The Quarterly Home Project That Helps Me Live A More Intentional, Joyful Life
Two weekends ago I deep-cleaned my home like a deranged woman, furiously scrubbing Gumption into the tile grout, pulling my furniture from one side of the apartment to the other, and vacuuming the ceiling (yes, really). I am the first to admit it: I am obsessed with cleaning. When my home is clean, organized, and clutter-free, I feel like my life is the same. While people often reserve the deep, pull-everything-apart clean for Spring, I argue that this is something you should be doing seasonally (if not even more often, but baby steps) to ensure that your home is a peaceful, healthy and enjoyable place to be.
What are the six reasons behind my deep clean obsession?
1. My home is my biggest investment (and cost)…
…so why wouldn’t I want to look after it? This baby didn’t come cheap, so I want to keep it in mint condition for as long as I humanly can.
2. It helps me to maintain a clutter-free home
This is probably one of the biggest reasons I do such a deep clean regularly: I want to maintain a clutter-free home. While I am by no means a minimalist, I do adopt minimalist principles in my life.
One minimalist principle I live by is the one-in-one-out rule; if something comes into my home, something has to leave, simple as that. I live by this principle for a number of reasons, but most prominent is my small living quarters. I live in a one-bedroom unit with a total floor space of 48 square meters, or roughly 516 square feet (including the garage), and I have to share it with a cat (and an occasional boyfriend). While 90% of the time I am very proactive in my one-in-one-out habit, sometimes I slip. By having to review the items in my home quarterly and eliminating things that are serving no purpose and sparking no joy, I am able to maintain a clutter-free and, more importantly, enjoyable home.
3. It allows me to reevaluate my lifestyle choices regularly
As a follow on from the previous point, doing an all-in-spring-clean quarterly allows me to reevaluate my lifestyle choices regularly. What do I mean by lifestyle choices? Well, I want to live a life that is intentional, healthy and financially prosperous. My home clean-out is a very physical check-in to see how my lifestyle is progressing and whether or not I am living up to my goals and values. Am I living intentionally? This is where the minimalism principles come in. What have I purchased this quarter? Was it an impulse purchase? Was it a quality or investment purchase decision? Did I buy something this quarter that I am already not using? Why did I buy it? How can I improve in the coming quarter?
How is my health going? One look in my pantry will tell me exactly why I am sleepy and sluggish, and then I can realign my habits and diet with how I want to feel. I would rather have this reminder to improve my diet 12 weeks into feeling crap, not 52 weeks later. For me to achieve my personal goals and live the life I want, checking in once a year is simply not enough.
4. I can identify maintenance tasks/issues early on
Ahhh the beautiful world of home ownership; such a simple lifestyle choice that has allowed me to kick back and relax…or not. When something goes wrong with your home and there is no landlord to call (though if you are lucky, there is a mom you can call to have a cry, but then you have to hang up), attempt to fix the problem and pray that there will be money left over in your account by the end of it. One thing I have found to be a money-saver and sanity-saver is spotting potential maintenance requirements or issues early. This way, I can a) fix it before the house goes to ruins or b) forecast when I am going to need to get it fixed and budget accordingly.
5. I can stay on top of everything
There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for the tiny quarters I have to look after. If I had a home with a backyard and seven bedrooms, I would be constantly drowning in chores. Solo home ownership isn’t an easy gig, and sometimes I wish I wasn’t doing it alone (I can only imagine how my mom felt raising kids on her own). To survive this gig without losing my hair to stress, I need to stay on top of everything. That includes my bills, Flossy’s vet trips so I know she is a-okay, and looking after my home. If I left everything to once a year, the job would be much larger, more intensive, and a heck-more difficult. Regularly maintaining everything makes the whole expedition far more enjoyable.
6. Prioritizing my health and wellness
Breathing in the dusty air, enjoying air conditioning with a manky filter, or unknowingly having mold build up (which I had under my fridge, courtesy of humidity + condensation from when Brandon turns the apartment into an ice blizzard) is a recipe for unhealthy you! Looking after your health and ensure you are breathing and living in a clean space is paramount.
So, when was the last time you deep-cleaned your home?
Carly is a four-eyed, caffeine-addicted and severely-clumsy girl living down under in Australia. She regularly publishes rants, braindumps and even some tricks to survive life on her blog, The Chronicles of Carly, and on her Instagram, @thechroniclesofcarly.
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