My First Year Without Spring Cleaning

In the past, every year in March would begin the spring cleaning. Purging the closets, throwing away unwanted or expired items, and dealing with the overwhelming task of washing the winter grime away was always the name of the game. Before Becoming a Minimalist I procrastinated on Spring Cleaning and found excuses to hold onto most things just one more year. Once I found the way towards minimalism its not been so hard and now this year is the first year that I look around and realize that there is no spring cleaning to do.

The closets stay clean. We don’t have to clean out and donate a load of clothes anymore. The only time we do this is if one of us loses enough weight or our child grows taller. We don’t have to organize or wade through clothes to find what we need. It’s all right there.

The pantry has just what we need. As a family, moving towards Zero Waste has made Spring Cleaning unheard of.  We store all of our dry bulk items in various sizes of mason jars so that we see clearly what we have. We buy only what we need which has reduced our grocery bill as well as the amount of food wasted. We simply don’t waste food anymore.

We don’t decorate. I know this shocks people but we don’t decorate. There are a few family pictures on the walls and that’s it. We don’t have to dust fake plants, curios, or those cute knick knacks that everyone else has. Our house still has the big damn TV and the electronics to go with it but I don’t think I’m ever going to get him to part with that. We like the space and the money we save by not decorating. It’s Un-american. I know.

We don’t keep paper. I scan pretty much everything into Google Drive that is important such as tax documents, bills, and our son’s school papers that are precious. We don’t have stacks of papers to go through every spring or at any time. Most of our monthly bills are paperless and paid  online instantly so there is really nothing to think about. Easy.

There are no extras.  At our house there are no extra pots or pans, kitchen appliances, 10,000 cups for coffee, toys that aren’t played with, or books and magazines lying about. We have only the amount of things we need. Occasionally something extra sneaks in but I am vigilant and it disappears without anyone really noticing. So there is nothing to go through and sort out, nothing to rearrange, and no storage to worry about.

We have time all the time. We don’t fill our home or our life with unnecessary things. We don’t overbook activities or volunteer more than what fits into our life. There is plenty of time to clean as we go. We have made the healthy habit of putting things back in their place as soon as we are finished using them. We have a weekly cleaning schedule that includes each room of the house that takes about 15-30 minutes a day. Easy.

Everyone shows up.  I won’t lie. It has taken a while for everyone at our house to buy into the minimalism lifestyle and still occasionally I am met with a grimace but we have all learned to meet each other in the middle. each family member does their part to keep only what they love and use. The lifestyle sells itself. Once we experienced how easy it makes our lives every day we just wanted to keep going and have the freedom it affords us.

It feels a bit odd to sit here and drink my coffee while I write a bit. I should be scrubbing or organizing. I may go ahead and throw open the windows and let the breeze blow through the house just for old times sake.