Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Cleaning - Declutter first

It's that time of year again . . . SPRING CLEANING.

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 only use it once every 2+ years or "might use" it later . . . get rid of it!!!  You will thank me when you see how much stress is relieved from now having so much clutter!

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.

Happy Decluttering!


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

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