Spring clean to reduce the stress of lockdown living

01 September 2020 | Life Style

Café coffee has been replaced by a countertop coffee pot and commuting to work means going from bedroom to kitchen. Spending more time indoors right now may be shedding light on spots around the house prone to disorderly chaos. The average household is likely storing more supplies and groceries than usual to avoid frequent trips to the store – and possibly to accommodate more people living under one roof. If storage space seems maxed out, perhaps it’s time to reorganize for efficiency.
To help homeowners reduce stress, RE/MAX of Southern Africa suggests the following ways to spring clean and bring order to the chaos.
• Repack the pantry and refrigerator
With more food staples on hand, now is a good time to clear everything off the shelves and put it all back in a stacked, organised, and easy-to-reach manner. A pantry, or fridge, will have greater capacity – and be easier to navigate – once the contents have been rearranged to save space. Check dates for expired condiments, which hog room along the door shelves, and consolidate loose items like granola bars into boxes or jars so no snack gets left behind.
• Use the storage space under the bathroom basin
This location may not be causing the stress, but its underutilised storage capabilities can help alleviate stress by clearing up space in other messy zones. The cabinet underneath the bathroom sink isn’t just for items like Band-Aids and plungers. Perhaps you have excess paper goods on hand – such as, ahem, toilet paper. This hidden gem storage space is the perfect spot for concealing odds and ends.
• Clothes belong in a wardrobe
So many shoes by the door and coats hanging over chairs but nowhere to go! If we’re honest, most of us clutter our spaces with slippers, sneakers, rain jackets and bags hanging on hooks, countertops, and unused armchairs. Store these items inside a closet – out of sight and out of mind. This will free up some much-needed space and leave your home feeling much more organised and less stressful.
• Clear the kitchen table at night
While your kitchen table might need to function as your home office or a homework spot for your children during the day, it does not need to stay that way at night. Try to keep this space as orderly as possible, not allowing clutter to linger when the workday or school day is done. Unless you’re in the midst of a great big puzzle, clear off the kitchen table at the end of each day so your house feels normal again when it’s time for rest and relaxation.
• Clean high-traffic areas regularly
Even after you have decluttered the shelves, countertops, and closets, you may still be feeling stress from the dust and dirt around you. To limit this, get into the habit of running a vacuum through high-traffic areas, like the living room, every few days so that visible dirt never piles up. Though life is out of routine at the moment, stick to regular maintenance such as wiping down kitchen counter surfaces daily and giving the bathroom a good scrub on the weekends.
“There are several factors in any household that are notorious for causing stress; some are easier to fix than others. But, if too little space in your home is causing unnecessary stress for you and your family, then now is the perfect time to consider moving. At the current interest rates, buying a new home has never been more affordable. To get a feel of what you can afford, speak to your nearest RE/MAX agent and explore your options,” concludes Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.

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