7 Things to Spring Clean.

 In fashion, lifestyle
Power of the Purge

My “spring fever” has been real this year. I feel like I’m coming out of hibernation, after the long winter that we had, & the sun shining is giving me life! Along with that shining sun comes more light shed on my life routine, & sometimes it’s not that pretty. Since ’tis the season for spring cleaning, I plan to spend the next few weeks working my way through my home & my life to clean out those things that aren’t serving me anymore. Here are the nooks & crannies I’ll be deep diving into & embracing the power of the purge:

my closet.

I recently went to town purging my closet. While I frequently go through my wardrobe, hanger by hanger & ask myself “when was the last time I wore this?” & “how would I style this to keep it fresh?” I really went in deep this time. Like, I got all caught up on my laundry… dumped out every drawer… threw out the socks that don’t have a match… pitched the workout gear I’ve gotten sweaty & washed clean too many times in… I even purged the catch-all drawer I affectionately refer to my “weekend comfies,” which is actually full of sweatpants so old they have holes in them & my husbands oldest, softest tees.

 

Every single piece on clothing, every pair of shoes, every handbag & every piece of jewelry gets placed in one of four categories: keep, toss, donate, or sell. I immediately bag up my “donate” pieces & drive them to Goodwill, so they aren’t sitting around & taking up unnecessary space. My “sell” pieces are cleaned, steamed & then delivered to a consignment store, so it’s all out of sight & handled for me.

 

In the process of purging my closet, I stocked up on a few new storage pieces to help keep my closet collections in their best shape. I struggle the most with not having enough shoe storage, how to organize/store my jewelry collection, & the best way to display my handbags. While my OCD tendencies are happiest with a clean, cohesive, uncluttered space… I’m trying something new here & going with all clear storage everything, operating under the assumption that if I can see it I’ll be more likely to use/wear it. I hit up The Container Store & here’s what I bought:

my vanity.

Alright, I confess: I am a beauty product junkie! I’m a sucker for a new eye shadow palette… my lipstick collection is enviable… & I’m always on the hunt for the best mascara ever. I literally have drawers full of samples, primers, foundations, finishing sprays, brushes & cleaners.

 

Because I feel like I’m not alone in this department… here’s the rules for how long your beauty products last:

power in the purge

Eyeliner: 6 months to 1 year

Gel eyeliner only lasts six to eight months because you’re constantly double-dipping a brush into a pot. A pencil, on the other hand, has a shelf life of one year. If you’re using a pencil, you can sharpen it and it’s not going to be a breeding ground [for bacteria] as much.

 

Mascara: 3-6 months

If you’re using mascara daily, it won’t last six months. However, a lot of us pump our mascara wand in & out to get more on the brush. Turns out, that actually forces air into the bottle which dries the formula out more quickly and also lets in bacteria.

 

Blush, eye shadow, and other powder cosmetics: 1-2 years

Powder lasts longer than wet formulas, but check them periodically. If the formula changes at all, toss it. If it smells, toss it. And if the color goes out of style, definitely toss it!

 

Foundation: 6 months to 2 years

Foundation packaged in a pot expires in about 6 months, whereas a pump formula can last one to two years. When your foundation expires, look at it as an opportunity to try something new.

 

Lipstick: 2 years

Change in color, texture or smell are all big warning signs that your lipstick has expired. Clean them off, wipe them off, spray them with a little bit of alcohol just to keep them sanitized.

 

Natural products: 3-6 months

Think of your natural, preservative-free cosmetics as food. If you keep them in your refrigerator, they’ll last a little longer. But the natural stuff is going to go fast.

my home office.

The black hole. My secret hiding spot for packages delivered without my husband’s knowledge. My catch-all. My unfinished project. (If you follow me on Instagram & keep up on my Stories, you know that I started painting my home office in January. Well, it still sits unfinished. I have just the trim left… but, I painted over a heavily textured wallpaper, & the trim work is such a pain!) 

 

Being that I run 2 businesses full-time, I definitely have a need for a filing cabinet… however I hate they way they look. Because I have an entire wall with built-in shelves & lower cabinets, I really don’t have a need for additional storage, anyhow. I found the perfect solution from The Container Store in the One Touch Stackable Locking File Drawer. It fits in my cabinet perfectly, providing me with an organized way to keep track of important documents, & I can close the door so I don’t have to see the ugly thing!

 

I’ve also been on the hunt for the perfect location for a designated “selfie spot” in my house. I’ve settled on my home office, with it’s oversized window & natural lighting… so now, the hunt for the perfect floor length mirror is on!

my pantry.

I find something oddly satisfying about purging my pantry & refrigerator of all the junk food that accumulates, thanks to having a 17-year-old boy in the house, & it’s like fun game to find expired condiments from the fridge that I missed from the last purge. I’m not sure what’s “normal” for how many times in a year one typically purges the refrigerator & pantry, but I probably do this once a month.

 

The difference between my spring clean of the fridge & pantry, & every other clean however, is that I literally remove everything from the fridge & clean the shelves & drawers. I also organize everything in the pantry & turn all of the labels out, so it’s easy to find what we’re after. Also, I’m trying to get into the habit of checking the pantry before sending Hubs to the store to make something special. We tend to end up with four half-used bottles of soy sauce on the reg.

 

Admittedly, I’m a superfan of The Home Edit… so one of these days, I might get crazy with all the organization inspiration & really get to work!

my subscriptions.

OMG, cancelling my subscriptions I do not use has been on my to-do list for such a long time! When I finally sat down & did it, I couldn’t believe how much of a money suck this was! Free trials & apps get me every time. I always justify their purchase with thinking that they might be the answer to organizing my time &, if I hate it, I’ll remember to cancel before getting charge. I was definitely losing money for no reason.

 

I suggest starting with your email inbox. (This is also the perfect time to unsubscribe from all of those email lists you sign up for, for the 10% off code!) Check your Amazon, makeup subscriptions, online magazines & apps to make sure your spending money where you really want to.

power of the purge

my social media.

When was the last time you purged your friends list on Facebook, or the accounts you follow on Instagram? I’m not sure I ever have! When I sat down to do this, it was freeing to release myself from all the people that I actually have no interest in… no hard feelings toward anyone, but why do I still follow my ex boyfriend’s sister & that classmate I had a group project with in college?

 

My advice: spend some time cleaning through your friends &/or connections & weed out the people who aren’t actively supporting you — anyone else is just distraction. If you don’t interact with them on the regular, they really are serving no purpose in your life. It’s time to let them go.

my bad habits.

I don’t know about you, but winter has a way of throwing me off my game in a big way. I find it more difficult to stick to my workout routine, my craving for pasta is much more difficult to ignore, & binge-watching Netflix is literally my every day way of life.

 

Spring is the perfect time to take back your power, & purge your life from bad habits. The season of self-indulgence & laziness has passed, & the change of season is the perfect reminder of how important it is to treat my body well & start making changes to my schedule. A daily workout is non-negotiable & it’s time to incorporate more cardio, because swimsuit season is just around the corner. ‘Tis the season for fresh produce… bring on the big servings of fruits & veggies. & setting boundaries around social media usage & determining how many episodes of New Girl is really necessary to watch in an evening is a must.

I never realized how much all of this extra clutter & disorder weighed on me, contributing to my anxiety & higher stress levels… but there is gobs of research that supports a correlation. One 2009 study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, concluded that clutter sometimes translates to a homeowner feeling more depressed. Other research, published in 2011 in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that clutter often means there are too many stimuli in your environment, which in turn makes it hard to focus. Depression, lack of focus & anxiety are all things I have no space for in living my best life… behold the power of purging!

I’m curious to learn about your Spring Cleaning rituals! How often do you purge your possessions? & what does your purge process look like?

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