Clean House, Clean Living

A #spring #scrubdown doesn’t have to be interpreted as #cleaning things and spaces only, Redbook says; you can also bring a sense of #cleansing and renewal other areas of your life. It’s a great time to start meditating, get things fixed, discard old paperwork, catch up on your sleep, and disconnect from devices or bad relationships. Of course, it’s a good time to evaluate your wardrobe for things you no longer wear don’t wear, too: “Haven’t worn it in a year? It’s time to #donate or sell it,” the story says. “Whatever you do, don’t toss apparel — old #clothing often ends up in landfills.”

Focus Your Household Deep-Cleaning

Any #spring #scrubdown should target areas of the home that have seen heavy use over the winter, the Iowa State Daily says. Clean and deodorize rugs and carpeting, clean the oven and the refrigerator, and clean and freshen drains. Also wash the windows — inside and out, if possible — to let the sunlight in. The change of seasons is also a good time to clear out and #donate extra #clothing: “Free up space in your closet or dresser by going through old, unused items,” the story says. “If you haven’t worn something in the last year, consider #donating it to someone in need.”

Celebrating National Vietnam War Veterans Day

Next Tuesday, March 29, is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Why March 29? Because on March 29, 1973, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) was disbanded and the last U.S. combat troops departed the Republic of Vietnam.

Vietnam veterans first got their own holiday the following year — even before the fall of Saigon in 1975 — thanks to President Richard Nixon, who declared March 29 Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. But not until 2012 did the push for a national observance get underway.

That year, President Obama issued a proclamation calling upon all Americans to observe March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day with programs, ceremonies and other activities that commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

“One of the most painful chapters in our history was Vietnam — particularly how we treated our troops who served there,” President Obama said in his remarks. “You were often blamed for a war you didn’t start, when you should have been commended for serving your country with valor.”

In 2017, National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established as an official observance. Now in its fifth year, National Vietnam War Veterans Day is the occasion for hundreds of celebrations and events nationwide — all held to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

More than 3.2 million people served between Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975. But those numbers are dwindling: More than 500 Vietnam veterans pass every day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. So the time to thank them is now.

Take some time out in the next couple weeks to observe National Vietnam War Veterans Day by visiting a veterans memorial or attending a commemorative event; thanking a Vietnam veteran personally with a call, card or visit; or volunteering your time with a veterans organization.

You can also donate your used clothing and household goods to ClothingDoanations.org year-round to fund programs that help honor those who served by staging commemorative events and offering direct assistance when needed. The nation’s veterans thank you for your support!

Get a Headstart on Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is a tradition that’s likely as old as civilization itself. Certain cultures even incorporate spring cleaning into their religious practices, but the imperative is more likely a byproduct of brighter days and warmer weather. People naturally want to shake off the cold, dark days of winter and make a fresh start.

You don’t have to wait unit March 20 to begin a thorough spring cleaning, however. In fact, with unusually warm months ahead predicted for much of the U.S., it may feel like spring in your area sooner — and that means you can take advantage of the weather to make everything spotless.

The Simply Organized Home suggests starting spring cleaning in February — that’s now — with a thorough #decluttering. “There is no reason to start deep-cleaning if you are surrounded by clutter,” it says. “There is no point in cleaning things that you don’t need, use or love.”

Go through the house room by room and get rid of the things that are just taking up space — clothing you don’t want or need, small appliances you don’t use, knickknacks that hold no real sentimental value. Box and bag your lightly used castoffs and visit ClothingDonations.org to schedule a free #donation #pickup.

With that #junk out of the way, you can start #deep-cleaning. Take a single room and dust, vacuum and clean everything in it, from the window treatments to the windows to the linens to the baseboards to the floors. Proceed to the next room (not necessarily on the same day) until everything is clean.

Alternatively, Apartment Therapy has a single-day spring cleaning plan that refreshes bedding and household fabrics while also sanitizing windows, woodwork and other seldom-scrubbed parts of the home that may have accumulated dirt and grime over the winter.

Spring cleaning is a once-a-year opportunity to freshen your space and make it more livable. But you don’t have to wait — start it now, and you’ll be in a great position to fling open your windows and enjoy the gentle breezes.

Make Your Home Into a Hygge Haven

As readers may recall from previous wintertime posts, hygge (pronounced “HOO-guh”) is the Scandinavian concept of creating warmth, comfort and conviviality in spite of the frigid outdoor temperatures. With temperatures dropping into the single digits, we at The Organizing Blog thought it was time to offer a hygge update.

With the pandemic entering its third year, it’s worth noting that hygge jibes well with the stay-at-home ethic. It doesn’t require dressing up — just the opposite, in fact. Your most comfortable loungewear, flannels and woolen socks will be the height of hygge style.

A hygge home always includes flickering lights, according to Self magazine. Whether it’s a crackling fire in the fireplace, an arrangement of candles or holiday string lights, lighting should be muted, soothing and romantic.

You’ll also need a warm blanket to hygge-fy your home. Quiet pursuits such as a good book or jigsaw puzzle are extremely hygge, but practitioners are also welcome to binge-watch their favorite television programs. Calm relaxation is the key.

Eating in a hygge household should also be geared toward warmth: Coffee, tea and hot chocolate; hearty roasts and stews; and home-baked breads, pastries and cakes are definitely on the menu. Indulgent but fortifying, hygge foods might be called hearth-healthy.

Practiced most assiduously in the world’s happiest country, Denmark, hygge espouses #simplicity over #clutter. Too much #stuff, and hygge becomes difficult to achieve. After all, a #cluttered atmosphere is a hectic and stressful atmosphere.

Hygge and #decluttering are a match made in heaven,” says Do You. “While hygge by itself offers moments of comfort, you might be distracted or stressed by feeling that you are in an environment that is #untidy, cluttered or reminds you of things pending.”

If you’re stuck in a cluttered home, start by setting aside a small hygge haven; a single room can be your #sanctuary. Remove anything that doesn’t contribute to calm and cozy feelings, and #donate the things you won’t need again to  ClothingDonations.org.

Then, curl up with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate or whatever best warms your bones against the winter chill. You may just find that hygge is the #simplified lifestyle you’ve been missing!