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It is already that time of year when many of us start – or at least start to THINK about Spring cleaning. One of the best things that minimalism has done for me is decrease the amount of time that it takes to maintain my house no matter what season it is. So for me, Spring cleaning is not the monstrous job that it is for many folks. I clean the walls, windows, floors inside and out and it will take me a few hours.
If you value your time as I do, this year as you are Spring cleaning your home, think about decluttering at the same time. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Everyone likes a squeaky clean kitchen so this is the best room to start with. Working from one side to the other, clean each drawer and cupboard. As you are moving through the drawers, look at each item and really ask yourself “Do I use this?” You will be surprised at how often you will say “no.” If you do not use an item, put it in a box to donate or sell at a yard sale. I no longer have unused applicances or a junk drawer. Do I miss that drawer? Absolutely not because every time I would open that drawer, I would waste time shuffling through it and never find what I wanted any way. Once you finish the drawers and cupboards, open the refrigerator and work shelf by shelf. Toss out everything that has an expired date, that you opened in the past and never used for whatever reason and anything else you may have sitting in there. If you’re not using it, it does not need to be in your refrigerator. Think clean eating and your refrigerator will quickly hold only the items you eat daily.
- Once you get the kitchen done, the next best room to target is the bathroom. It is amazing what you will find in your vanity. Once I started cleaning my own bathrooms, I found several curling irons, hot rollers, lotions, potions, shampoos, perfumes – you name it. I tossed the many electronics into a box keeping my hair dryer, gave away the lotions and potions as I only use one perfume and only kept the products that I use every day.
- Next the living areas. The living area is usually the first thing people see when they walk into your home. If you have a ton of pillows and blankets on your couch, it doesn’t look welcoming. It makes the person think “Where am I going to sit?” Next look at what you have sitting on your tables. Is it loaded with knick knacks? Start by taking half of the items off and see how you feel about it. If you’re okay, take off half more. It will be so much easier to keep the room clean.
- Finally the bedrooms. What bedroom to start in? The one you sleep in. Only keep the blankets and pillows you use on your bed. If you have exercise equipment sitting in your room not being used, that’s a sign to pack it up and give it away. Working drawer by drawer in your dressers just like you did in the kitchen, pack up everything that doesn’t fit you, that you don’t wear, that you haven’t worn in a year and donate it or put aside for your yard sale. Once the main area is clean, do the same in the closet. When I did this I had at least 6 boxes of clothes, shoes, jackets, purses and accessories that I donated to Goodwill. Why hang onto something that you are not using when someone else out there really needs it. Different way to look at it right?
Not only will your home look better after you declutter, you will personally FEEL better every time you walk into a room. The clutter can be oppressive while the clean rooms will feel very light. But don’t be overwhelmed. Start one room at a time and work your way through your house. You will be happy you did when it’s done.
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).