Clear Space, Clear Mind

Although spring has come and gone, a bit of spring cleaning is always a good idea after the frivolity of the festive season, when consumption is high and the urge to organise and save may be low.  

Luckily, now is as good a time as ever to clear and personalise your space, nest, and  recalibrate the structure of your home to better meet your current needs. 

A move, a lifestyle change, a new member of the family, a birthday… I will use any excuse to make my space more mine, and I have fun taking on the challenge of doing so in the most wallet- and eco-friendly way possible.  

“Thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste.” 

― G.K. Chesterton, What's Wrong with the World 


Does it Bring Joy?  

First, it is helpful to evaluate your space. Like Marie Kondo, consider the elements of your space and ask yourself whether they are benefiting you. Questions I find myself asking include: Do I use this item? Does this item bring me joy? Is there a place where this item would look/work better? Is there a way that I could change this item to better suit my needs? If it generally isn’t working in the room or benefiting me, could I possibly rehome it? 
Once I’ve evaluated my space, I will have about four different piles of items: things to be thrown away, things to be placed elsewhere (in storage or in an alternative placement within my home), things to be edited (refurbished or fixed), and things to be given away. I also usually have a better idea of what I think I need to optimise my space after this exercise.  

Reenvision, Reuse and Restructure 

If you are on a tight budget, taking the first step above and rearranging your belongings to try a different layout can be a wonderful, free way to freshen up your space without any waste. During this process, consider whether anything is in the way, if you will be able to easily access items that you use often, and how you will use the space in this new configuration. 

Cactus Makes Perfect  

In addition, before going out and opening your purse, consider bringing the outside in. Not only can indoor plants improve the air quality in your home, but they can also positively affect your mental health. Before heading into your garden, taking samples for propagation from around your neighbourhood, or visiting your nearest nursery, do a little research on plants that will suit your space and aesthetic to find out how green your fingers need to be to take care of them, if they will survive in the space you imagine them in, and if your furry friends will be affected by them if they decide to have a little nibble.  


Edit Your Atmosphere  

Is something not quite feeling right in your space, but you’re in love with each and every item? Perhaps consider raising your blinds, opening your shutters, playing with more transparent curtains, or even painting your shutters and blinds a lighter shade, so that your space is filled with more light. Still not quite right? Perhaps using a new room or linen spray, scented candle or soap will change the atmosphere into something fresh and delightfully yours.  


One Woman’s Trash 

Extend the lifetime of items you no longer need by donating rather than discarding them. Something no longer fit your aesthetic? Who likes kitschy kitchenware? Bought a new couch? Who could use some more seating? Either gift your well-loved items to your loved ones or organise a swap. If you can’t think of anyone who would welcome the items you are looking to get rid of into their homes, you can always donate your wares to your local thrift or charity shop, or even hustle on Facebook Marketplace.  


Thrift and charity shops, as well as Facebook Marketplace, are not only a perfect place for you to give away your unwanted items, they are also a wonderful treasure trove. Create a space that is uniquely yours by perusing beautiful items from different eras and tastes.   


Find wonderful online vintage, thrift stores on Instagram and fall in love with all the unique furniture on offer. Some of my favourites include: Anouk Furniture (@anoukfurniture), Vamp Furniture (@vamp_furniture), Maison (@maison_capetown), and Huisraad (@huisraad_modern).  


As for Facebook Marketplace, if you find something that you truly want and it is well priced, take haste and send an offer to the seller straight away. Moreover, if the offer has been up for a while, don’t be afraid to haggle (while still being reasonable), and make sure to customise your message and avoid the auto-filled ‘Is this item still available?’ so that the seller knows you are actually interested. If you haven’t stumbled across something you want, teach the algorithm what you want by using different search terms and checking in every other day. Have fun hunting and transforming your space! 

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