Tag Archives: house

The Why and How of Spring Cleaning

Brooke Stone, Founder and CEO of GYST, shares her exploration of spring cleaning, organization tips and advice from GYST Assistants about how to jump start your efforts.

I have a confession. I’m one of those maniacally organized people who, in spite of a demanding  job and two little ones, cannot sleep when the house hasn’t been returned to order. My house is  organized. There. I admit it. My containers match, I fastidiously use a label maker and you know  what, I love a good surface wipe. But, even though my house is pretty organized most of the  time, I still get that urge to turn the place upside down and go all Container Store on it every April. Why?! Trust me, I do not need another single thing to do. And, every year when I’m knee deep in a pile of stuff while both of my kids nap (I know what’s WRONG with me) I think -  WHY?! Why do I feel compelled, driven even, to participate in full blown spring cleaning whenever the tulips pop?

Turns out there are strong cultural roots pulling us towards trashing our homes only to immediately set them right again when the sun starts shining. This practice is shared around the world, supported by biology and part of deep rooted American traditions. In the Jewish faith the house is rigorously cleaned in anticipation of Passover and Christian faiths suggest various cleaning rituals starting on lent and throughout the days leading up to Easter. Iranian New Year, Nowruz, falls on the first day of spring and dictates a thorough house cleaning too. For the agnostic among us, longer, sunnier days mean less melatonin fogging our brains, and less melatonin means more available energy. And for the history buffs, during the long winter frontier families’ homes would become covered with soot from the fires used for cooking and heat.

When the weather was finally warm enough to open the windows these homes got a through  scrub down to remove that soot layer.

Now that I’m convinced spring cleaning isn’t just me killing time I don’t have, I’m going to break  down how you can make it happen this spring in spite of all of the other things demanding your  time and attention (because you know you want to…).

1. Set Your Goals: Pick one or two priority areas that need your attention the most and define your goals for the space.

2. Out, Sort, Distribute – Repeat: Pull everything out of the space you’ve chosen and set it out so you can see as much of it as possible. Sort your belongings into three piles: Keep, Donate, Lives Elsewhere. Organize the “Keep” pile, drop off your “Donate” pile, and ferry the “Lives Elsewhere” stuff to its rightful home.

3. Keep It Simple: If you have limited time and competing priorities, what sparks joy for you might be getting that one cabinet in order so you don’t have sippy cups raining down upon you every time you open it.

Our team of expert, skilled and savvy GYST Assistants had a few things to say on the topic too.  GYST Assistants are excellent spring cleaning partners and even better than doing it yourself is delegating to an expert. GYST Assistants will help you set up organizational systems that are efficient, effective and easy to maintain and Bell Family Company families enjoy exclusive access to GYST Assistants on a project basis. Give us a call at (917) 912-9206 or say  hi@gystplease.com to learn more.

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Written by our guest partner, Brooke Stone, Founder & CEO of GYST

A Story About the Evolving Nursery

It was verging on wintertime in Ohio, and my husband and I were in the process of building a new home. The home buying process is a full-time worry within itself, but what added an interesting twist was the fact that I was six months pregnant … with my fifth child. Talk about an exciting time in the Bell household!

Since we were building the home from scratch, we had a lot of decisions to make. My husband focused on all of the practicalities (of course), while I was deep into the interior design and how I wanted all of the rooms to look. The time came around to when we needed to decide how the fifth bedroom should look, and given that my new bundle was soon to arrive, the room was dedicated to become the nursery.

The nursery was brightly decorated in pink bunny wallpaper with pink accents to match – a perfect color for a baby girl’s room. The room would stay designed this way for a handful of years, and then the bunnies turned into flowers as the baby grew.

About five years later, my oldest daughter was off to college and the room arrangements changed a bit. After she left, an opening for that special pink room occurred, and my brain churned with all of the ideas of what the room could become. I landed on transforming the what will always be called “the baby room” in our house into a guest room.

With the shift into a guest room, the walls found a change in color and went from pink to gender neutral. The floors were changed from carpet to wood, and the little tike bed graduated into an adult size one. Next, it was so long to the toy box and pink girly accents, and hello to a night stand and decor that didn’t involve Spongebob Squarepants.

Several years later when the first child became a mother, the guest room made its way back into a nursery. It was this same time when I wished I had kept some of the items from my own children’s nursery from back in the day. The adult size bed shrunk back into a crib again, and out went the night stand and back came the toy box and baby accents. The bedroom went through a complete 360 – I always favored it as a nursery anyway.

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Written by our Recruiting and Retention Coordinator, Christine Bell