Time for Spring Cleaning?

Feeling overwhelmed by the clutter that has accumulated in your home? You're not the only one.  It's overwhelming to know where to start,  and it's easy to fall into the trap of procrastinating when you can't identify where to begin. But let me tell you...it's easier than you think! We spoke with our De-Clutterer Extraordinaire, Mindy Risenmay and these are her suggestions for Spring Cleaning your space.

It is hard to give things away if you are emotionally attached.  Many people have heard about the KonMari approach to decluttering.   When you hold the item up, does it bring you happiness?  Do you get a rush of emotion when you look at it?  Does it spark joy?  This is the first step in learning how to detach yourself from things that may not need to be in your life anymore and then seeking the joy that comes from letting go.

Many people get overwhelmed with the thought of getting started because they may not be sure where to begin. But when you take the first step, everything else falls into place. Once people understand how to create order out of chaos then they can get better at it for other tasks and projects.

It is difficult to have every space in your home completely organized all of the time.  It is important to have systems set up in your home so things do not get out of control.  I believe there should be a place for everything.  When you know where the place is, it is easy to put everything back.

There's not one system that works for everyone as everyone's lives are different and unique.  Therefore, you need a system that can accommodate how you  live.  Once that system is in place and you are comfortable with how and why it is set up that way, it tends to be easy enough to maintain.   Sometimes that means making slight changes or coming up with a different approach if you are not getting the desired outcome.  

To Prep, walk through the spaces that bother you the most. These spaces are usually the ones that you see and use most often.  Kitchens, closets, landing zones.  Start with one space at a time and then move on to the next.  It is very overwhelming if you think of clearing your entire house at once.  Start with a drawer and then move on to a cabinet, one by one. After a small space in your home is organized, then you  can move on to the next space.  I recommend doing one space a week over a few months. It tends to be less overwhelming.   Organizing can be very draining physically and emotionally so that it is good to spread it out.

I had mentioned the Konmari approach, which is based on the feelings each item evokes as you consider it.  Other systems organize items/piles by "keep", "sell", "donate", and "trash."  There are other, similar systems based on the primary needs of the project.  

It is a bit daunting  to think of organizing your entire home but it can be a step by step process.  Do not think of it as a big project, but rather a self-improvement process that will help you feel less stress, less anxiety and a greater sense of accomplishment.  

What are the benefits of decluttering and organizing your space?

Having too many items around can lead to increased stress and frustration.  It is hard to have a clear mind, free from frustration, when you are in a room filled with clutter .  An organized space boosts creativity and positivity.  Working in an environment that is neat, clean and organized helps the brain to be free from distractions and you can focus on your job at hand.   

There are many physical benefits of decluttering also.   After a space is decluttered your stress levels are lowered, anxiety is decreased, and your concentration will be improved.  It boosts your mood and will help you sleep better.  You'll find more time to do what you want to do.

Organizing and decluttering your space makes you feel lighter because you don't feel weighed down by all the excess.  It is easy to shut the door on the stuff hidden behind it, but shutting the door doesn't make the problem go away.  It will still be there waiting for you, giving you an icky or weighed down feeling, and it makes you feel more stress.  Finally tackling that mess behind the door, or that room you've been ignoring, can bring a joy and lightness to your day that you've been craving. 

When you get rid of the extra stuff you have more time to do what you need to.  Creating systems helps you devote less time dedicated to daily cleaning, preparing, etc and will give you more time to get more important projects done.

I recently took a few carloads of items to charity.  After I took it, I couldn't even remember what I had taken.  When you see the same things every day sitting in your closet or in your drawer you may think one day it will be useful, but that day likely will never come.  Once you get rid of that item you tend to discover that there was never a need for it and you don't miss it.

I suggest getting rid of anything you do not have an emotional attachment to before you remodel or redecorate.  If there is a pile of stuff that needs to be decluttered prior to the move or project, why not tackle it now?  Give more room or space in your life for the things that you really need and love.  Simplifying your life now will give you more freedom and opportunity that will only serve to help as you move into your new, beautiful space!