Moving into Spring Cleaning

by Alyssa Yenzer

Moving into Spring Cleaning
By Stephanie Wallace

With New Year’s still fresh in my mind, the unseasonably warm weather these days, and the fact that I’ll be moving to a new place in May, I’ve been thinking a lot about resetting my current living situation.

If you’re like me, you’ve accumulated a lot of junk over the past two years. So many bright and shiny new things made their way into my apartment to make my space feel less like a sad box. But now it’s a cramped box, and I’m ready to see what Manhattan Public Library has to help me and everyone else who’s ready to get an early start on spring cleaning.

My first stop on my decluttering challenge was to pick back up my Marie Kondo books. The titles most people are familiar with, “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up” and “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” introduced the KonMari method to the world. I just needed a refresher, however, so I grabbed “The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story.” It is a graphic novel about Marie Kondo helping one woman clean up her tiny apartment. The story’s cute, it’s a quick read, and its advice is still just as helpful as her main titles.

Energized to accomplish more than simply paring down my belongings, next I went to “The Art of Happy Moving: How to Declutter, Pack, and Start Over While Maintaining Your Sanity and Finding Happiness” by Ali Wenzke. While I found this book is mostly targeted towards families moving from one house to another, it has a lot of great tips about how to find the right place and location for your needs. I found these tips helpful to consider for future planning, not to mention, the author has a reassuring sense of humor to keep the prospect of moving less daunting.

Since I still needed help now, I turned to “Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess” by Rachel Hoffman. This book is such a palate cleanser. I greatly appreciated Hoffman’s candid insight on the realities of cleaning and maintaining a place to live if you have a full-time job, unhelpful roommates, burnout, mental illness, a disability, or any number of reasons why traditional advice often fails to make a change. Throughout the book is honest encouragement without any sugar coating. The mini challenges in each chapter were quick and made an immediate difference in many areas of my apartment, and I’m definitely going to revisit it often.

When I need more detailed information about how to clean all the odds and ends in my apartment, “Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home: No-Nonsense Advice That Will Inspire You to Clean Like the Dickens” by Thelma Meyer comes in handy. It explains how to keep all parts of my home looking like new.

With better habits in place, I’ve been hunting for decorating inspiration by enjoying flipping through our magazines in the Reading Room and on Flipster, which is available through the library’s Online Resources page. It has newly-added titles such as “Old House Journal” and “Do It Yourself,” both perfect for my eclectic style. I also keep up to date on classics like “Real Simple” and “Better Homes & Gardens.” They have a plethora of helpful tips to make my space the best it can be.

Creativebug, another online resource, will help me a lot soon. Besides having dozens of fun crafting tutorials, it has a series dedicated to furniture restoration. My old chairs will match the rest of my furniture once more and save me the need to replace them entirely.

For the things I can’t simply repair, I check out Consumer Reports through the library’s website. It’s easy to search through the categories for tech and appliances to see which brand of air fryer will best fit my needs, for example. After all the cleaning and reorganizing I’ve done so far, it’s a small way to reward my efforts.

Though I still have a long way to go before I move into my new place, the resources I’ve found at the library have been incredibly helpful. With any luck, they will be just the thing to help you improve your home, too.