Part 1: De-clutter – Spring Cleaning of the Home!
With spring, a season of nature’s renewal, well underway, it is a good time for us to renew ourselves with what I like to call the three D’s; De-clutter, Detox and De-stress. Very important to our overall well-being but too many of us do not get round to doing any one of the three.
Why De-clutter, Detox and De-stress? They all mean the same thing but address different areas of our lives; we De-clutter our homes, Detox our bodies and De-stress our minds! It is a wonderful way to rejuvenate our bodies, free our minds and create spaces (spiritually, metaphorically and physically) for the wonderful things and people we want in our lives. Besides, your junk could be another persons’s treasure, why hang on to things you do not need or use?
Here are some ways you can achieve all of the 3 D’s.
De-clutter – Spring Cleaning of the Home!
Our immediate environment often reflects the state of our minds. Do you have a store of ‘treasures’ you seem to never get the time to sort? Are there items still in (a) box(s) from your last move, well over a year ago, that you have not and don’t seem likely to get to anytime soon? Are there appliances and ‘important’ papers that you never seem to need or use but are taking up precious counter space? Is your closet full of old or fairly new clothes that you never wear but think you must have? If you answer yes to any or all these questions, then you are not alone and there is a way out.
Trying to tackle this issue can be overwhelming, especially in the case where items have accumulated over years, but it is achievable. It is one of those things that you really do need to approach in a very systematic way. For those who have the resources who can hire a professional organizer to come in and work with you to get this done, by all means do so! it is money well spent. But those who cannot afford this or would rather channel available funds elsewhere, this is for you. Follow these tips; they will help you move forward.
- The first rule is, do not despair! This is one problem that definitely has a solution.
- Designate a donation box where you will put everything you think still has some use in them and could be used by others even though you may no longer have any use for them. This will cover from clothes to shoes, books, appliances, crockery, linen and even furniture. Granted you cannot put furniture in a box but you can put it aside
- If you have the space, create a designated area, either in the basement, shed or garage, to keep all these items together as you accumulate them. I however prefer to keep a donation box in each bedroom to be readily available throughout the length of this exercise.
- Start off by time-blocking at least half an hour every day to de-cluttering. Note that it does not matter what time of the day you schedule this in but make a firm DECISION to complete everything on your ‘to do’ list. Have a ‘Task-Consequences-Rewards’ mechanism to keep yourself on track. This creates a sense of a commitment and accountability. Regard this as an appointment or ‘contract’ with yourself. Keep it!
- How do you decide what goes into the box? Here’s a simple rule of thumb: If you have not used the item for 6 months or more, you are most unlikely to need or use it; it is a sure candidate for donation or trashing. Either way, decide to get rid of it, today!
- Get the family involved. This can be difficult, especially if they are not usually involved with chores. It is necessary for all other members of the family to take responsibility in de-cluttering the house. It is also a great way to create some family bonding time.
- Pace yourself and put things away methodically. This is easier said than done! And if you have the attention span of a gnat like I do, after a while, it becomes tedious and boring. Switch it up by alternating chores and taking breaks in between.
- Play some good music as you organize your stuff. Choose “Pick-me-up” tunes that would keep you feeling like dancing, it does incredible things to your energy level. By all means sing along if you want.
- Keep at it till your box is full. At this point take a look around, could you still do with some more clearing? If yes, then do so.
- Take the reusable items in your box to the nearest donation centre and throw away all unusable items. Consider having a garage sale. It’s a fun way to meet people in your neighbourhood and get some extra cash too! And remember to reward yourself for your efforts and make sure you have lots of F.U.N in the process!
P.S: There are many wonderful organizations that you may donate your gently used items such as furniture, clothing, utensils to. Examples are Value Village (www.valuevillage.ca), Salvation Army (www.salvationarmy.ca) and Goodwill Stores (www.goodwill.on.ca). Visit their websites for any additional information.
Bloggers Note: This blog post is part 1 of 3 in my spring cleaning series: “De-clutter! Detox! De-stress! Spring Cleaning for Your Home, Body and Life!” Visit WWN’s blog for subsequent posts #2 (Detox – Spring cleaning for the body!) and #3 (De-stress – Spring cleaning for your life!)
The preceding is a guest post from Diana Barikor, M.Ed- Program Manager at Whole Woman Network. Diana is an Educator and Community Developer with over 15 years experience. She’s passionate about facilitating conversations on growth and empowerment for women both personally and professionally. She engages life with a deep sense of curiosity and an understanding that development issues are dynamic and always evolving. Follow Whole Woman Network on Twitter @wholewomaninc.
- spring cleaning with a health focus… (revampologist.com)
- A Short Guide to Spring Cleaning Your HEART (thelifemeblog.wordpress.com)
- How to Spring Clean…Your Mind! (justjennee.com)
- It’s Time For A Social Media Spring Clean (fliptop.com)
- 3 Steps to Turn Spring Cleaning into Charitable Giving (community.ally.com)