The warmer weather often brings in a feeling of renewal. Even in these difficult times where we can’t invite friends and guests to our home, spring cleaning might be the therapy we need to prepare for brighter days ahead.
Spring cleaning and de-cluttering might not be a top priority at the moment. One of the toughest psychological effects of Covid-19 is the sense of loss of control that it forces on us.
Cleaning and organizing our home might help to heal and give that satisfying feeling that comes with a clean home. Studies have actually shown that cleaning and de-cluttering both actually reduce anxiety and increase creativity.
We are at home most of the time these days so it’s likely that our houses need re-organizing and de-cluttering more than usual anyway! It’s time to clean out that kitchen, throw away all those takeaway bags and re-style our workplace. A pleasant and clean home is just what we need to maintain our sanity.
Cleaning vs de-cluttering:
Where do we start? The cleaning should probably start in the bathroom and the kitchen, while I’m sure that some de-cluttering work is needed in the bedrooms, spare rooms and probably even the garage!
The upsides to a good de-clutter are many. When delving into deep dark spaces we often find misplaced items and stuff that takes us down memory lane, to places and happier times we might have forgotten!
De-cluttering doesn’t mean shifting unused items from one dark corner to another. With enough de-cluttering, one could gain valuable space to convert into a better work area especially in these times of working from home.
The most important part of any spring cleaning is the annual wardrobe cleanout, and this year should be no different. It’s probably time to start putting away those bulky winter items. The rule should be that if there’s anything in your wardrobe that you haven’t worn in a year, then it may be time to get rid of it.
Then of course, if you have kids, it’s time to round them up and enlist them to organise their bedrooms and other spaces that they may have turned into a warzone over the past few months. Good luck with that!
After a good spring clean and de-clutter you’d be surprised at how much space you find to organize a better corner from where you can work from home and be more comfortable. A tidy and well-organised workspace leads to more productivity.
If you do your work faster you get to have more free time!
Doing the whole house in one go might be a little daunting. So why not section different parts of the house for different days of the week.
The entrance hall, the stairs and any space under the stairs:
Your entrance is psychologically the most important space to keep clear. It’s the first room you or anyone entering your house sees and gives the first impression of your home. If a cluttered hallway greets you every time you enter, how will it dampen your spirits and clutter your mind? A blocked hallway and stairway clogs the flow of energy and upsets the way you actually physically manoeuvre around the rest of the house. The same goes for under the stairs. Although more out of the way, it becomes so easy to stockpile unnecessary clutter here.
The living room:
Most of us these days have an open plan living and kitchen that takes up most of the front part or ground floor of our homes. This means that every time we enter our home we might be faced with a cluttered space or organised chaos. We can’t just close a door to the mess.
When every available surface is covered in scattered possessions of the rest of the family, it can create an overwhelming feeling of helplessness and anxiety.
Even if our living room has a door, it’s a room we spend most of our time in and so deserves a bit of tender loving care. We want to be able to find the remote and turn on Netflix and not have to look at all the dirty dishes or misplaced toys.
Consider ways to clean up and re-organise this important space. Toys should be stored in a defined space, preferably in a cupboard or at least in a recess or corner and brought out only when in use.
Surfaces should not have every square inch taken up with ornaments and frames. Try hanging family pictures on the walls instead and limit ornaments to specific spots or shelves.
You might even consider getting rid of a piece (or more) of furniture that isn’t really used. You might be delighted with the different, more serene surroundings. Try selling that piece of extra furniture and use the funds for something more useful – like a holiday!
The heart of many homes can often become a place to store school bags, paper and all sorts of odds and ends. A well-organised kitchen that lets you find whatever you need, to cook and to eat is what a kitchen should always look like. In addition, this important room will look and smell better and lighten your spirits.
Consider organising your worktops, keeping small appliances to one side and shortening any extra-long cables. Give yourself more space for actual cooking!
Re-organise your cabinets, and as in your wardrobe, consider getting rid of stuff you haven’t used and never will.
Get rid of loose rugs, which have no place in a kitchen and can be dangerous.
The home office:
Check what needs to stay on the desk and open shelves. Consider hanging up a board to put all your sticky notes or better still eliminate the sticky notes and organise your to-do and pending lists on a computer or phone device.
Take your time in this room. Focus on filing. Don’t be in a rush to throw away paper, you might regret it later! Organise loose bills and documents.
Put everything that needs dealing with this month into a separate pile and any longer-term projects or documents in another. A third pile should be everything you think needs shredding – go over this pile slowly but be brave and shred what’s not needed.
Do the same with your computer. Organise desktop files. Delete unwanted stuff and backup your hard drive.
For this room, read, garage, shed, room on the roof or any other room or space that’s become the neglected dumping ground.
Before you enter this room or space, take a look around the house and pick up anything that should be stored away. Take it there.
Try to find boxes or containers that can withstand excess heat, cold or humidity.
Organise any items into what you definitely want to keep, what you definitely want to throw and what you are still not quite sure what to do with. Take your time with this last pile. Remember this de-cluttering doesn’t happen very often so get rid of what you haven’t used or will never use. Consider selling an item, this might help you decide to get rid of it.
When we finally pick up the courage to de-clutter and let go of that which no longer serves us, we take a load off our mind and release some anxiety which helps raise our spirits.
As we look around at our de-cluttered home or room we can now relax our mind and even our body, put our feet up and feel at ease. Our home becomes a true and calm place to relax and unwind once again.
How tidy do you want your house to be? Is there a limit on what is too organised for you?
Log in and let us know in the comments below.