We call it “spring cleaning” but in reality, most spring cleanings are removing clutter with a little bit of actual cleaning on the side. The problem with clutter is, well, the clutter. Being unable to part with things can prolong some spring cleanings into a summer project. And nobody wants to be stuck inside decluttering once the weather gets nice.
Certified Professional Organizer Wendy Arundel, owner and manager of The Mudroom, a Wellesley-based company serving Greater Boston, suggests a more practical, less emotional approach to a spring cleaning/decluttering.
“Your focus really needs to be on how decluttering your space will improve your life and your living environment. You might even want to imagine your decluttered space in your mind so that you have an end goal in your head,” said Arundel. “If while going through your stuff you hesitate on whether or not to throw something out, revisit that picture. If keeping that item doesn’t help you towards that goal, get rid of it.”
Arundel suggests creating a schedule for your decluttering and cleaning efforts, limiting that time to 30 minutes to an hour per day to make it seem less tedious. Other strategies for making your decluttering more productive and fun include such pointers as:
- Being ruthless – If you don’t love and item and/or you don’t use it, it’s clutter and you need to get rid of it. Make it a quest of yours to be ruthless when it comes to your decluttering efforts. You’ll have less to dust, less clutter to look it, an easier time finding the things you do use and less stress in your life.
- Donate or sell things you no longer want – If you have items that you don’t use, but are in good condition, they are prime candidates to sell or donate. Gather all of these items together in boxes or plastic bags. Then, decide whether you would prefer to donate them or sell them.
- Make your spring cleaning and organizing fun – Don’t think of it as a chore. Instead, think of it as a ‘feel good’ exercise–one that will really help you to feel good about yourself and your clean and organized environment. Play some lively, fun, upbeat music. Dance your way through your home or office with your dust rag or vacuum.
- Create a family event – Get the family involved. Give everyone a task and make a game of it. Set timers and play ‘beat the clock.’ Give yourself time limits for completing small tasks, and try to complete those tasks before the timer goes off. Afterwards, do something relaxing together as a family, like watching a movie together or going to the park for a walk.
- Friend time – Ask a friend to help, or do a swap. You clean her living room if she’ll clean your kitchen.
- Open your windows – Besides giving your space a fresh look, you want to give it some fresh air as well. Open your windows as you’re cleaning. You’ll be removing musty winter odors, protecting yourself from inhaling harsh fumes from cleaning products and the fresh air will keep you going. While you’re at it, let the sun shine in. Open curtains and drapes to give yourself plenty of light for an energy boost.
“Spring is a season of rebirth. That doesn’t have to only be for flower and plants,” said Arundel. “A good spring cleaning can give your home a much needed ‘new’ look without buying a thing. Not to mention uplifting feeling you get from clearing out unneeded or used items.”
About the Mudroom
Wendy Arundel has been helping homeowners and small businesspeople organize and enjoy their space for seven years. Overwhelmed and overscheduled, many need some help developing systems for managing their space as well as removing unnecessary items. Arundel also assists with unwanted items by selling, donating or consigning them through her network of local resources.
For more information, please visit the Wellesley-based company‘s website, www.TheMudroom.org or call (781) 772-1369.