Spring into Action and Declutter Your Home
With spring right around the corner and Marie Kondo on everyone’s minds, we thought it would be the perfect time to discuss spring cleaning - specifically decluttering the home.
With spring right around the corner and Marie Kondo on everyone’s minds, we thought it would be the perfect time to discuss spring cleaning – specifically decluttering the home. However, if you’re like us, you have A LOT of stuff, and thinking about going through it all can be pretty daunting. “Decluttering an entire home is a big job,” says Elizabeth Larkin, The Spruce. Big, but not impossible. Here are our suggestions to help simplify this otherwise complex process.
1. Declutter Before Organizing
While the ultimate goal is to be better organized, you have to first get rid of the clutter.
“Moving things around solves a momentary problem,” says Juli Williams, Motherly. “Things will get messy again, but decluttering and then organizing the things that truly bring us joy is what makes the difference.”
But even before you get started decluttering, you’re going to want to make sure you can see everything you are working it. We recommend that you clean any dust or grime off of your window treatments and then open them up. Let in all the natural light you can. Here are some tips on how to clean your blinds and shades.
2. Declutter in Stages
“The best way to tackle it is in stages,” says Larkin, and we couldn’t agree more. Instead of thinking about spring cleaning as an all-encompassing task, break it up. Focus on one room at a time, or even one zone within a room – like your closet. Complete each zone entirely before moving on. This will not only help you maintain your sanity, but will also help you plan out your entire project.
“Very few people have the energy and/or focus to spend 8 hours organizing,” says Catrin Morris, Apartment Therapy. “You’ll likely become frustrated and less efficient as the day progresses. It’s much better to spend a few hours — 2 or 3 — on one project or space. This way you’ll feel motivated to do more, not be burned out by the process.”
3. Don’t Be Clingy
When going through your clutter, don’t get overly clingy with anything. You should only keep things that 1) serve a specific purpose or 2) bring you joy.
“Stop managing all the stuff that is cluttering your life and let the things that don’t bring you joy go once and for all,” says Williams. In the end, your home will be much less cluttered and you will be much happier. To help manage the process, put things into piles or, better yet, containers.
- Keeping: This container is for items you are keeping that will need to be organized.
- Recycle: For items you are getting rid of that could be recycled, such as old papers.
- Donate: For items you are getting rid of, but are in good condition, such as nice clothing or books.
- Trash: Those items you are getting rid of that cannot be recycled or donated.
Kondo recommends starting this entire process with clothes first. “Clothes are ideal for practicing [the tidying up] skill first,” she says. Hold each item in your hand and ask yourself if it serves a specific purpose (like rain boots or work shoes) or does it bring your joy. If the answer is no, get rid of it. Don’t hold back. The process will only be effective if you are 100% honest with yourself.
4. Organize, Organize, Organize
Only once you have gotten rid of the clutter should you really consider organizing. “Do not go out and buy a ton of storage pieces and supplies before you sort through your home,” says Morris. “I recommend cleaning out first, assessing what containers you REALLY need, and then buying a few bins to start. You can always add later, but you don’t want a bunch of empty containers cluttering up your home while you figure out where you might use them.”
5. Stick To It
“Realize that while you have created a new, efficient, and logical system for processing and managing incoming and outgoing items, you are not done,” says Morris. In fact, you are really never done. But you have made your life easier moving forward…if you stick with it. “There is no autopilot,” says Morris. “You should expect regular upkeep, but just be glad that the new system is far more efficient than the old one.”
As you get organized, it’s also a great time to reevaluate if your current window treatments are really the best choice for your space. It might be time to replace old, outdated blinds or heavy, dramatic curtains, with lighter, versatile window treatments. Here are some tips on how to get started when shopping for new window treatments.