We’ve all got them – the piles of kids’ drawings, the old toys that are missing pieces, the clothing that doesn’t fit, but which you hope will one day. These things add clutter to your life, and take up physical and even mental space. Studies have shown that a disorganised home contributes to your stress level, as it gives a signal to the brain that work needs to be done.
Since it’s spring and a season of renewal and fresh things, it’s a great time to declutter, and get down to some spring cleaning. It doesn’t have to be that hard or time-consuming – follow our steps to leap into spring feeling lighter!
Getting started with spring-cleaning
Marie Kondo, the “queen of tidying”, is changing the way people shop, collect and tidy and advises us to only keep that which sparks joy. Her method is that you shouldn’t choose what to discard, but rather what to keep. If it doesn’t spark joy or some kind of positivity, you don’t need it in your life any more.
Other rules of the “KonMari” method include:
- Committing to tidying up.
- Think about how tidying up will affect your life.
- Finish discarding unwanted items before you begin organising.
- Tackle items by category, not location.
- Follow a set order for sorting items, for example, clothes, toys, books, papers and miscellaneous items.
Spring-cleaning prep work
Whether you approach your cleaning room by room, or Kondo’s method (category by category), just start. You don’t have to do everything in one day – you can break it up into days, or weekends. We advise starting with the room or section that bugs you the most, or that needs the most work. That way, you get the “worst” over with, and it will just get easier.
Use room or category checklists and get going from the top. Figure out what you’re going to do with the things that no longer serve you – donate to charity, throw away, recycle or give them to someone you know who needs or wants them – and create piles for each one.
Ensure you have what you need, whether it’s boxes or cleaning products.
Get the family involved
This doesn’t have to be a solo effort – your family can either help get rid of the things they no longer want or need, or sort things into piles for you. Turn on the music, put out some snacks, and try to make it more than just a chore.
“… you shouldn’t choose what to discard, but rather what to keep. If it doesn’t spark joy or some kind of positivity, you don’t need it in your life anymore.”
It’s hard to get rid of things that you think you might use at a later stage, or items that simply hold memories, but not much practical benefit. For any goods that you’re unsure about, put them in a box and store away for six months. If you need something in the box during that time, it might be worth holding onto. If you haven’t touched it, it might be “safe” to be given away.
You might need to hold clothes onto for longer than six months, but let’s be real – if you haven’t worn something in a year, are you really going to wear it again?
Clean, then organise
Regardless of how much or how little you’ve thrown away, spring cleaning is also a good opportunity to clear out the winter cobwebs, so to speak. Again, you can do these in stages, but things, like cleaning the windows, turning over and vacuuming your mattress, steam cleaning your curtains or cleaning out your fridge, are good for the “health” of your home. Try to stay away from chemical cleaners if you can – they can be toxic to your home and to your health, and plant-based or natural cleaners can really give you a fresh and healthier start.
If you’re looking for great organisation and packing tips, then have a look at Marie Kondo’s website – she has some innovative and space-saving strategies.