It's officially the first day of spring and with spring comes spring cleaning! However, before you start deep cleaning your home why not get rid of the clutter that's in your way. Getting rid of clutter can reduce the time you spend cleaning and it really just feels so darn cathartic. For many of us, clutter in the home causes stress and discontentment and there are psychological explanations for why this is so. It bombards our minds with excessive stimuli and distracts us from where our focus should be. It then starts to feel like your possessions own you, and that's just no fun. Make your home a happy home!
I do understand that sometimes it's overwhelming to even think about the stuff we have accumulated and the time it will take to go through it all. Choosing what to keep or toss can be a distressing process, but it doesn't have to be. I have created a free downloadable printable of a spring decluttering checklist if you don't know where to begin. It's just a rough list, but at least these are some things you can probably throw away guilt free.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN DECLUTTERING:
It's a good idea to set some rules for yourself before you begin decluttering in order to get rid of things you don't really need. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when you declutter.
- Do I have a duplicate?
- It's not really necessary to have a duplicate of some items. It makes sense to have duplicate of some things, like kitchen baking trays if you like to bake large batches. Evaluate its purpose as a duplicate item and draw a fine line between being prepared and creating clutter if you keep it.
- Have I used this in the last year?
- We sometimes hold onto things that seem like they might be useful, but it's important to evaluate how often you actually use them. Be real with yourself, if you haven't touched it in 4-6 months, despite your best intentions, it's a good candidate for decluttering.
- Does it make my life simpler?
- Am I keeping this out of obligation or guilt?
- It's likely that there is something you are holding onto not because you love it but because it was a gift and you feel obligated to keep it. It's understandable that you don't want to hurt someones feelings, but it's your home and you can decide what you want in it. Tell yourself that it's okay to declutter gifts, if it's still good why not donate or sell it, someone else can love it.
- Am I not throwing this away because I don't want to waste money?
- Do I have a realistic plan to use this?
- If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?
- People change, our style and tastes change, keep items that you can see yourself purchasing in the present.
- Is it easily replaceable or can I borrow it?
- Is this item worth cleaning and storing?
- Your time and space in your home have value. Consider how much time or space an item takes up and is it really worth cleaning, sorting, and storing.
Now that you have set yourself some guidelines lets dive into the process.
5 - STEP DECLUTTERING PROCESS
Choose an area to declutter
- Make your way through each room in your house, one at a time. Gather everything together in one area and start going through it
Ask yourself your guiding questions
Separate items into bins/piles
Once you have evaluated an item, put it into a different pile or bin by category. You can have categories such as: Keep in this room, Keep in another room, Toss, Donate, Sell, or Repurpose. Choose what makes sense to you. It can be as simple having only a keep and toss pile or all those mentioned previously..
Put everything in its new place
Make a home for everything you do keep, and make sure you put it back after you use it to avoid clutter in the future
Get rid of items you are not keeping as soon as possible
Get rid of items you are not keeping as soon as you can, or else you will be staring at them second guessing yourself.
I hope this guide can help you in your decluttering process. It is by no means the only way to declutter, it's just how I do it. Set your own rules, make the process somewhat enjoyable, by the end of it, you will most likely feel as though a heavy weight has been lifted off your shoulders.