22 January 2021
SPARKING JOY: Places you didn’t know needed spring cleaning

Your home is not just the only place that needs spring cleaning. Read on and find out where else could use a good cleanse!

With the Lunar New Year imminent, so too are holiday preparations for some households in Singapore. With the slightly relaxed meet-up regulations introduced in Phase 3, many of us are probably looking forward to hosting our extended family and friends for the festive celebrations. But, thanks to work-from-home arrangements, our homes have probably been rearranged, and could use a good spring cleaning before we entertain visitors.

Spring cleaning before the New Year stems from the belief of sweeping away bad luck from the previous year, and in modern times, this is often combined with the famed ‘KonMari’ methods of tidying up and only keeping things that “spark joy”. If you’re at a loss and don’t know where to start, we’re here to help! Here are some of the places you didn’t know needed spring cleaning.

The Obvious: Your home

While it may seem like we are stating the obvious, doing a major spring clean is never as easy as it sounds. If you’ve been conscientiously maintaining your home like the domestic god/goddess you are, skip on ahead to the next point. For the rest of us who struggle more often than not, here are some tips that might help. 

Check your cupboards and drawers

While getting rid of the dust and dirt is one aspect of spring cleaning, decluttering is a fairly major component as well. Cupboards and drawers often hide things away from prying eyes, and I am often more than guilty of chucking items into them when I have guests. Over time, these can become forgotten, and while you might dread to discover what you could possibly unearth, perhaps you might also find some knick-knacks you thought had gone missing since two Christmases ago.

Compartmentalise your space

Are you the sort to keep the spare nuts and bolts that came with your IKEA bookcase, only to never actually use them? If you’re the type who prefers to have everything “just in case”, you’ll be glad to have your items stored in compartments by the time you need them. To make things even easier, label your compartments so you won’t have to hunt high and low for that box of something-something you left somewhere.

Donate or give things away

During your spring clean, you might uncover clothes, appliances, and items that you no longer use. If these are still in great condition, consider donating or giving them away instead of tossing them in the trash. Not only does this help reduce waste, but you might also be able to help someone else in the meantime. After all, as the Chinese saying goes, doing good deeds can bring the greatest joys.

The Ignored: Your car

If you’ve got plans at the back of your head to get your car detailed for the new year, that’s great! (Psst, we may or may not have some great deals for you. Just ask our friendly service team!) But don’t forget, getting your car looking shiny and new again is not the end of it. If there are plans to shuttle your family to Grandma’s for a reunion dinner, cleaning out your interior is equally important.

Check your compartments

And I don’t just mean your glove compartment or boot. Check your cupholders, the holders on the side of your doors, and the pockets behind the seats. Depending on who your frequent passengers are, you might find a special surprise somewhere. It’s also a good opportunity to check the expiry date on your parking coupons, refill the emergency candy jar, and if you find some stubborn stains that look like too much of a hassle, give AutoApp a call!

The Forgotten: Your tech

There’s no arguing that technological advancements happen at a rate faster than we can keep up with. Personally, I’ve cycled through five iPhone models in the last 10 years, and while the allure of new and cool tech is partly to blame, many of my devices were still in working condition when I switched to the upgraded model. The same can be said about our other devices too, as older tech slowly but surely become obsolete and unusable. For devices you no longer need, here’s a list of places you can drop them off to either recycle, donate, or sell your old tech.

Source: Style Degree

Do a camera roll purge

If you’ve got thousands of photos and videos in your smartphone’s camera roll, you, my friend, might be a digital hoarder. We feel you. Technology has made it so easy for us to capture all these important moments that documenting our lives in pictures is practically second nature. Whether it’s our children, furbabies, the places we’ve travelled to, and the things we love, it’s easy for a photo collection to grow out of control till your device is constantly reminding you to make space and delete something.

But, amidst all these lovely memories surely are some less pleasing ones — blurry pictures when your hand shook, memes you saved but don’t find funny anymore, or five versions of the same picture edited differently. These should be the first to go during your purge, and before long your camera roll will find itself with some breathing room again.

CDs, VCDs, DVDs? What’re those?

If you have no idea the answer to this question, good for you. With so many music and video streaming services available, physical discs are meeting their slow but sure demise as mainstream sellables, though there is still a small, niche market for special collectors’ editions. Nonetheless, if you’ve still got copies of your favourite K-drama or blockbuster movie on VCD from Kim Poh, these can move higher up your to-go list, as alternatives are easily available on the likes of Viu and Netflix.

What about those old CD mixtapes you used to listen to? Got you covered, says Spotify and Apple Music.

The Essential: Your wellbeing

The most unexpected and also the most challenging spring-clean is your own wellbeing. Our shoulders often carry the weight of our worlds, and these loads can become too much to bear after a long time. There will always be problems and stresses that we have difficulty coping with, and I’m not suggesting that shirking all responsibility and going YOLO is the best solution. But, if there are ways to ease our minds even a little, why not lighten the load? Your mind and heart will feel relieved, even if it doesn’t spark complete joy.

Let go of old grudges

If you’ve been hurt in the past, it’s easy to nurse that hurt into a grudge. It won’t be easy, but being able to let go and move on from past hurt also means redirecting that emotional energy into moving forward. Instead of thinking of it as forgiving and forgetting (both of which are not easy), consciously deciding that the grudge is no longer worth your mental and emotional dollars can set you on an easier path forward.

Put a stop to toxic relationships

You’ll recognise a toxic relationship if being around that person or place has you feeling constantly drained, at a loss, or stressed. You might also experience a lack of support, or be on the receiving end of verbal abuse. These are only some of the signs, and toxic relationships can manifest in many ways, both at home or in a workplace. Depending on the circumstances, these can be dealt with by either walking away, or working towards fixing the relationship. Neither are easy roads to take, but with the right support, are definitely roads worth taking.

We’ve got more lifestyle hacks up our sleeve, and plenty of car care tips too!