Spring is officially here, and with it comes a chance for fresh starts! Spring is a season of rebirth and renewal, and while the weather warms up and the flowers start to bloom on the outside, we also can revive our spaces on the inside too.
We’re all familiar with the concept of ‘spring cleaning’, a time for dusting off cobwebs and deep cleaning all the nooks and crannies of our homes. But there’s a difference between spring cleaning and spring decluttering, and odds are it is the latter that will make the biggest difference in your home. While cleaning is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy and inviting home, decluttering can play an even bigger role in your environment.
Decluttering has been shown to have a multitude of benefits, from better sleep to a better mood. Organizing our physical spaces can greatly improve our mental spaces too! Getting rid of clutter can improve our concentration and create calmer environments, making it easier to function and focus. When our spaces are organized, it gives us a sense of control and a sense of accomplishment that can carry us over into other tasks.
Okay, so now you’re convinced of the benefits of decluttering, right!? Still, you’re probably wondering where to start. Decluttering can certainly seem like a daunting task. Unlike spring cleaning, it’s not as easy as breaking out the vacuum or a mop! Decluttering definitely requires a bit more thought, focus, and time compared to just cleaning, but it’s worth it, and we’re here to help guide you in the process by answering your frequently asked decluttering questions. Starting with…
1. Where do I start?
As with any large task, one of the most overwhelming parts of decluttering is knowing where to start. I always tell my client that the key to keeping the project manageable is to start small (think one drawer at a time!). In terms of which room to begin decluttering in, I recommend starting in the spaces you will see your results in every day, like the kitchen or family room. Once the ‘hubs of the home’ are organized, you’ll already feel a great sense of accomplishment, an improved functionality in the household, and you will find it easier to get to work on the other rooms.
2. How do I decide what to keep or toss?
Another often overwhelming aspect of getting organized is deciding what to keep and what to discard. There are many reasons why it can be hard to get rid of our belongings, which you can read about in more detail here, but there are a few key principles you can follow to help in the decision process. When unsure about an item, ask yourself the following:
a. If I lost this item, would I buy it again?
b. Do I really need it?
c. When was the last time I used it/looked for it?
If the answer is ‘no” or ‘I can’t remember’, odds are you won’t miss the item, which means it’s okay to let it go! Try not to get stuck in the ‘I might need it one day’ loop. Chances are you won’t. Make the decision based on your current needs, not your ‘maybe’ needs.
3. What should I do with stuff I no longer want or need?
Donate as much as possible! Decluttering your home is a great opportunity to donate your things to someone who will really appreciate them! Perhaps you know a friend or family member who would get better use out of something you no longer need, or maybe there is a local shelter or charity that would benefit from gently used items. When in doubt, secondhand shops are always an option too. Whomever you choose to donate to, getting your items into appreciative hands and keeping them out of landfills makes donating a win-win!
4. When can I make it pretty?
Part of the fun of getting organized for some people is the design and visual aspect of it, but as much as we love to buy storage bins in pretty colors and styles, try to focus on decluttering first! It doesn’t make sense to bring more storage products into your home before you know exactly what you’ll need to store. If decluttering is done right, you will most likely (hopefully) need fewer bins and may be able to work with what you already have. Bottom line, focus on decluttering, and then you can make it pretty!
5. How do I stay on task?
Since decluttering takes a bit more mental energy than cleaning alone does, try your best to stay focused and limit distractions. This is easier said than done for some folks, so if you have a hard time staying focused on one task for too long, try to plan out shorter increments of time that you’ll dedicate to organizing to keep the project manageable. I also recommend putting on a fun playlist to make the time pass quicker and give you a boost of energy! If you can, turn off your phone notifications while you declutter and really give each space the attention it deserves.
Now that you’re armed with some decluttering basics, hopefully, you’re feeling ready to conquer your spring declutter and start fresh this season! Still unsure? Maybe you’re asking if there is anyone that can help? We have the answer for that too - YES! Hiring a professional organizer is a great way to delegate the task ahead to an expert and to ensure that you meet your spring decluttering goals. Take the first step and call Organize With Lisa at 201 214 0652 to get started today.