Think spring, think spring cleaning. Like fresh flowers, warmer weather and longer days, spring is all about cleaning! The brighter days get us all reaching for the cleaning supplies, giving our homes a thorough sort out of all the debris we’ve managed to collect over winter.
So, with our houses full of abandoned holiday toys and armoires full with last-season’s clothes, where do we start?! It’s a pretty daunting task! Luckily our guide to decluttering will bring some much-needed springtime sunshine into your life.
1. Make time.
Understandably, lack of time is the most common reason for a cluttered home. When it comes to children, work, family obligations and a social life, it can feel difficult to get dinner on the table – let alone keep your house clean! So, the first thing you’ll need to do is make spring cleaning your number one priority. Simply pick a block of time to get the job done, and stick to it. This will inevitably vary depending on your daily routines – but whether it’s 30 minutes in the evening, half a Saturday or a whole weekend, make sure you block the time out in your diary.
Top tip: let the people in your life know what you’re planning! The more people you tell, the more likely you are to stick to it.
2. Get people involved!
You know what they – a job shared is a job halved! So, try not to make it a sole responsibility. If you’re not the only person living in your home, it’s not your exclusive job to keep it tidy and decluttered. Involve the family and keep it fun – maybe reward the kids by treating them to a fun springtime activity, like a picnic in the park?
If you do live alone, ring up your best friends and ask them to give you a hand! Even if all they do is sit on the couch and relay the latest gossip whilst you tidy, having someone around to talk to and keep you entertained will help you stay motivated. Especially if you’ve got plans to head for lunch afterwards!
3. Make a list
Lover of stationery? Then this is the dream! If you’re already a fan of to do lists for getting things done on a daily basis, this is a no brainer. But even if you don’t, try it out and you’ll be surprised at the difference it can make. Make yourself a cup of coffee, sit down and get your notepad out. Consider what’s annoying you in your house, which rooms needs your attention first, and if there’s anything you’ll need to purchase before you begin. Put together a detailed list of all the things you need to do and then organize by priority.
Not only does everything look much more manageable written down, it’s also wonderful motivation for keeping you focussed. You also get the great satisfaction of ticking tasks off once they’re complete!
4. Start with the obvious
What’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door? Sorting out the things that are most immediately visible has an instantly uplifting effect on how we feel. So, if your front door opens onto a hallway, see what difference a shoe rack makes – or, if it opens into the kitchen, make that the first room in the house that you tackle!
Making the first thing you see when you get home as organised as possible will show you how much happier you’ll feel when walking into decluttered spaces. This will then give you great motivation to continue with your decluttering mission!
5. Pick one room.
So – you’ve taken care of the first thing you see when entering your home. What next? Don’t just say ‘upstairs’ – pick an individual room! Work your way around that room systematically, rather than diving in headfirst and tidying up here and there. Pick a starting point and then move around the room clockwise, concentrating your focus on each specific area at a time. This ensures a thorough declutter and makes the task feel much more achievable. Plus, as soon as you begin noticing the difference you’ll feel motivated to keep going.
6. Fill up one trash bag
One super speedy decluttering method is to grab one big trash bag and see how quickly you can fill it. A great one to involve with the kids with (though you might want to check what they’re throwing away!) this can be a fun challenge, helping to break up the monotony and boredom of tidying. You’ll be amazed at how much more inspired you’ll be to get rid of things you’re just not using!
7. Tackling the closet
For many people, the armoire is their downfall! It’s all-too-easy to close the doors and simply forget about everything inside that we just don’t wear, but haven’t got the heart to let go of. But, this spring, lose that attitude! It’s time to get brutal. Go through every item in your closet and ask yourself these four questions:
- Do I wear it?
- Do I like it?
- Does it represent who I actually am?
- Does it fit?
Be as honest as you can with your answers and simply get rid of anything that doesn’t tick every box. Of course, if you do have a few items which you don’t wear but would like to keep to pass onto future generations, neatly fold them into storage to keep in the loft.
8. Does it bring you joy?
Marie Kondo’s best-selling book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up has caused quite the stir over the past few years, outlining the Japanese KonMari method to transform houses into clutter-free spaces. You could say she’s responsible for the recent decluttering craze! Ultimately the method centers around one key question: Does it bring me joy?
As you tidy, hold each item in your hands and ask yourself that same question. If feelings of discomfort or annoyance arise, or if it triggers bad memories, get rid of it! So, if keeping your old prom dress from high school genuinely makes you happy, then by all means keep hold of it – but if it just makes you feel bad or nostalgic, there’s simply no reason to keep it around. Asking yourself this question can be a time consuming process, but once you’ve gone through this process everything in your home will make you happy! What could be better than that?
Once you’ve completed the decluttering basics, it’s time to consider where you’ll store the items you’re hanging on to. Would like be easier if you had a bigger, sturdier amoire? If the answer’s yes, consider purchasing a new one that’s built to last. Or, for a small solution, what about a blanket chest? These items can be used in a number of creative ways – find them here!
Good storage is a crucial component of a tidy happy home, but don’t just use it keep everything hidden away. Keeping your storage organized itself is half the battle!
And the final, most important step…
10. Keep going!
Once your thorough spring clean has been completed, and you’re living happily in your decluttered home – keep it that way! Of course, this is much easier said than done, but if you keep these simple steps in mind it’ll be easier than you think to maintain a tidy happy home. Implement a quick 15-minutes-a-day tidy up into your routine and, who knows, maybe next spring you won’t have to do it all over again!
Decluttering is good for the soul as well as the home. In a tidy, organized environment you’ll feel instantly happier, and your stress easily reduced by the simple fact of knowing where everything is! And with summer on the horizon, who wants to spend the warm sunny months worrying about tidying up? Get your spring cleaning out of the way now and everything will be done and dusted (literally!) in time to make the most of summer.
If you have any decluttering tips, let us know! Get in touch over on Twitter and Facebook and feel free to send us photos of your lovely spring time homes.
Image Credits: Flickr