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Spring Cleaning - It's Good for the Soul

23 March 2021 Ann Little

It’s Spring! Whether you fall into the meteorological camp that believes it’s on the 1st March, or the 20th March as being the official first day, we are there! It’s Spring – my favourite season. There are signs of spring coming through in nature – the daffodils bursting through, trees laden with blossom; the longer daylight hours; the promise in the air.

It is the season for spring-cleaning, and whilst this is just accepted as tradition, you can read a bit more about its history here.

Even organised people will have a space where clutter collects, whether that’s the kitchen drawer – you know what I mean, we all have a drawer in the kitchen that just accumulates stuff – or the under the stairs cupboard. These are both places that I have tackled this month, and boy does it feel good!

In my mind decluttering and spring-cleaning go hand in hand. You declutter, clear out the unnecessary things, and then you clean and put what’s staying back in an organised fashion. It’s having a bloomin’ good sort out and clean! And if you’re not convinced about doing it, let me tell you about some of the benefits that you get:

  • Reduction in stress and anxiety
  • Improved sleep
  • More space
  • Boost creativity and productivity
  • Save money (you’re not forever buying things because you can’t find the one you’ve already got)!

Quite often it’s easy to identify where in your home you want to sort, but going ahead and starting the project is more difficult. It can seem like an overwhelming task. You can be put off from starting it because it just seems so difficult. Well, I’m going to help you with that. Take it one step at a time and you’ll get there.

The first thing to do is pick the area you want to declutter carefully. Don’t be tempted to jump straight into the massive job – for me that’s sorting through the children’s toys – choose something smaller, something manageable that will give you the confidence to tackle the big things. That kitchen drawer is perfect!

Wherever you pick, there are some simple rules to follow: 

Touch it once

Pick one item at a time, and decide what you’re going to do with it. Put it in its correct pile and you’re done. The decision is made.

Make decisions, one item at a time

The choice, ultimately, is do you keep said item or not. But that is too big a decision to make a lot of the time, so think about the facts. This simple flow chart will help you make the choice – be honest with your answers!

Now to tackle the Get Rid Pile...Do you  - throw it away, give it away or sell it?

Decluttering can be an opportunity to make a little cash by selling suitable items. Sales avenues to consider are – Ebay, car boot sales, Facebook groups, specialist listing sites.

Items in good order can be given away, maybe as a hand me downs to friends and family who would find it useful, or to your favourite charity. At the moment charity shops aren’t accepting donations, however there are clothes donation bins and doorstep collections that are still operating.

Broken and damaged items can be thrown away responsibly i.e. recycled where possible. If you do think that something is repairable you may be able to find someone who will take it off your hands.

The keep pile should be significantly smaller than the starting pile.

With all the contents of the drawer, cupboard, room now out in the open and greatly reduced, it’s time to have a clean before you put everything back in an organised fashion. Don’t rush into putting the keep items back, consider the best way to organise everything. Separate the commonly used items and have them in an easily accessible space. Why not use baskets to organise and keep things neat. I’m a fan of baskets and boxes, as you can see from my decluttered kitchen drawer, as well as labels.

I’ll give you one get out clause! There may be some items that you genuinely cannot make your mind up about. Maybe it’s something sentimental or something you think you might use in the future – put these in a box, seal the box and put it out of the way (in the garage, loft or similar). If you have no need for that item in the next 6 months, get rid of it. A note of caution though – you shouldn’t put all of your things in the maybe pile!

The garage is a great place to get your teeth into when it comes to decluttering, it’s often a place when things are dumped for storage. I went through ours at the weekend and, although I can’t action the get rid piles at the moment, I still have a lovely clear, usable space now. This one isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it’s definitely satisfying!

You don’t need to wait until spring for a good declutter, why not tackle one area a month?

  • A regular sort of kitchen cupboards will mean that you won’t have hidden things in the back corners going off and might even save yourself from buying items you already have.
  • Go through your wardrobe on the change of season, store items of clothing away in a vacuum pack bag and swap back in as the seasons dictates.
  • Do you have lots of nearly empty tins of paint that you keep, just in case? Do a quick audit and see what you really need to keep. And remember, if the decorating was that long ago, the paint in the pot may now be a slightly different colour and not usable.

Along with planning, I love decluttering. If you need help getting your home in order, keep your eye out for decluttering services from Silver Lining Services when we can be face to face.

Right, I’m off to tackle the toys now!


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