Four Steps to a Spark Joy Spring Cleaning
As the sun and flowers emerge after such a rainy winter, the freshness in the air leads to fresh thinking about our lives. Whether you are preparing to sell, packing for your new home, or just thinking ahead to summer vacations, the change of seasons inspires us to reflect on where we are in life and what’s coming. These transitions are a natural time to freshen up your home before creating new memories or welcoming new owners.
In my work as a Certified KonMari Consultant and professional home organizer, I use the KonMari Method™ to help people all over the Triangle to tidy up their homes so they can live their best lives. Here are four straightforward steps I use with all of my clients that are sure to help your home (and your Spring) spark joy.
1) Declutter Before You Deep-Clean
Before you deep-clean, consider addressing what often lies beneath the dust and grime: clutter. Clutter in the home typically consists of items you love or need and items you don’t. Spring is the perfect time to figure out the difference and let go of those items which no longer serve a purpose in your life.
The best part of clearing your space before you clean it? You’ll have less to clean! Another happy side effect will be the extra space for yourself to feel lighter and brighter, before even a drop of lemon-scented cleaner!
2) Discard Destinations
Before decluttering with my clients, we decide how to dispose of and remove their discarded items from the house. Typical discard categories include: items to donate, items to return to their owner, items friends or family may want, and trash.
Designate a box or trash bag for each discard category and sort as you make decisions about your things. Really spend a little time thinking this through. You may wish to donate certain kinds of books to your kid’s school, some of your clothes to a shelter, and office supplies to a thrift store, so have a box for each.
3) Do It Now
A great rule of thumb for life: if it takes less than two minutes to do, go ahead and do it right now. Got some junk mail you need to shred? Instead of putting it in a pile to do later, walk over to the shredder and do it now. Dishes from lunch sitting on the counter? Put them in the dishwasher now. Have a quick email you’ve been meaning to send? You get the picture – send it now!
As you declutter, apply this to items that belong to other people or items you know someone else may like. Send that person a picture of the item right away to see if they want it. If you’ve had someone else’s stuff for a long time, chances are they haven’t been missing it and don’t really need it back! If that’s the case, you can add the item to your donation box and save yourself the task of getting it back to the owner.
4) Get It Gone!
You’ve gone through your things and sorted out what stays and what goes. You have boxes of items lined up in your spare room or garage, ready to head to your church, the thrift store, the trash can, etc. Please don’t end here!
The final and most important step is to get those items out of your house. Look at your calendar and make a plan for dealing with your boxes within one week. Pull out your phone to make calls, set reminders, calendar events, alarms – whatever it takes to get those boxes out of your house and off your to-do list.
By taking the time to declutter this Spring, you’ll make room, both physically and emotionally, for what’s next in your life. Less clutter leads to more inviting open houses, easier moves, and a mind that is free to focus on what’s important – living this life!