Stay in the Wellness Loop | Health and Wellness Articles
Coming out of hibernation after winter usually brings about a sudden zest for spring-cleaning. But it’s spring clearing, not cleaning, that can lower stress levels and help us live the life we want.
Before tackling spring clearing in any space, set your intention. Look at the space you want to tame; decide on the ideal function, and who will use the space. Setting a vision for the space will pave the way for the next step; helping you decide what the space should contain and what should go.
April Miller, B.A., B. Ed.
Now start to declutter. First things first, set up a donation box near your home’s entry. Fill it up as you go and then maintain it for future use. From here on out employ the OHIO rule – only handle it once. Decide on each item’s fate – no more putting it ‘here for now’. To help make these decisions, you’ll have to be tough and employ a few handy strategies.
The most obvious, and least observed, question for decluttering is ‘Do I have the space for this?’ – too often we claim we need a bigger space for our stuff. Declutter to fit your space instead. After I moved into an 80 year old home with no closets, I had to make some tough choices about what I had room to keep! Next, I turn all of my hangers backwards twice a year. When I wear and wash my clothes I hang them the ‘right’ way giving an easy visual of what clothes I’ve worn; the rest can go! Keeping items just in case? Employ the 20/20 rule – if you can replace it in less than 20 minutes, for less than $20, it’s ok to let it go.
When you organize what’s left, remember the old adage a place for everything and everything in its place. Have designated homes for your items, placing like with like. As you move forward, remember to close the loop: if you get it out, put it away; if you take it off, hang it up; if it’s dirty, wash it. Devote ‘prime real estate’ – the most accessible space - to the items you use the most.
Finally, if clutter in your home is driving you nuts, it’s out with the old...but not necessarily in with the new. Avoid an influx of stuff to fully enjoy your space. Use the 1 in – 1 out rule for similar categories of items; when you buy a pair of shoes, declutter a pair of shoes. Focus on acquiring experiences instead of stuff, and request presence instead of presents from friends and family. I recently helped a client clear his kitchen counters, and he commented ‘ What will I put here now?’. Remember - space doesn’t have to be filled up...
It’s ok to have room to breathe.
April Miller, B.A., B. Ed.,
is a Trained Professional Organizer,
and a Hoarding and Chronic Disorganization Specialist.
For help with your organizating concerns, contact April at: