It is that time of year again! Before you know it, summer will be upon us. One thing we love about spring and summer is that the warmer weather frees us from being cooped up indoors. Being cooped up all winter is not such a bad thing, unless you have unnecessary clutter. Spring is a great time to rid yourself of the clutter that has been encroaching on your limited personal space all winter. Here are 5 great tips for tackling that mountain of mayhem:
- SET A GOAL AND MAKE A LIST: Set a goal for what you want the end result to be. Is it more space you are wanting? If so, this will mean that you need to find a new home for your unwanted stuff. Always consider donating to family, friends, and thrift stores first. You can never go wrong with giving. If you are hard up for cash, consider selling your unwanted items at a yardsale, garage sale, flea market, or through online platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or through apps like LetGo or OfferUp. Is it more organization in the things that you have? This may cost you a little intially in storage containers or maybe even a storage rental unit, but it will save you time and stress later when you know everything you have, has a place. Now it is time to make a list and prioritize from most urgent to least important. Prioritizing is going to help you to see progress right away, so you don’t feel overwhelmed by the mayhem monster. Set a time to start working down your list. You can do this over several days, but you don’t want to be interrupted continuously, or you may not get back to it right away. It is better to pick a day or weekend when you are least likely to be pulled away from cleaning.
- TAKE MENTAL NOTES ALONG THE WAY: Let’s face it, everyone has times in their life when we neglect certain tasks to tend to more pressing issues. While you are cleaning, take mental notes of how the clutter acumulated, why the clutter accumulated, when the clutter accumulated, and where the clutter acumulated. Why would you do this? Because you don’t want to have to do this again next spring! Clutter is directly related to your lifestyle. Let’s take that treadmill in the corner of your bedroom for example. If it’s a clothes rack right now, it probably doesn’t get used very often for exercise. So, while your cleaning, get creative! If items seem to get thrown in the same spot over and over, let’s say jackets, hats, and gloves, maybe this would be a great place for a coat rack or storage chest. Perhaps you collect items, like beanie babies or comics, now is a great time to put those treasures in a new spot where they can be properly displayed. They bring you pleasure, so give them the spot they have earned in your home!
- INCLUDE THE FAMILY! This one doesn’t need much explanation if you don’t live alone. We all made the mess, we should all pitch in and help to clean it up. Not only is it the fair thing to do, but everyone gets a good look at what happens when we neglect to stay organized and clutter-free and you may decrease the likelihood of it happening again. Here’s a great game to play – finders keepers! You are going to be surprised at how many things you find that you thought were lost forever. Our favorite find is MONEY! So, whoever finds it, gets to keep it no matter how much is found! What?!? Well, if you didn’t know it was there before, you haven’t missed it! Fair enough 🙂 Also, never feel bad about your home getting out of hand. It happens to the best of us at one time or another. You’re not living life to its fullest if you’re seeking perfection constantly within the home! With that being said, if you don’t have immediate family, call a friend for help. Ask members at your Church to pitch in and treat them to dinner at your house as repayment. There is no shame in asking for help!
- BE GREEN! Ok, you might want to puke when you find that molded cheeseburger and fries in the to go bag that mysteriously found its way behind the nightstand, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the 3 R’s of green cleaning: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! Keep this in mind while you are sorting through and deciding to ‘keep’ or ‘toss’. The clothing industry is the most toxic industry on the planet, polluting our land and water! KEEP things until you can’t use them anymore, give them away, or recycle them. CLEAN with Earth friendly household cleaners. Vinegar kills most germs and is not toxic to the enviroment. Remember this fact, clean doesn’t have a smell. But if you must have that fresh scent, try essential oils or one of my favorite plant based cleaners, CitraSolv.
- HAVE FUN! Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be a miserable process. Remember, you never know what you’re going to find….trust me….it will happen at least once in the cleaning process. It is a time to reflect on memories. It is a time of transformation. It is a time of inspiration. It is a time of giving. It is a time to replace unhealthy habits with beneficial ones. So, get to work! You’re already going to feel a sense of accomplishment when you’re done, but don’t forget to treat yourself to a reward!