‘Tis the season for SPRING CLEANING. Here are a few helpful hints for making your de-cluttering projects a breeze—and a few tips on how to keep your house organized after you’re finished:
1. Find something that motivates you to get started (this is the hardest part). Sometimes upbeat music, or maybe some caffeine can help. Or perhaps you just need to look at your mess for motivation. Whatever it is, it’s time to start!
2. Start out small. Tackle one room at a time. Some prefer to start with areas that bother them most. Maybe you prefer to start with the most cluttered area. Or the smallest room. Either way, start with one manageable space at a time.
3. All of us hold on to items that are sentimental to us. Maybe it’s the T-Shirt you got while you were on vacation ten years ago, or maybe it’s a present an old friend gave you. Whatever the cherished items, find a small box to keep them in. Once that box is full, you’ll have to be selective and choose your favorites.
4. Another reason that we hold on to certain items is the “what if” factor. “What if I need to wear this dress to a special occasion one day? What if the new toaster breaks down? I better keep the old one just in case.” This can be ok to do in some cases, but put a time limit on it. If you haven’t worn something in a year, you probably won’t wear it again. If you must hang on to a spare item, give it six months. If you haven’t used it, get rid of it.
5. As you root through the clutter in your home, there are going to be things that you need to keep. The best way to make room for what you need to keep is to get rid of the things you don’t. However, that isn’t always possible. Find ways to organize the pieces you need. This can come in the way of a plastic tote for the closet or garage, or maybe a new shelf for the family room. Depending on your needs there are very fashionable, or very “storage-like” pieces at your disposal. You decide what’s best for your space.
6. Clean as you go. As you are picking through the needed and unneeded items inside and outside of your home, it doesn’t hurt to bring along some cleaning supplies. You may as well be shining things up as you go. That way when your job is complete, you’ll feel like everything is clean through and through.
7. Donate and discard your unwanted items right away. The longer these items sit inside of your home, the more time you have to decide to hang on to them, or you may even begin to build clutter around these items. Don’t give yourself a chance. Get rid of everything as soon as possible.
Now that your de-cluttering process is complete, think about how your home became cluttered in the first place. Much of the time, the reason we have clutter in our homes, is because we don’t realize that it is there. It has been there so long that it starts to become part of the décor. Stop this pattern before it starts. When you get junk mail each day, throw away/recycle what you don’t need. If you see a pile of magazines stacking up. Throw out the ones you’ve read immediately. If you try on a shirt that no longer fits right, donate it. Don’t wait for the clutter to take over before you do something. Stop it before it starts. Happy Spring Cleaning!
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