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Spring Clearing - Decluttering your home and mind for Spring

Does anyone else feel like this Winter has been never-ending - my house is feeling the strain of us spending more time indoors during the colder months. I always look forward to a good Spring 'Clearing' session to get my home feeling clutter-free and ready for the lighter, warmer months. Spring cleaning offers a great opportunity to clear space as you clean, and I'm always surprised at how much more relaxed I feel after a good declutter.


Messy sitting room

Decluttering and organising your home isn't just about tidying up rooms. It's about creating a home that's comfortable and easy to maintain living space where you can relax and focus on the things you enjoy.


In this post we'll look at:


How does clutter impact our lives?

I believe people have different 'clutter tolerance levels' - my term rather than an academic one! Some people enjoy living in a busy or more ‘lived-in’ environment whilst others prefer to have clear surfaces and more minimalist homes. Wherever you are on the scale, if you're uncomfortable about the look and feel of your home it may impact your wellbeing* in the following ways.


Stressed mum sat on floor
  • A cluttered home can make it difficult to switch off and relax, both physically and mentally.

  • Clutter causes our senses to process and work overtime on stimulus (like piles of paperwork, books or toys). This continuous 'noise' can signal to our brains that our work for the day isn’t done. Removing this stimulus allows you to focus on more important stuff.

  • All of the above can increase your cortisol (stress) levels.


*a recent academic study by a fellow APDO member Caroline Rogers supports this.


Decluttering tip:

To make the move from cluttered chaos to an organised home the first thing you need to do is declutter. There's no point in just organising your clutter as you'll find it will quickly appear again around your home - always let go of the things you don’t need and then organise what's left.


 

"The truth is, most of us don't have an organisation problem.

We have an 'own too much stuff problem"

Zoe Kim


 

Why decluttering is good for you

Taking back control of how your home looks and functions is incredibly empowering. It's not about your home looking perfect all the time, it's about finding a balance that works for you and your family. Family life is busy and, at times, messy. Having an organised home gives you the freedom to be in the moment and enjoy the fun and memories being created, knowing that things can easily be tidied up later.


Time invested in decluttering your home is time well spent. Your home will look and function better, making life easier. Having a place for everything and some routines to help you keep on top of your home are great reasons to get organised.


A decluttered and organised home can also help you save money - as you declutter, you'll better understand what you own, which can reduce unnecessary purchases. There's also an opportunity to turn the items you no longer need to make some extra cash - take a look at my tips for making money when you declutter and sell stuff.


Decluttering isn’t something we're taught as children, especially for those of us with parents who liked to ‘make do and mend’. Luckily, however, decluttering, organising and finding a place for everything is something that you can learn through practice. If you struggle to set aside time or feel too overwhelmed to get started I recommend seeking help from a Professional Organiser.


How to start decluttering your home

notepad and gold pen

Make a declutter plan

Grab a notebook and make notes about what you'd like to achieve by decluttering your space.

- Consider what works for you at the moment and the areas that you struggle with.

- Think about how you’d like the space to feel and look.

- Set aside some specific dates/times to do the decluttering!

These notes will motivate you to start decluttering and will be a useful reminder of your goals if you lose enthusiasm along the way.



Start with a small decluttering task!

If you empty out everything in one go it can feel overwhelming so I always encourage people to choose one category or box of items (socks, toiletries, cutlery drawer) and work through it making decisions about what you want and need.


organised underwear in a wooden drawer

The feeling of accomplishment you will get from tidying this one small thing will spur you on to continue -try starting small with your smalls!.



Clothes piled on a bed

Declutter by Category

Work in categories of objects (tops, dresses, shoes, books, DVDs) and gather similar items together in one place.


This decluttering method helps you to see the volume of things you own in that category and quickly shows any duplication. This can help you make confident decisions about what to keep or discard as you'll be able to see that you're left with the things you love, need and use.



a shelf with a vase, plant, heart trivet and framed print

Keep the things you love

Rather than looking for things to discard try doing something different... pick out the things you want to keep.


Having a positive mindset as you declutter helps to curate a home full of things you love rather than things you've kept 'just in case'.




Questions to ask yourself if you're tempted to keep things 'just in case'

It's easy to fall into the trap of keeping things 'just in case’, if you find yourself doing this then run through the following set of questions to determine whether you need to keep the item:


exercise bike being used for hanging clothes

- When was the last time you used it (will you ever need it again)?


- How likely are you to use the item (be honest!)?


- How much space is it taking up?


- How easy would it be to replace the item in the future?


- How much would it cost to replace it?


- Is it perishable, will you use it before the shelf life expires?



Consider how much value you put on the space items are taking up. If you have a large object, that you haven’t used for 5 years and it’s relatively easy to replace then be honest with yourself – would you rather have the space in your home or keep the item just in case you need it?



3 Simple Organising Tips

  • I always recommend decluttering before buying any new storage as you won’t know what storage you need until you know exactly what you have left to store (use cardboard boxes in the meantime).

  • Store similar items together and avoid scattered storage. This will help you to know where to find things and where to put them back when you’ve finished with them.

  • When you’re looking for somewhere to store something ask yourself where you’d look for it – it’s often the simplest way to sort out your storage.


If you liked this blog please let me know in the comments below & share it with someone who'll find it useful!



 updated 21st April '24

 


Sue Spencer owner of A Life More Organised

Hi! I’m Sue, a professional home organiser and KonMari Consultant based in Hampshire, UK. I had the privilege of training with Marie Kondo and by using her methods, I help growing families and empty nesters Rightsize their Homes.

We declutter and organise to clear space and time so they can get on with the important job of enjoying life.

 


Are you ready to start living A Life More Organised?

For a no-obligation chat about how I can help, please get in touch.


m: 07740 782575

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Sue Spencer KonMari Consultant
KonMari Master Consultant Badge

Hi, I'm Sue!

I love all things decluttering and home organisation and trained with Marie Kondo to be a KonMari Consultant after experiencing the benefits of tidying my own home using the KonMari Method.

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