The idea of spring cleaning is popular and strong, but most people forget about spring decluttering. The two go hand-in-hand, helping you make your house a tidy, sunny spot and clear your mind in the process.
So, before you convince yourself that you need extra kitchen storage and go ahead to buy it, perhaps consider taking out the clutter? After all, starting the springtime with a clean slate is the best way to amp up your mood and get yourself feeling good about your home.
Let’s check out some tips for a painless spring declutter.
Make a Plan
You don’t need elaborate tools for decluttering, but you require a strategy. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed and drop the task before it’s all done.
Take the time to walk around the property – indoors and outdoors – and note the areas with the most clutter. Consider how much free time you’ll have in the weeks to come – and be realistic about these predictions.
Combine the two into a master cleaning list. Go room-by-room or take the approach popularized by Marie Kondo and divide your project into categories. Either way, designate enough time for each and approach it methodically.
The Five-Bin Method
It’s hard to let go of valued yet useless possessions. You could reduce the friction by getting bins, bags, or boxes, keeping them at hand, and not forcing yourself to discard everything you’re not 100% sure you’ll use.
The more options you give yourself, the less pressure you’ll feel to decide the fate of every object you grab from the shelf as soon as possible. For instance:
- Put away. Things around the house you’re sure you want to hold on to.
- Fix. If you run into an old, worn piece you love, drop it here for now.
- Recycle. Technically, you need at least three containers for this one. Every paper, plastic, or glass object you’re throwing away goes here.
- Throw away. This one is your regular trash bag.
- Donate. You might run into perfectly usable items that no longer have a place in your life. Why not give them another opportunity to make somebody happy by donating to charity?
Keep these containers near you at all times to avoid ruining your mood by hunting for bins after every cupboard or cabinet.
The 12-12-12 Challenge
You might be reluctant to get rid of anything. It gets easier with time, but the 12-12-12 approach can also help by gamifying the process and awakening your competitive spirit, even if you’re only playing against yourself. For each shelf you go through, find:
- 12 items to throw away or recycle
- 12 items to donate or gift to somebody
- 12 items to save
This approach puts your possessions into perspective and makes it much easier to make tricky decisions.
Take Before and After Pics
Another way to keep going when you face a drop in motivation is by reminding yourself of the reasons you’ve taken up this project in the first place.
Make yourself get up and declutter a small area – say, a shelf or kitchen counter. Snap a shot before you do it, and another when you’re done to evoke how your home could look. It’s guaranteed to help you regain energy.
Once you reach the end of decluttering proper, you’ll still have lots of items that need new spots to keep your home trendy, tidy, and well-organized.
Plus, while you’re doing this, you’ll get the chance to reconsider some items you kept for their sentimental value only.
Keep the rule of threes in mind for your shelves and purchase baskets and bins for smaller pieces. Use your closed storage for the pieces that don’t work well on display to make your decor to-the-point and in line with your aesthetic preferences.
Embrace the Challenge
While it might feel like a bit too much at first, you’re likely to soon get into the groove with your spring declutter.
Take advantage of the longer days of sunshine and the energy they bring. As long as you take it one step at a time, you’ll soon enjoy a tidy home and a blank canvas for new design projects.