Historically, spring is a time of renewal and cleansing. Clear away the winter doldrums, bring out the lightweight clothing and purge what hasn’t been used, is no longer in style or is just taking up space.…out with the old!
Decluttering and organizing can be part of your spring cleaning. Welcome the new season with a fresh view…less stuff, more clarity.
Except it sounds easier than it is. Many of us would rather push the old stuff to the back of the closet, stack papers and files that still need reviewing, let magazines and newspapers pile up.
And why have we accumulated so much stuff? Sometimes the reason is sentimental: a ticket, a photo, a dress or souvenir may stimulate a fond memory. We may keep something “for a rainy day” even though it doesn’t seem to rain very much. We may have acquired duplicates: in the jumble, we’re not aware of having an extra – or three – of something.
But all the old, extra and unused items we have can weigh us down psychologically. Mess causes stress.
Try decluttering with this simple 7-step plan. When you approach what seems to be a daunting task with an idea of what you’d like to accomplish…and how…it’s not quite as overwhelming.
Start Small – pick one room, one closet or a few drawers as your initial project.
Work Logically – instead of bouncing back and forth or jumping from one room to another, work clockwise or counterclockwise around a closet or a room. You’ll be more efficient and able to see your progress.
Have a Process – Renowned organizer and declutterer Marie Kondo, creator of the KonMari Method, says that for each item you are considering whether to keep or discard, ask if that item “sparks joy” for you and if not, “thank it for its service and discard.” Try to handle each item only once in deciding what to do with it. Divide your goods into four piles: Keep, Discard, Donate or Sell. If you decide you want to try and sell some items (though this can be time-consuming, you might be able to raise some cash), post your items on Ebay or use an app like Letgo or Offerup to sell items locally.
The Buddy System – Ask a friend or relative to help you declutter. You’ll likely have more fun than decluttering solo and their opinion on keeping, giving or trashing might be more objective than yours.
Pick One – Do you really need five gray sweaters, 10 extension cords or a half-dozen glass vases? Try to select a favorite, or two, and keep those.
Set a Time Limit – To avoid frustration and declutter burn-out, work on your organizing for only a half-hour or hour at a time. Want to go longer? Great, but you may find you’re not as overwhelmed with the task if you break it down into smaller chunks of time.
Congratulate Yourself! Whether you’ve straightened two drawers or organized an entire linen closet, you’ve made progress towards a more-organized, less-stressed you.
Less stuff that’s more organized feels good! One great tool to stash your stuff is Packbands: strong, stretchy, silicone straps with hundreds of uses. Find out more at: www.packbands.com.