Spring is here and there’s no better time to take advantage of that “fresh start” motivation to tackle some of those bigger cleaning and organizing jobs around the house. Before you start a deep cleaning, it makes sense to lighten the load and get rid of some of the extra items around the house so you have more breathing room and can see what you’re left with. But where to start? Thinking of all the areas of your home that need to be cleaned and organized can be overwhelming, but if you break it down into one area at a time, and have an action plan, it’s a far more manageable undertaking.
Here is a 7-step action plan you can follow:
1. Make a list of the different rooms or categories you need to sort through.
This simple step can help manage the sense of overwhelm by taking the ideas from your brain and transferring them onto paper. Jot down some notes about what you want to do for each area. For example: Bedroom Closet: Sort items to donate, sell, or put into a seasonal storage. Tip: If you haven’t worn something in a year, it’s time to let it go.
2. Give yourself some dates (deadlines) for completing each area
Be realistic yet ambitious with fitting organization time into your schedule. Having a target of a specific date when the project will be finished can be a good motivator and help you “keep your eye on the prize.”
3. Make a plan for what to do with the items you no longer need.
For items that have some value, you could have a yard sale, sell them on an online marketplace, or donate them to charity. For items that are damaged or worn out, you can recycle them or even upcycle pieces into something new if you have the time and inclination.
4. Get motivated and make it fun.
Grab a refreshing beverage, wear a comfy outfit, and put on your favourite music or find a new playlist with a good beat that will keep you energized. You might want to have a small reward planned for yourself when you finish to keep you motivated.
5. Give each area a deep cleaning before returning items
There will be dust. Have your cleaning supplies handy so you can make everything fresh and sparkling before returning items to the space. It can be incredibly satisfying to clean some of the areas that don’t get regular attention. It’s like moving into a brand new home!
6. Invest in some organizational tools
Baskets, drawer organizers, jars in the pantry for dry goods . . . these are the tools that will ensure your home stays organized for the long term. A place for everything and everything in its place is a motto that makes a lot of sense when you have items sorted into proper compartments instead of piled up in a heap.
7. Celebrate your fresh, new, organized home!
Phew—you did it! Celebrate your accomplishment and take a well deserved break. Getting a new plant or some fresh flowers would be a lovely way to bring some fresh new life into your space. You may even be inspired to change up some of your furniture, artwork or decor to keep going with the transformation.
Tidying up when you have a lot of clutter is a big job and can even be emotional if you have a sentimental connection to some of the things you are parting with. You can take some tips from organizing expert Marie Kondo who advises that you take a moment to “thank” the item for how it has served you before letting it go. Her other tip for deciding what to keep and what to get rid of is to consider whether or not something “brings you joy”.
With each step of the decluttering process, you may find yourself feeling a positive sense of spaciousness and new possibilities. You have literally made room for new things to come into your life. Just be conscious of not filling the space up again with more items or you’ll eventually be back where you started. Embrace the idea of “less is more”. It’s certainly easier to clean a space when there is less clutter. Enjoy your fresh new space!