You stare at your bucket of cleaning supplies and rationalize: it’s only a few hours, I’ll burn some calories. But cleaning is boring and repetitive. Your mind needs firing up too. Is there a way to do that?
Yes. Solution: you’re going to clean a room—but also freshen it, revive it as you release your inner interior designer and let your creative juices flow. It’s In the Bag, a shopping bag you’ve set aside full of things that will rev up your rooms and kick your organizational skills into high gear.
In the bag you might find:
- memorable photos and a china bowel your mother wanted you to have
- Aunt Lily’s ironstone platter and some crystals from her old chandelier
- birthday gifts—two soft black leather pillows, a scarlet throw
- a set of sale towels with the tags still on
- silver-toned picture frames you found at a flea market
These are just a few examples. Shop your closets, drawers, basement and attic for more.
Then follow the RULES of the game:
- do In the Bag cleaning only when you deep clean; do your normal routine first;
- focus on one room, even one corner of a room; While you’re dusting and vacuuming, you’ll be thinking about where to hang the artwork, or what to put on that newly found shelf, or how many candles to mass on Aunt Lily’s ironstone platter. Do what you can do, when you can do it.
- be flexible and creative; This is not about spending a lot of money—though you can bend that rule to suit your needs. It is about organizing, updating and reinventing. It keeps your decorating mind challenged.
- keep The Bag in the same place; It’s a receptacle for the stuff you’re going to use to give your home that personal touch.
- enjoy your success; Each little change will inspire you, so that the next time you’re putting away toys or laundry, you’ll flex your decorating muscle and plan for your next In the Bag cleaning event.
How to Get Started and then Keep on Going:
- clean out a cabinet; You’ll find things to put in the bag: a stray mug for pencils, an old glass casserole with a silver base for perfume bottles, and a sugar bowl for cotton balls.
- sketch out a new furniture arrangement for your family room; You’ll have a better idea of how to control traffic flow and clutter, and what size and type of storage containers you will need for all those books, toys, or sea shells.
- remember The Bag when family members offer you family mementos; There can be creative gold in cast-offs and emotional gold in photos, artwork, glassware, even furniture (of course it won’t fit in The Bag).
- haunt your favorite hobby store for seasonal branches, flowers and fruits to celebrate the seasons; Your family will love that you remember not just winter holidays, but all times of the year. Autumn branches and pumpkins can share a labeled box with spring rabbits and bird nests or summer lighthouses and sand dollars.
- keep scented candles on hand in colors that complement your rooms; Stock up when there’s a sale.
- don’t put fresh flowers in The Bag, but they’re a wonderful way to punch up your rooms with color and scent; Mother Nature provides a variety of shapes and colors, the florist, a variety of prices.
- remember: LESS IS MORE; The purpose of In the Bag cleaning is to recycle or throw away the things you are replacing or changing. Keep a large cardboard box in your basement or garage; fill it with items you will no longer be using and then donate these items periodically.
- look for items that will add color and texture to your home; As you repurpose your finds, you will be putting the stamp of your unique personality on your rooms. Look for mirrors, framed art, old photographs, plates, vintage sports equipment, architectural salvage, oil paintings, glass doorknobs and light fixtures.
It’s really about being open to the muse. You’ll come across an item you’re not looking for, but it’s looking for you! That’s serendipity. It can happen when you clean out shelves in the garage or shop the local flea market. There it is: a small fountain, the statue of a golden retriever, a set of hand-blown crystal glasses, a retro-tablecloth in orange and pink, a leather footstool, three ironstone coffee cups, a pink shag throw rug, or a bookshelf that someone painted turquoise. Are you interested? Yes. You’re thinking of The Bag, that you can tuck one of these items away until your next deep cleaning, until your creative juices are flowing and you know what to do with it. You’re on a roll. It’s in The Bag!!
Thanks to Google Images