Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of year again. Time to shed that winter weight of accumulated stuff we all seem to have a tough time getting rid of. We all do it… Just throw that receipt into the junk drawer – and “deal with it later.” We hide that pile of clothes and shoes in a bin when guests come but never go back to sort it. We all probably have some expired canned goods and stale crackers in the pantry as well.

To all those junky value meal toys, pieces of games that have gone rogue, pants we haven’t worn in years because “one day they’ll fit again” … Let’s get ruthless!

The best way to start is to start small. One drawer at a time or just start with picking up (and dealing with) 10 things. There are many reasons we don’t like to purge; mainly we think we’ll need that item again, or it might have misplaced sentimental value, or it just feels so overwhelming that we don’t know where to start. So, start small.

When looking at a big project like this, another good approach is to set a time limit. Set a timer for 30 minutes and pick one room or drawer or section of your storage space and focus. Turn on some old 80’s rock and get down and dirty with a garbage bag and a box. Your garbage bag is for things no one can use anymore – three playing cards from the deck you can’t find anymore, that bag of rags you’re keeping for a “rag emergency” and whatever that is that’s under the stairs that you don’t even recognize anymore. If you can recycle, we strongly encourage that, however you do it – it’s gotta go!

The box is for your donation pile. Things that still work and are in good condition that you literally haven’t touched in months or years. The old holiday décor that you’ve replaced with new ones. The old dishes that you had when you moved out of university. Your kids’ old sports equipment and clothes that don’t fit them anymore. You don’t need any of it! Oprah has this 6-month rule that if she didn’t wear something for 6 months, it’s gone. A great visual for this would be to hang your clothes with the hangers facing out and as you wear them flip the hangers in. It’s a great visual that will show you what you actually do wear and how much clothing you have that just takes up space.

Once your 30-minute timer goes off, take a break and then try another 30 minutes. You’ll see how fast the time goes by when you do the work in increments. Breaking down the workload helps psychologically reduce overwhelm by changing your view of the situation. When looking at a heaping pile, we can easily get anxious and overwhelmed, but when we break it down into smaller, easier tasks it becomes less daunting and maybe even fun! Maybe.

When was the last time you cleaned out your storage locker? What kind of magical finds did you discover that you forgot you even had?

Don’t forget about your email inbox too! We all know that you’ve got hundreds of unopened emails from that place you went to and subscribed to that you’ve never actually opened an email from – not us of course! Set a timer and clear things out. File under the right folders, flag the ones you want to get back to and delete the ones you don’t.

A clean space without clutter and unnecessary items feels so good! There is a lot of science behind clutter and how it makes us feel and how it affects our behaviour. If you’re feeling weighed down by your stuff, ask a friend or neighbour to help, enlist the kids, have a sale and get some money back! It will make you feel lighter right away and give you a sense of accomplishment.

What parts of your home do you need to clean out? Get started in the most obvious place so you’ll see your progress every day and will be inspired to keep going.

Cedarglen Living offers floorplans to help you stay organized. Ask your designer for tips and tricks on how to create a comfortable, clean space with storage options, organizers and shelving to help your home feel bright and spacious.

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