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TERRI’S TIP MARCH 2024
Spring Cleaning Decluttering and Organizing Tips
In Chicago, it might not yet be spring weather in March so you can get yourself ready for your spring cleaning projects by reading this article in advance. Take advantage of the daylight hours. Spring cleaning is a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine. Listen to music or podcasts while you work. This can help make the time go by faster and make decluttering more enjoyable. Reward yourself for your progress. Don’t allow yourself to buy something or get a special treat like a massage or other spa service until you finish your project!
Here are some simple steps to embark on a spring cleaning project.
Set a goal. What do you hope to achieve by decluttering and organizing your home? Do you want to create more space, get rid of clutter, or make your home more functional? Once you know your goal, you can start to develop a plan.
Choose an area and then set a timer. Start small. Don’t try to declutter your entire home all at once. Start with one room or one category of items, and then gradually work your way through the rest of your home. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of decluttering, set a timer for 15 or 30 minutes and commit to decluttering for that amount of time. You'll be surprised at how much you can get done in a short amount of time.
As part of this process, you’ll need to take everything out of the space you’ve started with. First step is to sort like items (example: separately sort winter hats and scarves and gloves if they are in a big pile on your mudroom or front hall closet floor). It’s important to see everything you have and the quantity of each category so you can make informed decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of. Ask yourself if you use each item regularly, if it’s in good condition, and if you enjoy wearing/using the item. If the answer is no to any of these questions, it's time to get rid of it.
Don’t be afraid to get rid of things. One of the hardest parts of decluttering is letting go of things. But it’s important to remember that you don’t need to keep everything you own. If you haven’t used something in quite awhile, it’s probably time to get rid of it especially if you ever needed the item again ask yourself if you can borrow the item from a friend or family member OR repurchase it again for $20 or less. Pay attention to duplicate items like clothes, kitchenware, or office supplies. Take this opportunity to get rid of any duplicates you have.
Delegate. If you have family members or friends who are willing to help, delegate some of the decluttering tasks to them. This will free up your time so you can focus on the areas that need the most attention.
Take breaks. Don’t try to declutter your entire home in one day. Take breaks throughout the process to avoid getting overwhelmed. Get up and move around, or step outside for some fresh air.
Find creative ways to repurpose or donate items. Instead of throwing away items that you don’t need, find creative ways to repurpose or donate them. This could include selling them online on Ebay or Craig’s List, offering them to your neighbors via your Buy Nothing Facebook group, donating them to a thrift store, donating them to a worthy organization resettling immigrants for example, or giving them to friends or family members. Please don’t try to give them your “junk” but items they will use and treasure.
Make it a game. If you have kids, make decluttering a game. This could involve having a contest to see who can declutter the most items in a certain amount of time or creating a scavenger hunt for hidden clutter.
Get help if you need it. If you’re struggling to declutter on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, family, or a Professional Organizer who offers another set of hands and a process for getting through overwhelming tasks.
Get creative with your storage. There are many creative ways to store your belongings. Try different storage solutions that might work for your space.
Label everything. Once you’ve decluttered and organized your belongings, label everything so you know where it goes. This will help you keep your home organized in the long run.
Find a home for everything. Once you’ve decluttered, it’s important to find a home for everything you’re keeping. This will help you keep your home organized and prevent clutter from accumulating again. Shelves and clear bins with labels is a great place to start!
Decluttering and organizing your home can be a daunting task, but it’s worth it in the end. A decluttered and organized home is more peaceful, relaxing, and functional. So get started today and enjoy the benefits of a less cluttered and organized home! By following these tips, you can make the spring cleaning process a little bit easier and more enjoyable.
Check monthly for Terri’s advice on residential professional organizing!