‘Tis the season for spring cleaning.
No doubt, all over the internet and in countless magazines, there are going to be numerous articles published in the next month about how to spring clean your home. And I get it, I lived in that world for many years.
I lived through plenty of winters growing up and can fully appreciate the arrival of spring and the feeling of life and newness that accompanies it. And I know the beauty of being able to open the windows and doors after being cooped up in the house all winter.
Spring is a natural time of year to deep clean your home. And I’m all for it. I think you should do it and do it well.
However, before you jump into your spring cleaning, and every time you stumble upon an article about spring cleaning, I want you to remember one phrase:
Spring decluttering is better than Spring cleaning.
In fact, the best spring cleaning begins with spring decluttering. Because the less you own, the easier it is to clean.
Plus, the benefits of decluttering extend far beyond the springtime. Spring decluttering results in a home that is easier to clean every week of every season. And owning less results in a home that is more calm and more peaceful every day.
Consider just three rooms as an example:
One of the first rooms we decluttered on our minimizing journey was the living room—including the decorations. We had shelves and shelves of them. I remember vividly removing the decorations that were no longer important to us, leaving just a few that told our story.
When I was finished, I decided to dust the shelves and immediately noticed how much easier it was to dust the shelves with fewer items on them. Go figure. I don’t know why this had never occurred to me. Fewer things to move, meant the room was easier to clean.
Another great example is the toy room. Our kids were five and two. We eventually decluttered many of the toys they didn’t need, had stopped using, or had broken along the way. Everything that remained fit comfortably against one wall.
The following evening when we went to clean up their toys, the entire project took less than a few minutes. Fewer toys meant the entire room was easier to clean, daily.
A third example is the closet. While we didn’t begin our decluttering journey in the closet, I eventually removed 75% of the clothes from my side of the closet. My closet immediately became stream-lined, spacious, and easier to keep organized.
But more than that, the positive affects spilled over into other rooms as well. Returning clothes at the end of the day became easier so there were fewer clothes left out in the bedroom. Putting clothes away after the laundry cycle became less burdensome. As was returning accessories: shoes, belts, jewelry, even coats and gloves.
The less we owned, the easier it was to clean.
Spring cleaning should always begin with spring decluttering. Because spring decluttering makes spring cleaning infinitely easier.
Here are a few quick tips to get you started:
1. Start in your easiest spaces.
2. Begin in your lived-in areas.
Again, avoid the attic and the basement when getting started. You can spend hours decluttering, shut the door, and never see the room again for weeks.
But if you declutter your living room, you’ll notice the calm every time you sit to watch television. If you declutter your kitchen, you’ll notice it immediately the next time you prepare a meal and cleaning the kitchen every evening will be noticeably easier.
3. Physically touch every item in your home.
When you hold an item in your hand, you are forced to make a decision about it. Every item you touch can either be relocated, removed, or returned. Put as many things as you can in the remove pile.
4. Ask three questions.
Ask yourself three questions for every item you touch:
- Do I need it?
- Why do I have it?
- What would I use if I didn’t own it?
5. Donate, donate, donate.
As you begin removing clutter from your home, donate as much as you can. Trying to sell all your clutter only adds stress and burden to an already difficult process. Expensive items (or if you desperately need the money) are the only exceptions.
For the most part, find a local charity that you believe in and donate your things there.
6. Find inspiration to keep going.
Find as much motivation and inspiration as you need. The reality is this process is going to take more than one day, or even one weekend. So, find your places of encouragement. You can watch my YouTube channel, check out the Archives page of this blog, download the Clutterfree App, or find another blogger that you resonate with.
Either way, the more you are reminded that owning less is better, the easier it will be to declutter your stuff. And like I said before, the less you own, the easier it is to clean. And that’s why:
Spring decluttering is always better than spring cleaning.