Whilst the new year might be the time you make your resolutions for the year ahead, anytime is a good time to try and de-clutter. ‘Spring cleaning’ is an age-old phrase that refers to revitalising your home and getting rid of all that stuff that sits around staring at you without ever being used. Old shoes, clothes, electrical items, broken fitness equipment, the unwanted gifts…the list goes on. However who said you had to wait until Spring to revitalise your living space?You might’ve heard the saying that a cluttered space makes for a cluttered mind. From a psychological perspective, there is certainly some truth linking stress levels to mess levels. Clutter is not only a distraction from what we should be focusing on, it is also a constant reminder to our brains that there is unfinished work you’ll need to attend to (someday). This can lead to feelings of anxiety whilst simultaneously cramping your productivity and creative juices.
Here are some steps to get the most out of your decluttering exercise:
- First and foremost, ensure you have a removal plan for what you are going to throw out. Otherwise you are simply moving your unwanted things from inside to outside. You might need access to a trailer of some sort, or you can call your local council and book a hard waste collection.
- Go through one room at a time. People often find that starting at the top of your house/apartment and working your way down is a good system to go by.
- Share the load. Spring cleaning is a whole lot more fun (and fast) if you can get your housemates or a family member/friend to help out.
- Once you start your spring cleaning, use the ‘keep’, ‘donate’ and ‘dispose’ system. That is, for each room you sort things into three distinct piles. Be ruthless! When going through your wardrobe for example, only keep the things that you actually wear. If you haven’t worn those denim overalls once in the past 6 months, you probably aren’t going to start wearing them anytime soon.
- Be thorough. That means if you’re doing bedrooms, getting into the hard-to-reach areas and dusting/vacuuming as well as clearing out the stuff you no longer need. If you’re going to do spring cleaning, you’ve got to do it properly!
- Clean to your favourite jams. Music can certainly make cleaning more fun. Go for upbeat, feel-good tunes that will keep you in a vibrant mood. Or if you want to learn on the job, listen to a podcast.
- Reward yourself when you’re finished (and anyone who helped you!). Go out for dinner and relish the feeling that you’ll be returning to a fresh, revitalised living space.
Go forth and get cleaning!
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