Welcome to Spring! If you are taking on a Spring Cleaning project, it’s an excellent time to include getting rid of clutter. Admittedly, I feel there are only 3 other times of the year that are best for getting organized – Winter, Summer and Fall! For now, let’s focus on Spring with a few Do’s and Don’ts as you take on the organizing portion:
Do de-clutter: Since you are going through the household in any case during your cleaning endeavors, ti’s a great time to let go of things in your life that do not serve you. And that is the simple question to ask: does it serve you? Or, similarly, is it useful? is it beautiful to you? If not, say goodbye. Your world is too important and too busy to be filled with stuff that doesn’t serve you or bring you joy. Especially as you climb out of winter hibernation and burst into the new life of spring – take the time to make some liberating ‘refresh’ choices around letting things go.
Don’t take on too much, A.K.A. Do break up the organizing effort: If you do take on the project of a complete organization, where you intend to look at each item and do some purging and editing, don’t take it on all in one day. Unless you have a big crew of folks to help you out, or live in a very small space, break the project up. Do the garage on one weekend, the attic or basement the next weekend, the kitchen, etc. It is much more approachable that way.
Don’t organize for other adults in the household: Everyone has their favorite stuff and it is best to leave the goodbye de-cluttering decisions to the individual owner to avoid arguments or possible grave distress. If your spouse is not present for the effort, just have a “Jim” pile of things you think he doesn’t use or may be ready to toss. Then let Jim make those choices later. Your partner will likely be inspired by you to eliminate their own clutter. Regarding youngsters, I tell my clients – depending on their maturity level and degree of attachment to stuff – even children as young as 7 years can be motivated to make their own choices about what to keep and toss. Use your judgement and give them options. Organizing is a life skill they will benefit from learning. Your children can be motivated to help out for a couple of hours with a treat or a special activity they love.
Do start from top to bottom as you clean: After the declutter, when the time comes to clean, ceilings, chandeliers and ceiling corners first. Then walls, light switches, pictures. Furniture and stuff next and finally, the floors. Dirt, as you clean, falls down, so this simple gravity rule makes sense.
And as ever, let me know how it’s going. If you need step by step instructions, this guide for organizing a closet works in any space.