Spring is officially here, and so is spring cleaning and organizing. Whether you live alone in an apartment, with family in a home or simply want to downsize, organizing and shedding off pounds of “stuff” can be a liberating and fun activity.
Where do you start?
Start small. Address an area of your home that has been troubling you, an area that is cluttered and messy, a specific space such as the junk drawer, or specific group of items such as shoes or linens and towels.
If the idea of organizing is daunting, set a start and an end time. For example, if it’s a small area, give yourself 30 minutes and then stop. Most likely, once you start you will want to keep going!
While some people take great pleasure in purging material possessions from their lives, others have a difficult time letting go of those same possessions for many reasons. For those of you who have a hard time letting go, below are some questions that will help guide you along the way. By answering these questions, deciding to part with an item may be easier than you think.
Before embarking on your decluttering project, for every item you touch, ask yourself the following:
- Do I have a need for this item? When was the last time I used this item? If you haven’t used the item in over a year, or don’t even remember that you have the item, then it’s good sign that you can part with it.
- Do I want to take this item with me into the future? Many of us hold on to “stuff” because they remind of us of the past, of certain people, memories, places, etc. Again, if you don’t use it or need it, consider donating the item to charity or sharing it with a loved one, family member, friend, or neighbor. If you can’t visualize that item in your future, then don’t hold on to it.
- Is there someone who may need/use this item? It’s easy to rationalize holding on to stuff because we may need it “one day”. Think about other people in your life, or even people you do not know who would benefit by having that item in their life. Pass it on!
- Can I donate this item to a charity? There are so many people in this world that can use the items you are holding on to. Help someone by passing it forward.
- Can I sell this item on Amazon, E-bay, Facebook Marketplace, etc.? Why not make some money selling those designer brand shoes or clothing? How about selling that musical instrument that has been sitting in your closet for the last 20 years? Let go and make money at the same time.
- Is this item even usable? If the item is torn, broken, stained, cracked, or unusable, then it’s time to throw it away—unless it’s a valuable item, in which case, get it repaired and use it.
Wherever you decide to start your cleaning and organizing, create a space in your home or garage with bins/boxes that are labeled: donate to charity, give to family/friend, recycle, sell, repair, or trash.
Now pick an area, put on some exciting music and jump in!