Lynnwood Lifestyles: Cleaning up for the new year

We made it. It’s now 2021, the start of a brand new year of opportunity. 

With that, comes the chance to start fresh. So here’s our guide to cleaning out all the trash and making your home sparkle like it likely hasn’t since the start of last year.

Streamlining daily essentials

It doesn’t matter who you are, odds are high you have a routine of some kind. Maybe one routine for the weekdays, and another for the weekends, for example. 

If that’s the case, think of the items you use the most. Maybe it’s your desk, laptop, pots and pans for cooking, mobile devices, a giant water bottle, or your tea collection. 

Whatever your item list, write it up and consider the following: Do you have to move stuff around to gain access to these essential items? If you find yourself digging for tea, or moving stuff all over your desk just so you can work, consider simplifying things and making it all easier to use.

Improving visibility

In the same vein, it might be a good idea to invest in see-through containers for key areas like the pantry. More often than not, you might find yourself buying items you already have simply because you’re not aware that you have them. Clear bins make it easier to see what you have at a glance, making your grocery list planning a breeze.

Donating extras

If you feel like you’re drowning in clutter, you’re not alone. Being stuck inside means buying items online, getting surprisingly lazy, and kind of making your space feel “lived in,” so to speak.

So the best thing to do is to dedicate one day to each room. If they’re small, maybe you can handle two rooms in a day. Go through and set aside items you haven’t used in the last year (no, don’t toss the items you’ll eventually need again once lockdown is over). 

Maybe it’s spare kitchen utensils you don’t see yourself using ever again, or clothes you simply don’t ever want to wear even when life goes back to normal.

Set these items aside, bag them and donate them next time you go on an errand run. Not only will you clean up your space, you’ll also have a tax write-off to save money.

Breaking up with the broken bits

While you’re searching for items to donate, keep an eye peeled for broken and super overused items. That includes clothes no one can get use out of anymore, broken tech devices or shattered eyeshadow palettes, to name a few common ones. 

If you notice you still have it, and don’t use it or repair it, go ahead and toss it. There’s no use keeping items that collect dust for no reason.

Replacing loved items

To tie everything together, those broken items I just mentioned, they’re likely broken for good reason: you loved them to death. If you realize you love these items and want to make full use of them again, go ahead and replace them, as long as they’re genuinely useful.

For instance, if you loved your bathroom rug but realize it’s worn and faded, go ahead and get a replacement, since it’s an essential item. On the other hand, if you just want to replace a shirt for the sake of replacing it, but have far too many shirts to count, reconsider. Is there anything you can toss to make room for this item?

— By Jennifer Mendez

Jennifer Mendez is a content creator and Lynnwood resident who specializes in copy, graphic design and photography for her clients. Whenever she’s not creating something, she’s exploring new places to eat in the area.


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