Spring has sprung, and for many of us that means it’s time for spring cleaning. Time to clear out the dust and dirt accumulated over the winter and make a fresh start. It’s also a good time to take a hard look at all the “stuff” that’s piled up in your home, and decide what you need, what can be stored away, and what needs to go. For some of us, this can be a daunting task, and it can be a little intimidating if you don’t have a plan or don’t know where to start. But have no fear, with a good game plan, you can tackle your home spring cleaning and decluttering tasks successfully and with as little pain as possible.
Here are some of our favorite decluttering tips:
First, take a deep breath. Decluttering is a positive thing! It’s an opportunity to get rid of the things you don’t need and create a more peaceful and relaxing living environment.
Start small. Don’t try to declutter your whole home in one day! Pick one room and start there. If that’s still too much, pick one space, like your desk or dresser or a cluttered tabletop. Even the biggest messes are manageable in small steps. It’s a good idea to set a timer to help you stay focused and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Listen to music or podcasts while you work to help you stay motivated and interested, and can help the time go by faster.
Take breaks, especially if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. If you’re using a timer, decide how much time you’ll spend decluttering, and how much of a break you’re going to take between sessions so you can stay on task.
Have a plan and a purpose. Decide what you want to achieve with your decluttering. Are you just looking to clear out old things you don’t use, or do you also want to reorganize? Making a plan will help you stay on track and avoid getting overwhelmed.
Clear out the trash first. This will make it easier to focus on the items you actually want to keep.
Get rid of things you don’t use. This includes clothes you don’t wear, furniture, appliances, books, and anything else you don’t use on a regular basis. IF you haven’t used something in the last year, chances are you don’t need it.
Donate or sell items. Anything you don’t want or don’t use but still has life left in it can find a new home. Donate to a local charity (Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity, for example), have a yard sale, or sell items online.
Review your items of “sentimental value.” Do you still value them? Are they just taking up space without adding anything to your home or life? Could you use that space for something else? Don’t hang on to things just because they were once meaningful but aren’t now.
Organize the things you keep in a way that works for you. There are a lot of ways to organize your belongings, and a wide variety of products designed to help you do just that. Look around and try out a few different things to see what’s practical and fits your lifestyle.
Ask for help! Sometimes an objective eye can help you decide what to keep and what to discard. Having someone else there to help can make any task more fun and less overwhelming.
If all else fails, hire a professional. There are people who declutter for a living. If you’re short on time, or the job just feels too big, bringing in an expert is a great idea.
Good luck and enjoy the fruits of your labor – a cleaner, less cluttered, more peaceful and organized home!