Spring Cleaning with Olivia Lane, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

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Olivia's spring cleaning includes passing on this neat sculptural necklace.

Olivia's spring cleaning includes passing on this neat sculptural necklace.

Who better to help us through the hurdles of spring cleaning than Olivia Lane, owner of a local green cleaning service. Olivia spends her days helping New York City residents pare down their clutter and tidying up after them with environmentally conscious products. She’s gotten a start on spring cleaning her own life by entering our Sell Everything contest. Find out what goodies are up for grabs on Olivia’s Krrb corner and her strategies for living with less.

Olivia doesn't have any use these budget craft books but we do!

Olivia doesn't have any use for these budget craft books but we do!

According to Olivia, we live in a culture that values stuff and is socialized to want more and more. “I feel like people own too much,” Olivia said. “I appreciate, can care for and use everything I own. If it doesn’t fit those categories, it’s out.”

Reminisce your childhood with a Care Bear lunch box, another purge from Olivia's Krrb corner.

Reminisce your childhood with a Care Bear lunch box, another purge from Olivia's Krrb corner.

Self editing begins with being mindful of things brought into the home. For Olivia, that means more window shopping and less physical purchases. She also recommends tossing paper solicitations in the recycle outside the home. It’s important to make decisions before bringing things into the house. Sometimes your life is cluttered with items that were once useful but aren’t needed anymore. It’s why Olivia says every few months you need to reexamine your belongings for what is really necessary. People’s lives and in turn, their priorities are always shifting. When our needs change, it’s an opportunity to share with other people, says Olivia.

Olivia hasn't lost her black pride but wants to hand off a few pride buttons.

Olivia hasn't lost her black pride but wants to hand off a few pride buttons.

When people feel guilty about purging gifts, Olivia advises that you take a picture of it. “Keep the image but regift or post the actual thing to Krrb,” she said. “Acknowledge the love, experience it and honor it but let go of the object.” She also suggests asking for experiences rather than sometime tangible around the holidays.

Olivia will trade this handmade floral apron for a creation you made!

Olivia will trade this handmade floral apron for a creation you made!

So Ask Yourself

When you’re spring cleaning this year, ask yourself these questions:

  • Would I rather have this object or the space it occupies?
  • How was life “without” this object?
  • How often do I use this object?
  • Can I properly care for (and maintain) this object?
  • Will I want to still own this object when I am ninety?
  • Why should I own this?
  • Use Olivia’s list to downsize on the items that clutter your daily life. With less stuff around you, you’ll ensure that you are only surrounded by your most treasured belongings.

    Don’t miss!

    Check back tomorrow as we get our hands dirty with Olivia Lane and make our own DIY laundry detergent.

     
    • CheckMaid

      When people feel guilty about purging gifts, Olivia advises that you take a picture of it. “Keep the image but regift or post the actual thing to Krrb,” she said. “Acknowledge the love, experience it and honor it but let go of the object.” She also suggests asking for experiences rather than sometime tangible around the holidays.

      Great advice, good luck having it stick! Asking for experiences rather than tangibles is a reasonable solution though.