The pre January deep cleanse

Call it getting older, call it self awareness, call it self CARE, but this week I decided that I would tackle something before the START of the school holidays: The DEEP CLEAN that comes in January.

This clean has been well documented throughout the dawn the time. A Mum gets home from holidays after Christmas and she wants to set fire to her house. The holidays house or family home they visited over Christmas was filled with minimal stuff. There was no mess, no toys, grown up NICE THINGS and when they walk back into their home to dead Christmas tree, the garbage bag of year 4 school stuff sitting where you left it at the end of term and you just want to START AGAIN.

You can read about my lament in these posts:

The January deep cleanse (2018)
The home from holidays clean (2019)

But this week, in amongst all the work and frazzle of this time of year, I decided to try a little early clean. Before Christmas. I KNOW, it’s unheard of. Each few days over the past week I have tackled something hard and fast. Saturday was Rob’s wardrobe that needed a clean out for the past 4 years. And no, I’m not kidding. FOUR YEARS. We sat there together and went through every drawer, every shelf that had wedged clothes in it and we culled A LOT. SO much. Like 8 garbage bags. He was left with so little in his drawers he was THRILLED. He can see what he wears, and doesn’t have the clutter everywhere. He even said that he feels lighter. I went to the charity shop, wiped the shelves and washed every item of clothing that he has, filed them nicely and started again. JOB DONE.

Monday I tackled a dresser we have near our dining room that hadn’t been properly looked at for years. I removed everything off it, dusted it, chucked out what I didn’t need (why we had 5 dice on the shelves I will never know). STARTED AGAIN. Faffed about making it pretty. It took me about 20 minutes but I felt SO much better at the end of it.

And then yesterday I tackled the TOY AREA. Which was in desperate need of a chuck and cull. I set myself a 2 hour window between school orientation and packing for the shop and went for it. It was shit show.

I did a massive clean out of all the baby toys that we no longer needed, board books and the the like. I cleaned out and sorted colouring books, reading books, puzzles and games. I threw out ALL of the little boxes and containers filled with little pieces of SHITE that drive me mad. I had no children to bug me, I was focused and I was determined. I was ruthless and took such pleasure in shoving Barbie’s unmatched shoes in the bin. I got a wee bit emo when some of the stuff that we had from when Daisy was a baby made the charity pile, but that was short-lived when the HIGH took over from the clean in the end.

Better than any drug, I was SO HAPPY. Everything was clean! Everything has a place! ALL THE SHIT WAS GONE. And I packed up that car with the bags for the tip and charity shop, and I drove them and dropped them off (DEAR GOD THE TIP IS LIBERATING) all before School pick up. No one mentioned a thing, in fact the big two just seemed impressed that I followed through and did it.

And then I went to the hardware shop and got a cobweb extender thingy and came home and tried to get rid of all the cobwebs that have been driving me mad. I couldn’t do that job properly as I need a longer ladder – but it seems I am on a ROLL.

The thing about these jobs is that no one wants to do them. Not really. Like exercise, or eating well, no one REALLY want to tackle that, but you know that you have to, so just bloody well GET ON WITH IT. Set the task. Be focused and set a timer. Follow through until the job is done, and I mean DONE. Like take those bags to the charity shop NOW, go to the tip NOW, follow through until DONE. Know that when it’s half way through that it will seem BAD, like you will question why on earth you began it, but stick with it friends, it will be worth it in the end.

And now I can START my holidays with a clean slate. Literally. I have space to breathe before it all gets filled up with new crap (but! it has made me more mindful of buying crap this Christmas). It feels so good and I feel like I am tackling the holidays in a better head space. I mean, I’m fairly confident that I will want to set fire to my house when we get home but I also feel like I can enjoy a break without the pressure of feeling JOBS ALL THE JOBS YOU NEVER DO DURING THE YEAR. I hate that feeling.

So friends, if you can wrangle the time (it doesn’t take as long as you think it might) set a job and follow through until completion, you won’t regret it.


  1. Well done and that dance at the end, wow, you have got some pretty special moves there. I have always set a timer, sounds ridiculous to some but it works, it really does. I, like you also empty everything out, its the only way to see what crap is in there. I am proud of myself when I actually beat the timer and even better when I beat my PB times. I am not and never will be a minimalist, but I love the feeling of a good cull.

  2. Love this. I also did a huge cull ( nothing like having house guests to kick start a manic cleanup). I even scrubbed the deck and hoses down everything outside and did the windows (rooted my back for the evening, but it feels so fresh and so clean clean)
    Anyway, your a classic, and make me laugh… that dance 🖐🏼 😆. We have to bring the bread and a few salads for xmas day, and I was thinking you might know of an awesome festive salad?? I’m sure you’ve got some epic ones up that organic cotton sleeve of yours!!

    Cheers babs, thanks for the inspo and the laughs

  3. I LOVE this! I’ve just finished uni for the year and I’m trying to fit as much deep cleaning in between now and when the school holidays start. Rental inspection next week has been even more motivation!
    Your photo of the toy area made me feel better about my kids rooms!

  4. Oh man, for about two months ive wanted to burn my place down. I don’t know why but EVERYTHING must suddenly go! Instead of committing arson I’ve been slowly making my way through the shit, I’ve booked a carpet cleaner, I’m trying to book a cleaner to do a one of deep clean & im trying to rework the stuff I have into something I can live with. It’s boring but feels good when done!

  5. Awesome work! I have become so mindful of not just accumulating crap at Christmas these days. Ever since the crazy that was the first few years of my eldest’s life when everyone went insane (with the most loving intentions) spoiling him with plastic everything! I’m hoping I can somehow get the decluttering done beforehand also.

  6. well done beth!
    i too am on a lesser roll but i also filled a DIGNITY BAG and took it to bunnings
    only a few days left, so i am reminding girls to help other girls in dire need!
    fill a bag and drop it off! … being an activist!
    spread the love!
    much love mxx

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