The Tribune - Spectrum

, April 7, 2002

Sunday Activity

When spring comes, can spring-cleaning be far behind?

AS the days become pleasant, neither too cold to make one inactive and neither too hot to induce lassitude, it is time to spruce up your home and rid it of all unwanted clutter.

Over the year, one tends to show away all unused items into various cabinets and cupboards, turning them into virtual junk zones. Various cleaning and sorting jobs are put off to some other time that never comes.

This spring if you methodically clean up the main clutter zones of your home each weekend the task will not seem monumental. Snatch a few minutes here and there to sort out one shelf or drawer at a time, instead of waiting to have an entire day free for the job.

Here is a general guide to enable you to dejunk the major areas of your home.


Drawing room

  • Most decorative items bought during travels or trips to exhibitions find a place on drawing room shelves and niches. As a result, the shelves begin to wear a cramped look with all the bric-a-brac-vying for a place in the limited space. Thus the first step would be to give away those odd decorative pieces to your servants or maids. The ones that look faded and worn off can be given to the kabadiwala.

When you buy a new carpet for the drawing room, you tend to store the old one, which only ends up gathering dust. Either you can exchange the old carpet with a new one from a carpet vendor or give it away to your house help.


  • Do a quick review of all the old kitchen gadgets and appliances that you no longer use and have stowed away. If these gadgets can be used after minor repair, get it done. Else, dispose of these unwanted appliances to kabadiwalas. Some repair shops also buy off old gadgets.

  • Are you one of those who store old crockery, pots and pans for sentimental reasons or because you like their unusual shape or colour. Now is the time to banish these isolated pieces of crockery, odd bottles and jars, dipped mugs and cups. Your kitchen will look unclutter at once.


  • Over a period of time, the cupboards become veritable storehouses of old out-of-fashion clothes, faded jeans and tops or suits and saris that need darning. Sort out your unused dresses now. Reuse the ones that can be worn after a minor mending. Convert faded clothes into dusters and give away out of fashion ones to servants or orphanages.

  • If you have a fetish for footwear, the chances are that you have picked up a shoe or sandal on an impulse and after a couple of wears it is lying discarded on your shoe rack. Or you have ended up with a collection of footwear that pinches, does not fit well or is now out-of-fashion. Put your soul into this solesorting and give away shoes you no longer wear.

  • Bookshelves after get lined with books you have been gifted books you have over grown or books you think you will read one day. But these books become mere repositories of dust and dirt. It would be best to donate them to your local libraries or give them to friends who want them.


  • Donít leave out your medicine kit, where you tend to accumulate expired, unwanted tablets and syrups. Throw these away before they are accidentally consumed by anyone.

  • Cosmetic kits and jewellery boxes too need sorting out. Discard or give away lip colours or paints that are half used or no longer used. As for the junk jewellery you have hoarded, either put it to some creative use or give it to your maid.

A job well begun is half done. So begin now, this very weekend and before you know, youíll have spring cleaned your way through April. So, why not use that one hour that you watch television to sort out your vanity case or declutter your old stuffed handbags.

(Compiled by Chetna Banerjee)

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