Gird Your Loins: Spring Clean Your Life

a dalmatian dressed in a smock and bandana holding cleaning supplies

For the last couple of years or so, we’ve existed in a sort of suspended animation where we’re living and working in the same tired space, wearing the same tired clothes and eating our own tired food. Sometimes you need a drastic change. It’s spring and time to overhaul!

1. Cut the (Kitchen) Crap

We’re not saying that you need to meditate upon each and every object à la Marie Kondo, but there are speedy ways to decrapify your kitchen. Toss unused and old herbs and spices. Check the dates on your pantry items, fridge condiments and frozen foods. Then be honest with yourself about gadgets: If you’ve only used it once in 10 years, it must go. Forgive yourself for the purchases, then give them new loving parents via the thrift shop.

a rusty blue dutch oven

2. Sharpen Your Knives

If you’re energetic and in a rush, seek out a local sharpening service (many regional farmers’ markets host regular visits from sharpeners). If you’re lazier and willing to wait, you can mail your blades to, and they’ll come back sharp in about a week. Even better? You can subscribe for a discount, and the more blades you mail in, the less it costs per—as in, five for $62.10 or ten for $107.10.

a cardboard mailing envelope with seven kitchen knives sticking out of it

3. Buy a Bidet

OK, hear us out. Do you remember the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020? Do you remember the horror of baby wipe fatbergs, rolling Jabba the Hutt–style through our sewers? Ecologists agree: Bidets use less water than it takes to manufacture TP—even the pricy recycled stuff—plus, they generate no acid rain and fell no trees. Inexpensive DIY-install models like the Tushy Classic cost as little as $100.

a decoratively cropped image of the tushy classic bidet product

4. Reset Your Palate

There are a lot of claims surrounding juice cleanses, but here’s one benefit we can attest to: When we start to eat normally after five days of not feeling stuffed—nor consuming dairy, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, salt, and junk food—we feel satisfied with a lot less. This pH-balanced cleanse is all-organic, delivered fresh frozen, and provides six, not-untasty, juices per day. Organic Pharmer 5 Day Detox Cleanse, $399

six front-facing bottles of organic pharmer juices in a line

RELATED: Ugly and Old Food: Embracing the Imperfect

5. Prepare for Summer

If you have a grill, clean it. If you don’t, pull together a soignée picnic set with cloth, plates, napkins, lanterns, a corkscrew, and wine glasses. It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter—get yourself ready to party outdoors (and stock up on lighter wines and pilsners, too).

an open wicker picnic basket overflowing with food and wine

6. Drip Your Way to a Whole New You

Depending on how you spent the winter of Omicron (exercising or drinking yourself into oblivion), this service may be for you. Several NYC outfits are providing intravenous saline and vitamin/nutrient drips that promise all kinds of health and beauty benefits. We say, extra vitamins and hydration can’t hurt, there’s probably a placebo effect, and—if you have a blinding hangover (no judgement!)—it could actually help. Prices vary, but NutriDrip’s entry-level NutriCleanse goes for $249 at the Clean Market, Mid-town East.

a nutri-cleanse IV drip bag filled with a light blue liquid

7. Rotate!

Chances are, you haven’t been entertaining much—which means that you’ve been using the same four dinner plates on the top of the stack, and the same four wine glasses up front, while those on the bottom and in the back have gotten steadily grimier. Go nuts: throw everything into the dishwasher or wash ‘em all by hand. Then take a tip from pro bev folks and polish your glasses with lint-free linen or microfiber cloths.

three microfiber cloths in green, pink, and yellow, stacked in a triangle

8. Go Brush Yourself

Dry brushing, the act of gently polishing your skin with a dry brush, has been around since antiquity. Turns out, the practice exfoliates, stimulates circulation and lymph flow, and tickles your nervous system into giving you a post-massage high. And it does it all cheaply and without stripping your skin of natural oils in a hot shower. We recommend the Dr. Barbara Sturm Body Brush, which $35 at Sephora.

For more products we love, read our new feature on companies that are taking on food waste here

Photos courtesy of vendors and Z1B/iStock.