The key to Spring Cleaning is to DECLUTTER FIRST, organize what you have decided to keep, and then begin your spring cleaning projects.
Grab THREE BINS or LARGE BOXES & start DECLUTTERING. LABEL them (1) Give away, (2) Put away (3) Throw away. Give away can include giving it to Aunt Suzy, donating, or selling it at a yard sale. If you want to sort these "Give Away" items while you're in the decluttering process then just have more the 3 bins or boxes.
If you come across something you're not sure about, ask yourself these questions:
- "Do I truly LOVE this item?"
- "What is the WORST thing that will happen if I get rid of it?" (I love this question!)
- "Is this item useful in my CURRENT life?"
- "When was the last time I used it or looked at it?"
- "Is it a duplicate?"
- "Does it fit NOW?"
- "Does it make me feel great while wearing it or using it?"
- "Is the item still in stlye?"
- "Is it in good condition?"
- "Does it have stains, tears or is it faded?"
- "If I took a picture of this, would it make it easier to let go?"
- "Am I keeping this item out of guilt?" (Someone gave it to you)
- "Am I keeping this item because I love the memory?"
- "Am I legally required to keep it?" (Tax records etc)
- "Will I actually use it/refer to it/need it?"
- "Can it be easily duplicated/found/created if you need it again?" (i.e. found on the web or library)
If you already have 5 white t-shirts only keep one.
If you don't love it or it doesn't make you feel good then get rid of it!
Here are a few tips I've learned from being a professional organizer.
- I always tell my clients to use the One In/One Out rule - If you bring something in (clothes etc) something must go out! You can always find something in your closet or kitchen cabinets that you DON'T USE anymore ;-)
- Use the North to South approach or you will sabotage your own efforts. Start at the top and work down to the floor.
- Schedule appointments with yourself to declutter & honor those appointments! Take 15-30 mins everyday to work on your decluttering.
- Use the Touch It Once rule - this means you touch an item once before it's put in its place. This means no dumping the mail in a pile to sort through later (Later might be a week or more from now). Or leaving clothes/shoes/bags at the door, just put them away where they belong right away. It saves time on having to clean them up later in the day.
We all lead a complicated and pressure filled life therefore clutter and grime build up! For this reason, it's very important to take the time to Spring Clean every year. Even though decluttering is a process & doesn't happen overnight, the decluttering will make your spring cleaning a breeze.
P.S. Need help? I'm offering a Spring Cleaning Special. I'm offering my blog readers $5 off any one 3 hour session. Just mention my "Blog Spring Cleaning Special" to get my 3 hour Organizing Session (normally $60) for only $55!
Simplify Your Life Organizing is dedicated to providing affordable organizing services for the average family. No job too big or too small. We help you organize one pile at a time. We help you set goals, create order & establish a strategy that will help you stay organized. We provide one-on-one assistance to get your life in control. You will have less stress & more space! Serving the following areas: Stratford New Jersey, Cherry Hill, Mount Laurel, Moorestown, Medford, New Castle County Delaware, certain areas in Pennsylvania, & all of South Jersey. We purchase most of our Organizing products from the Cherry Hill Container Store located in front of the Cherry Hill Mall, next to Crate & Barrel (Route 38 & Haddonfield Rd), as well as, the Voorhees Target located across from the Bally's gym off of White Horse