper towels. Dryer sheets are meant to repel dust and lint! (You can get some here)
  • You know those ugly adhesive things on surfaces that just can’t be rid of? Roll up a ball of aluminum foil and use it to rub off the adhesive. It’s like exfoliating, but for your furniture.
  • We’re hoping you never have to use this, but if you have to deal with a broken glass situation, just press a piece of bread into the small shards to pick them up.

STEP 4: ORGANIZE METICULOUSLY

Now that you’ve cleaned every surface, it’s time to place the items back into their storage space. A tip from Marie Kondo herself: “I have only two rules [when it comes to organizing]: store all items of the same type in the same place and don’t scatter storage space.” (Long story short; categorize first, then start organizing.)

Pro-tip: We like to draw sketches of our storage space to visualize and plan what should go where.

STEP 5: BASK IN YOUR NEW SPACE

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We’ll admit, it’s hard work to go through the full spring cleaning, but it’s also so rewarding. A clean and organized living space does wonders for our mental wellbeing. Now that you’re finally done with that, you can sit back and relax in your now spotless home. Pour yourself a drink or enjoy a pineapple tart — you deserve it!

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