Yay - Spring is here!
If you keep up with traditions, you’re probably thinking about spring cleaning. Or you may aspire to doing spring cleaning this year. Here are some productive ways to turn spring cleaning into spring “clearing”. This will make it easier to keep your home neat and tidy long after the deep clean.
Create a plan
Having a plan can reduce the amount of time you spend de-cluttering and sprucing. Unless you have a tiny home, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to complete your clearing and cleaning in one day. Having a plan will help you keep your resolve because you’ll be ticking things off as you go –you’ll have a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day.
1) Choose chunks of time, preferably ones that are repeatable – e.g. 10am-12pm on Saturday and Sunday mornings; 7:30pm-9:30pm on Wed evenings. Put them on your calendar, and set reminders for the day before and morning of.
2) On a clean sheet of paper, work out what activities that you’ll work on in those slots – e.g. Sat, 5/4: sort and rotate seasonal clothing (see below); clear bathroom window casement of toiletries (toss any you’re not using) and clean. You can also add these details to your calendar, so you can see in advance what’s coming up and can prepare accordingly (e.g. cleaning materials and black bags/boxes for things being donated). Allow more time than you think you’ll need – sorting is likely to take longer than you anticipate.
3) Let your family/roommates know about your plan so they can give you the space you need to work. They might even help you!
Rotate Seasonal Clothing
This is a perfect time to separate out off-season clothing and shoes. Doing this twice a year is a great opportunity to re-assess what you really need or want to keep – the cocktail dress you haven’t worn in five years, the 10-your-old jeans you’re hoping to fit into again, the spine-wrenching high heels.
· Cover your bed with a sheet. Take all the clothing out of your closet and drawers and separate into spring/summer and fall/winter. Keep items such as cardigans that you’ll wear on chilly nights in with the spring/summer clothes. If you’re doing this in the fall, you may want to keep sleeveless tops that you’ll wear under a jacket with your fall/winter clothes. Weed out the items you no longer want.
· Don’t forget accessories such as scarves and socks. We’ll get to shoes in a minute.
· Put the spring/summer clothes and accessories back into your closet and drawers.
· Next, store the out-of-season clothes. If you have a closet elsewhere in your home that can accommodate this clothing, use that. If you don’t have another closet to use, put out-of-season clothes that need to hang at the back of your bedroom closet.
· Foldable out-of-season clothes can go into under-bed plastic storage bags or hard-shell bins. Bins can go on shelves or in your garage or basement.
Leave out boots that you wear in the warmer weather, or dress sandals that you wear all year round. Off-season shoes can be stored under the bed in soft-shell plastic containers specifically designed for shoes, or in hard-shell bins in a closet, garage, or basement.
This is one area that can easily grow and grow! Put aside those items you no longer wear or enjoy. Offer them to friends, consign/sell them, or donate them.
Keep the good work going!
· Put a note on your calendar for six months from now: “Swap spring/summer clothes for autumn/winter clothes“.
· Decide how you’ll keep an optimum number of possessions – e.g. you could establish a one-in, one-out rule, or do a routine “clutter check” every 3 months (put this on your calendar as well).
Now open some windows to let in the spring air, and enjoy your refreshed home!
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- Are you a go-getter with gumption?
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I’m Ellia Harris, Mindful Organizing and Productivity Coach. I work with professionals who are stressed by their messy home, scattered brain, or project deadlines. I'll help you intentionally clear the clutter from your home and your head so you have more time, peace, and transformation in your life.
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