spring cleaning

Spring Cleaning is My Middle Name

Whenever I think of spring cleaning, I picture a mom with a bandanna on getting ready to let the sun shine in after a gloomy winter.  She pulls on her gloves, and pulls out the vaccuum and lets the spring lighten up everything.  Then she looks around and the house is all sunny and warm, and clean.

Well, that’s not really my image of spring cleaning anymore, because I don’t spring clean.  I clean all the time, not just in the spring.  The true definition of spring cleaning is a thorough cleaning of the house, typically undertaken during the spring.  Aha.  Why is it done in the spring?  Well, in the winter it is too cold to do anything.

I find that in the warm weather it is hard to do anything.  I find myself cleaning and then realize my time can be better spent outdoors.  And so the cycle begins.  The cycle of starting this said “spring cleaning,” and then never really finishing it.

I have found now that I am older, cleaning isn’t such a bore.  In fact, I often find myself stressing about the mess I leave.  Which is probably a good ting seeing as college kids get a reputation of being slobs.  I am quite the organizer, especially when it comes to all things clothes related.

So my tale begins.

Clothes are like a good friend to me.  They are actually like many good friends.  Each article of clothing reminds me of a moment in time, or brings back a memory of some sort.  That makes spring cleaning the clothes I have a very difficult task.  How can I throw away or donate my friends?!  That’s just barbaric.

I just found a bright orange tank top with a funky knot in the front.  I have had it since I was 15.  Three years later, I still have it, have barely worn it, and the strap is broken, tied back together by yours truly.  Why do I still have it?  It was one of the first nice tops I bought with my own money, from one of my favorite stores (Forever 21!).

But, I have thought of some tricks that help me have a successful spring cleaning, or summer cleaning, or any season cleaning that you may encounter!  To start, go through and find things first that you absolutely do not like.  Donation works well for those clothes.  Then go through and find which clothes you want to save but they are not fit for the season.  This allows you to have more room for new clothes that are in season.

As for clothes that you know either aren’t “in” anymore, or do not fit you but you still like them, or they are just plain old and tattered, there are a few things I have found that work.  For one, you can take them to consignment shops.  One popular shop is called Plato’s Closet, which takes name-brand clothes of a certain season and style.  This place is great for buying gently used clothes of top brands, all for affordable prices.  It is for guys, and girls.  They allow you to bring in your gently used clothes, and they pay you right on the spot.  That is, if they want to take any of your clothes.  I have brought trash bags filled with barely worn, name brand clothes (Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Hollister, American Eagle, and even a variety of designers) and have left with that same bag.  They are very selective, and it depends on what they want for that month.  Certain items I think they always want (Victoria’s Secret sweat pants, anything Hollister, Uggs), but yet I am always discouraged when I leave.  Maybe you can have more luck?

However, if consignment shops are not your thing, swap parties with friends are wonderful.  Bring over a bag of your clothes and dump on a table for your friends to go through.  You can trade your old items for something new, and you can see your “old friends” go to a new home.

One last thing I have found works is for those with the creative bone in their body.  Taking old clothes that you probably will never wear and turning them into something more fashionable is very fun.  My best friend and I took old, big men’s shirts that I had used for sleeping, and turned them into sexy crop-tops.  Forever 21 is selling them like crazy, for about $15 a pop!  The ones we created look exactly alike, and cost us a couple less hours of sleep instead of cash from our wallet.

These little tricks have worked for me.  I try to weed through my clothes every month.  It helps free up space, and gives me a great excuse to go shopping.  Whatever the season may be, a little organization is always a good idea.

The Detox Diaries: It’s All About Attitude

It was day three today, and today was all about my attitude.  I woke up this morning, and did some wake-up yoga poses (very simple stretches, really).  I thought I was going to have a headache, but I believe the stretches helped scare it away.  I made my Salada Citrus tea with antioxidants, and fixed up my day one breakfast consisting of a grapefruit and banana.  I love banana’s when they are slightly overripe.  All of the natural sugars come to the surface, and it just tastes a whole lot better than a not-so-ripe-banana.  I drank some water with lemon wedges, and put on my running gear.

It has been awhile since I have gone on a run, so I made sure to stretch.  I have many friends who dismiss stretching, and say “Oh, I don’t need to stretch.”  Stop the madness!  There are many people who say stretching doesn’t matter, but after many years of running, I have concluded that I personally, must stretch before and after a run.  The benefits of stretching are the warming up of the muscles, decrease in injury, and it helps increase flexibilty.  Plus I think it just feels good.  Today I felt a lot of pain in my hamstrings, for no particular reason, and I found stretching made me feel much better.  I even found less pain after I had run.

have to have music on when I run.  It helps me clear my mind, and an upbeat song always keeps me moving.  While I have a taste for alternative music, I normally choose upbeat, sing-song-y pop songs to run to.  Here is my playlist for today:

“Handclaps & Guitars”–Chiddy Bang

“Club Can’t Handle Me”–Flo Rida

“Good Feeling”–Flo Rida

“Moving in the Dark”–Neon Trees

“Everybody Talks”–Neon Trees

“Crank it Up”–David Guetta ft. Akon

“Tell Me a Lie”–One Direction (yes, I listen to One Direction)

I typically go for a mile, or two miles if I am feeling adventurous.  In high school I was more of a sprinter than I was long distance, but I can maintain a steady pace and go for a mile without losing a lung.  After my run, I stretched and cooled down.

When I washed up, I used Neutrogena’s Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub.  I highly recommend this, especially when on a detox.  This pore scrub has no harsh chemicals, and instead contains willowbark and jojoba beads.  These strange items are good for the skin, and do not burn it like some other facial products will do.  It is a really great scrub, and I always feel very clean after using it.  On a detox, some studies recommend using natural facial and body cleansers.  If you are using cleansers with high amounts of chemicals, you aren’t maximizing the decrease in toxins.

As for food, I had leftover brown rice with vegetables, and two kiwis for lunch.  My mother informed me that the kiwi is another super food, it contains many vitamins, minerals, and it is so delicious!  Kiwi’s are very easy to eat, just cut in half and scoop out with a spoon!

I also had a before work snack of a mango, strawberry, banana, orange and spinach leave smoothie!  Complete with a bendy straw.

The straw definitely made it taste better!

At work, I snacked on carrot sticks, and had a baked sweet potato for part one of my dinner.  When I came home, I whipped up some stir-fry, this time I added small chunks of celery.  All of the other vegetables go nicely with this refreshing vegetable.  I also added yellow peppers, because it’s important to have your bright colors each day.

At last the day winds down, and I sip on my Salada tea to relax.  Today was all about attitude.  I woke up with a positive attitude to get things done.  I did yoga, and went for a run.  I could have slept in until the cows came home, but instead I put a smile on my face and made the best of a beautiful day!  Side note, I also did some belated spring cleaning!  It all depends on your attitude.  If you can think positively, you can do anything!