Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. – Albert Camus
All these people who go on about spring cleaning are off their rockers. Autumn is the time to get your house in order, and so say health care experts. The drop in temps sees a spike in illness, and much of that is down to what festers in our homes, as we close the windows and create the perfect conditions for mould, mites, bacteria and germs. Gross, right?
Autumn also brings out feelings for some of us, ones we’d rather not have. So, whilst you’re cleaning the house, take a bit of time to clean out the muck bobbing around in your head as well.
Affordable Mallorca has a few tricks to help make it a breeze!
Furniture and Bedding
Mallorca’s long summer season means doors and windows are open for months at a time. It’s a wonderful thing, to be sure, but those open windows allow a lot of dirt and dust to enter, and even the most vigilant of cleaners can only stop so much of the madness. So come autumn, take the time to run a damp cloth or the hoover over furniture, curtains, and your mattresses.
Wash all bed linens, mattress pads and pillows, as summer sweat accumulates on these items, as do mites and other microscopic critters, making them breeding grounds for germs when the house is closed up tight in winter.
Kate Stone Matheson
Autumn presents a fab opportunity to go through your cold weather clothes and get rid of anything tatty, that hasn’t fit in two seasons, or simply never gets worn. Be ruthless and thin out your winter wardrobe to make way for the inevitable new Christmas jumpers you’ll get from Great Auntie Maybelle this year.
These items can find second homes at one of the many second hand or charity shops on the island, giving them a new purpose and you a less cluttered closet!
- Fundacion Deixalles
With eight locations on the island, it is convenient for all. This welfare-to-work charity takes in almost everything from building materials like old doors and windows to furniture to household appliances to clothes. They have pick up service and the nicest people ever working for them.
Polígon Son Bugadelles, Carrer d'Alacant 9, 07183 Calvià / +34 971 698 422
Carrer del Cedre 9, 07008 Palma / +34 900 772 211
Carrer de Blanquerna, 6a, 07003 Palma / +34 971 756 436
Ctra. Palma-Sóller 65, 07100 Sóller / +34 971 634 837
Carrer des Creuers 17, 07500 Manacor / +34 971 846 498
Carrer d'Antoni Maura 30, 07200 Felanitx / +34 971 582 710
Carrer Fusters, 12/13, 07580 Polígon de Capdepera / +34 971 829 59
You’ve seen them all over, the big red boxes, usually located next to churches. These repositories for unwanted clothes are passed onto the needy and vulnerable and are accessible 24/7.
Address: Main Office: Carrer del Seminari 4, 07001 Palma / +34 971 710 135
- Salvation Army
With two locations in the southwest, they will pick up not just your unwanted clothes, but household items and furniture as well.
Address: C/ Miguel de los Santos Oliver 2, Palma Nova and Santa Ponsa - Next to Maison Del Rey / +34 971 701 110
- Halo Preloved
This one is kid’s clothes only and is an online shop run by Anne Anthony who offers have a great selection of high-quality brands at great prices. Everything they sell is scrupulously clean, and they do pick up as well!
- Bconnected Vintage
This uber-cool Santa Catalina shop has designer names as well as unique pieces the owner deems interesting. Don’t bring your old high street things to her, she’ll politely pass, but be ready to be sucked in by her shop and her adorable-ness!
Address: Carrer de Sant Magí, 64, 07013 Palma / +34 971 451 844
- UNICO New & Vintage Lab
As the name suggests, they sell pre-owned and new items, and are a great place to take your old cut-off baseball jackets and 90’s grunge-wear.
Address: Costa Pols de SA,16, 07003 Palma / +34 971 724 052
Not much to be said here except it’s a good idea to clean them in the autumn before you close up your house for winter. The nasties living in your rugs (e.coli, staphylococcus, campylobacter) can withstand even the best vacuum job. If you don’t want to pay for a pro to come in, the bigger hardware stores often rent steam cleaners, so you can tackle it in a day or two for a fraction of the cost.
The winters here tend to be on the damp side. A dehumidifier will be your best friend and needn’t be a great expense if run between 23h and 13h, when electricity prices are lower.
Empty bins regularly and give them a shot of disinfectant spray before replacing liners, especially if anyone in the house has had the lurgy. If you’re not keen on industrial sprays, you can get natural ones from the pharmacies that contain ingredients suitable for a more eco-friendly home.
Whilst you’re working away getting your hearth and home in order, don’t neglect the inner you. Autumn is a great time to cleanse relationships, outdated thoughts and bad habits, as well as decluttering and deep-cleaning your personal space. It’s a time to expunge yourself of negativity in all forms and start turning inward to take care of your emotional well-being.
You know that friend who rings only when she is in a bad way or needs something but is nowhere to be found when you need a shoulder to lean on? Or the one who comes to all your parties, never brings anything, gets rip-roaringly drunk and tries to snog your neighbour’s wife. How about the one who borrows your car and returns it with no gas and two extra dings on the side?
Guess what? Those people are not friends, they’re toxic, so unless you’ve got a seriously good reason to keep holding onto them, like they saved your dog from drowning, give them the old heave-ho.
As expats, we tend hold onto people we wouldn’t have put up with in other scenarios, whether it be from loneliness or lack of other deep connections. For the non-expats, it may be because you were close to this person once-upon-a-time and now your lives have diverged, but you don’t know how to let go. Whatever the reason, make it happen sharpish so you can clear the way for those in your life who truly care for and value you.
Take a few minutes and sit quietly.
What does your inner voice say to you? If it’s anything but “I’m pretty happy” or “Damn! I make that look GOOD!”, then your noggin needs a clean out. When your inner talk does nothing but back talk like a bratty teenager, then a shift needs to be made.
The most subtle thing can make an enormous difference. Instead of being annoyed by the guy riding up your backside on your way to Carrefour, remember what it was like to be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic back home on the endless daily commutes. Or when you catch a glimpse of yourself and think you’re looking a bit older than you’d like, tell your inner voice to shut its pie hole and think about all the amazing days in the sun, all the laughs, all the good times spent with friends and family here and how every single line on your face was earned.
Beating the Blues
The end of summer let down brings on real anxiety for many. It’s actually “a thing”. There are loads of little reasons we get down, and autumn can really bring that out for some people, but perhaps one of the toughest to conquer whilst living on the island, away from kith and kin, is loneliness. It can really get the best of us, but before you head for the local and start on another night of crying in your vino tinto, think about what you can do to be more fulfilled here and make this your forever home.
Adopt a pet (or two if you’ve got the space), get involved in charities, join an exercise group, anything to get you out of the house and out of your head. Baby steps are all it takes and before you know it, life seems pretty darn good again!
Just be realistic. It will take time to forge bonds that rival those of the people we already cherish, so persevere and be confident that the next Learn-to-speak-Spanish coffee klatch will bring someone you click with. In the meantime, Facetime, Skype, and WhatsApp can keep you close to the people you miss most!
#fallcleaning #autumncleaning #springcleaninfall #springcleaninautumn #cleaningchecklist
By Stephanie Horsman
5 October, 2019