“April showers bring May cleaning?” Well, maybe we have that wrong, but the spring season is definitely the best time of the year to clear out your space and your mind by decluttering.
Throughout our lives we accumulate many different items that may no longer be of use to us. By taking the time to remove these unnecessary items from our lives, our homes become more organized, spacious, and peaceful. Although decluttering a home may seem like a daunting task, we’ve put together a list of 5 spring cleaning tips and tricks for a smoother and more manageable cleaning process.
ALLOCATE DECLUTTERING TIME
When beginning your cleaning, it may become overwhelming to think about having to go through your entire home, especially if you don’t have the unlimited energy to do so. Creating a plan beforehand and allocating a certain amount of time for decluttering that works within your daily schedule will set you on a path for organizational success. We recommend creating achievable and realistic goals here, which can be as simple as scheduling 20 to 30 minutes to clear out a single drawer.
ONE ROOM AT A TIME
Within your spring cleaning plan, we suggest devoting one day to decluttering each room in your home. This is what we call a ‘room-by-room’ approach. Once you’ve gone through that first room, you can then decide on which room to work on next. It’s wise to start with the most daunting, cluttered room in the home. This way, you’re able to allocate appropriate room for your items within the rest of your space. Although it may be tempting to go to another room and start decluttering elsewhere, sticking to your ‘room-by-room’ plan will help you stay productive and in turn, combat the desire to procrastinate.
THE “4-BOX” METHOD
In order to stay as organized as possible, we recommend getting 4 large, empty boxes and labeling them as: Trash, Give Away, Keep, Relocate. Items such as old newspapers, broken appliances, or expired canned items would most likely belong in the ‘Trash’ box, while items such as old books would likely belong in the ‘Give Away’ box. The ‘Keep’ box can include things that already have a dedicated, organized space in your home. Items you wish to keep, but that do not have a dedicated place you are comfortable with, may go in the ‘Relocate’ box.
ASK YOURSELF QUESTIONS
In order to perform the “4-Box” method successfully, it’s important to ask yourself rational questions about each item. World-renowned organizing consultant Marie Kondo recommends asking, “Does this object spark joy?”. If the answer to this question is no, consider the condition of the object. If the object is in good condition, you may consider adding it to the ‘Give Away’ box. If the item is unusable or no longer serves a purpose, then the ‘Trash’ box may be the way to go. It’s important to be as honest with yourself here as possible so that you can effectively declutter your home.
Still feeling unsure about certain items in your home? The following questions may help you arrive at the right conclusion:
- How often do I use this item?
- Do I have a sentimental attachment to this item?
- If I didn’t have this item, would I miss it?
SHOP FOR STORAGE
Once you’ve followed the above steps, you’ll have a better sense of how you can best store all of the remaining items. For example, while cleaning you may have noticed that you need large bins to organize all of your shoes in the closet. In that case, make a list of how many bins (small, medium and large) you’ll need to keep everything tidy and in its’ dedicated place. Other items you may find helpful when organizing are things like extra clothing hangers, wall hooks, pantry jars, and washroom toiletry storage.
With these decluttering tips, you’ll be setting yourself up for a fresh start (and breath of fresh air) as you head into the spring season!
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