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Back to Basics

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by Ashley Lee

Ashley Lee

Warm air is on the rise. Flowers are in bloom. Our beloved daylight has been extended. Spring is finally here! And as joyous as a time this is to so many of us who have officially scorned the cold, wintry weather, it also marks one very important milestone: spring cleaning.

I, for one, am not that enthused about the exuberant process of dusting, scrubbing, wiping, washing and reorganizing that is involved. Not only is the cleaning strenuous and dirty, it’s time consuming and boring. And no matter how many news segments I see and articles I read, I hold strong in the fact that spring cleaning-in all its annual annoyance-will never be an activity that is fun. So since I’m adamantly strung in my dislike, I’m forced to adopt a different perspective. One that will not only help motivate me in the beginning, but urge me to continue until the end.

So my solution is thus: go back to the basics.

I figure that if I have to involve myself with spring cleaning, I might as well learn something along the way. Whereas before I’d spend several days loading up a bucket full of expensive cleaners and run rampant around my house with no set schedule or agenda, this year I’m going a much simpler, smarter, cheaper route. Like my parents did in the “olden days”, I’m preparing cleaning concoctions out of vinegar, water, baking soda, lemon juice and perhaps a little soda water. I’m going to use old rags, toothbrushes, maybe even a few old useless socks that have holes. I’ll create scrub brushes out of tinfoil, scrapers out of old credit cards, box filler out of newspaper. I’ll have a plan of attack with a checklist to ensure total efficiency. No matter the job, I’ll have a prepared solution. And regardless of how difficult or painful it has to be, I’m cleaning out my house, not my bankbook.

My goal is to of course save money. But the true motivator in this process will be the art of reinvention. I plan on doing everything in my power to expedite the basics with recycled solutions that end with a job well done. Personally, I don’t think that’s too much to ask for and expect.

Rarely does a day go by where we’re not faced with overwhelming tasks or projects that leave us feeling intimidated, disorganized or even unmotivated. And let’s be honest, such feelings can escalate a project’s status from simply irksome to flat-out unmanageable. So perhaps it’s better to go back to the basics first to evaluate the best action for a project. Once that is established, be creative and add in some new, efficient twists that will make the job faster and perhaps easier.  In the end, you may end up with a couple extra bucks in your pocket and a smile on your face. But best of all, you’ll have a completed project sparkling for all to see and a boosted ego from taking a chance on creating something fantastic out of something purely basic.

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One Response to “Back to Basics”

  1. Robby Slaughter Says:

    Great post! I am always amazed by how often we try to do complicated things without taking a step back to remember the basics. This isn’t just true around the home, but at work as well. Nice job!

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