We sat down with Lili Pettit of Clutter Healing, a holistic professional organizing company that focuses on wellness for the mind, body, and home, for her best tips on how to tackle spring cleaning with intention and self-care in mind.
Q: How can someone set a physical and emotional intention or approach to their spring cleaning?
Someone can set a physical and emotional intention by asking themselves these questions:
How would you describe your ideal home environment in a few words? Get as descriptive as possible here.
What are the sounds, the smells, the tastes of your ideal home? Write it all down without judgement. Don’t think, just write.
What would you like to see in your home that may be missing? It could be a life partner, connection to your neighborhood, or a home project that you’ve been longing to manifest. No matter what your soul desires, make sure your intention is clear, conscious and is written in the present tense as if it is already real and happening right now.
I encourage my clients to write down intentions for each season and keep them on their home altar as a reminder of where they are headed.
Q: What strategies are best for making spring cleaning approachable?
Keep it simple and create a schedule. People often try to tackle too much in one day which leads to burnout and disappointment. Pick one room or one major project per week. For example, turn all the mattresses and wipe down the baseboards in each bedroom for one week, next clean out your coat closet one week, then empty the fridge, toss expired foods, give it a good wipe down and place everything back in an organized fashion the next week.
When we work on something a little each day or week we are far more likely to complete a large project. When we save a big undertaking such as Spring Cleaning for a single day, the probability of getting it all done is pretty slim.
Q: How do you maintain a side-by-side cleaning and organizing schedule to prevent it from piling up — literally?
I am an avid user of my mobile phone calendar — I sync it with all my other electronic devices. Every Sunday, I look at my upcoming schedule and properly plan life and work activities taking care not to spread myself too thin. I’m a very visual person so seeing a printed calendar on my desk helps me plan for the months ahead. This way I can visualize larger commitments and events and make a note of when I need to schedule self-care, time with family and friends as well as weekend getaways.
Q: Everywhere we go (mostly IG), we’re seeing people sage cleansing their homes. Can you explain this process to us?
It’s not as complicated as some make it out to be. The process of cleansing the home with a purifying tool such as sage or palo santo is simply about bringing awareness and consciousness in and redirecting any unwanted or stagnant energy out. It’s like a colonic for the home:)
Q: Any tips for keeping smaller homes and apartments decluttered?
Only keep what you really need and use in a small home. I personally live in a modest 1350 sq. ft home and we are constantly evaluating ways to make more open space and live with less. For example we just ordered a whole house water filtration system so now we can say “bye bye” to the bulky Brita that clutters up our countertop. There are tons of cooking gadgets out there that are multi-functional, so asking yourself if you really need a pineapple corer or a cherry pitter will keep the clutter to a minimum.
Invest in quality over quantity especially with furniture and clothing. While the Ikea or Forever 21 item may seem like a good deal now, will it be five years from now? Investing in classic staples will save you money, time and energy for years to come.
Q: What are some of your favorite products right now?
I always try to purchase sustainable products for my home and my clients’ homes. It’s so important that we treat Mother Earth to the best of our ability. I believe that when we do right with the universe, the universe always reciprocates that energy back to us.
My favorite storage option as an all-around shopper that can take you from the farmer’s market to the beach is this tote from Connected Goods.
For dishwashing soap, my go-to is from Murchison Hume. Original Fig is my favorite scent.
To have my upholstery and bed sheets smelling fresh in-between washes, I love Common Good Co.’s linen water. It’s infused with essential oils, so it makes your mind feel so at ease!
The only sponge I use is by Pura Naturals. It’s a non-stink sponge made of plant-based renewable resources, while the scrubber is made of walnut shells!
An amazing alternative to plastic wrap are these beeswax cloths. They’re made of organic cotton, beeswax, jojoba oil, and tree resin.
To energetically cleanse my home, I like burning sage. I’m really big on conservation and choose to use single leaves of sage instead of smudge sticks. Smudge sticks are often bundled too early often with damp leaves and tend to mold from the inside out. When using only small amounts of a precious resource like sage, it shows that I respect and value it. You can find what I love and use in my own House Healing Kits on my teacher David Elliott’s site.
If you’re like my fiance and can’t stand sage, palo santo is another great option.
While smudging, I use a turkey feather to direct the smoke to the area I want cleansed.
Q: Any spring cleaning hacks we should keep in mind as we venture into our closets this weekend?
As the warmer weather approaches, store seasonal items, like chunky sweaters, away to create more wiggle room between hangers and items folded on shelves or drawers. File folding is another great way to organize your closet and have everything be seen. You only wear what you see, so make it visible!
If you’re looking for a simplified closet and get on the minimalism train, I recommend trying the 333 Challenge or creating a 10x10 capsule wardrobe. Capsules are a fun and great way to creatively make what you already have work for you! These methods are a huge help if you’re the kind of person who often says, “I have nothing to wear.” Keeping a minimal wardrobe makes all aspects of your life easier and allows you to spend more time with people and/or activities that you love!
Piece contributed by Lili Pettit of Clutter Healing, a holistic professional organizing company that focuses on wellness for the mind, body, and home. Trained in a series of respected and time-honored traditions, Pettit works one-on-one with clients to identify and uncover emotional attachments to their possessions and embark on a gentle, yet effective, path toward releasing and removing them from the home.
Image via West Elm.