Summer is coming. Never mind what the Starks say. The days are getting longer, the nights are getting warmer.
We love taking this opportunity to clean out the house and get ready for the fun times ahead. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it extremely therapeutic. It brings a sense of lightness and opportunity.
Feng shui is about harmonising with the environment: it’s not just making sure your door faces the right way and that you have a fountain in your foyer – it’s about minimising interruption to your flow, whatever form that may take. It can be as simple as a good tidy-up. We want to entertain, we want to welcome friends into our home and not have it be filthy. Without this clutter holding us back, the possibilities are endless.
So here are some tips that me and my family use in our household:
1. Go minimalist.
Eliminate redundancy. Why have multiple things that serve the same function?
Too much stuff can be overwhelming. When you’re standing in front of a wardrobe with a million things in it, or digging around in a drawer through a clamour of pans, it just makes it harder to get to what you actually want.
Where possible, avoid single-use items. Why use a pizza cooker when the oven works just fine? Or an egg cooker when you can use the stove? It’s all just extra clutter.
2. If it hasn’t been used in a year, throw it out.
It’s time to face the facts: It’s not getting used. Let’s move on.
There’s a reason so many people are connecting with Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which is based on the principle “if it doesn’t spark joy, throw it out”.
It’s worth noting that when she says joy, she’s translating from the Japanese word tokimeku, which literally means “flutter, throb, palpitate”.
But that’s not really practical. My toothbrush doesn’t send me in to palpitations, neither does my roll of toilet paper, but they’re not going anywhere any time soon.
I like to ask “Does this enrich my life?”. As banal as they may seem, yes, my life is better with toothbrushes and toilet paper in them. But when it comes to pointless clutter, we’re better off without it. Let it go. Turn away and slam the door. It is liberating.
3. Do things in the right order.
This seems like common sense, but think about what needs to be done and make sure you’re not having to redo any of it.
So drag your dusty stuff out of the cupboards before you vacuum. Clean the sink last.
Go from high to low: There’s no point sweeping the floors, and then wiping the bench. Start with the highest surfaces, otherwise you’ll just have to do it again at the end.
4. Take care of the air.
Unsurprisingly, we often overlook the invisible. We tend to focus on what we can touch and see. But lurking in the air are all sorts of nasties, especially inside the home. Tragically, it’s often from the things we love most. I guess it’s the yin and the yang.
I thought I’d surprise the wife with some wattles I picked on the way home, but she surprised me by sneezing for two days. Pollen can wreak havoc on unsuspecting sinuses. As can those mould spores at home, which aren't too great for asthmatics.
Everyone loves scented candles, but not everyone knows they can release Benzene and formaldehyde. Fireplaces are great, open fireplace even more so, but they emit an awful lot of carbon, coal dust, and other particulate matter during combustion. Got a pet? Lovely. Not so lovely is the dead skin and disintegrated faeces they can spread around. Even the foam in our couches can release formaldehyde, so can our carpets and rugs.
In the kitchen, gas hobs and the food cooking process can emit fumes. Elsewhere, indoor paints can use VOCs (volatile organic compounds) as solvents, which can be released as gaseous chemicals while they dry and potentially also throughout their life.
There are air purifiers that can help to combat indoor air pollution from these sources, like the Dyson Hot + Cool Link purifier. This particular purifier automatically captures gases and 99.95 percent of fine particles, like allergens and pollutants†. It's got that seemingly magical bladeless operation, which is great for those little hands in my house.
You can set a sleep timer too so you save energy overnight, and it automatically monitors, reacts and purifies - then reports to your Dyson Link app† , so you can monitor your air quality remotely and control it from wherever you are. Or just leave it on auto to take care of itself. And of course, it’s also a heater and a fan so you can use it all year round.
In summary...it's time to get summery.
Get yourselves ready for good times ahead. By all accounts, it’s going to be a hot summer. Let’s enjoy it.
What's your tip for an easy home fix for summer? Leave a comment below, we'd love to hear from you.
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Dyson.
†Particle capture tested to EN1822. Gaseous capture tested to JEM 1467 (acetic acid, acetaldehyde, ammonia) and GB/T18801 (formaldehyde, benzene) and DTM-003282 (NO2). Gaseous capture rates vary.
† App functionality may vary by market. Requires WiFi and app enabled device. Standard data and messaging rates may apply.
The Dyson Pure Hot+Cold Link purifier automatically captures gases and fine particles such as allergens and pollutants in the air². Use it all year round to heat you during winter or cool you with a fan during summer. Connected to your Dyson Link app, you can control your purifier and monitor indoor air quality, even when you’re not at home.