UACES Facebook Spring Cleaning: Declutter and Simplify
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Spring Cleaning: Declutter and Simplify

by Nancy Hightower - February 24, 2023

Spring is just around the corner! With spring comes a time of renewing and refreshing our environment. You have probably heard the term "spring cleaning" at least once, and if you want some options for some safer and more cost effective cleaners, you can visit this blog post here. This blog post, however, is going to focus on another aspect of cleaning: decluttering.

Decluttering, or minimizing your belongings, can reduce stress and anxiety, increase happiness, and save money.

How do I get started?

There are multiple methods to the decluttering madness. Some options are:

1. Take it a room at a time. Work from top to bottom. Start with clearing off flat surfaces like tables, counters, or tops of dressers. Put away things that don't go there, throw away anything that is not needed and can't be donated, and then make a donation pile of anything that's good enough to be donated but isn't something you use or need. Then move onto drawers and shelves, repeating this process. And then lastely, floors. Finish up by wiping down any surfaces and cleaning the floors.

2. Declutter a specific item. Pick something to declutter and then go room to room decluttering that thing. For instance, go room to room throwing away all trash. Then go room to room sorting paperwork into keep or trash and file any paperwork that you keep. Keep choosing items to declutter and go room to room doing so. Take the trash can so you can easily throw anything away, but also create a donation pile to donate anything that is good enough to be donated. Other objects you can declutter are clothes, books, decor, blankets, and anything else you have. Eventually you will get down to room specific items, like kitchen utensils, and it will be easier to declutter those without everything else being in the way.

3. Choose joy. Start in any room and go through everything in that room while deciding what things bring you joy and what things you can easily do without. Whene you see or hold an object, how does it make you feel? Is this something you absolutely want to keep and continue to use? Or is it something that you may like, but ultimately know doesn't really add joy to your life?

These are only three methods of decluttering, but a Google search will reveal many more methods, books, blogs, podcasts, and shows all dedicated to decluttering and organizing your belongings. Pick a method that makes the most sense to you.

Helpful Tips:

1. Be Intentional about keeping only the items that have a purpose in your space, and then continue to be intentional about not bringing in more things that aren't going to serve a purpose as well.

You can also be intentional about where you take items for donation so that they can best serve a purpose you care about. For instance, is there a shelter close by that can make good use of your clothing donations to help people in your community? Do you have kid books that could be useful to schools? Consider the best place for your old items to go and that may make the process even more rewarding.

2. Take Inventory of what you have left so that you aren't buying things you already have. This will save you space and money. Only buying what is necessary, not wanted or convenient, can help you keep your space tidier and your bank account fuller.

3. Be emotionally prepared for how hard it may be to let go of some things. Sometimes we form emotional connections to our things. Sometimes it's hard to get rid of sentimental items or things we've just had for a long time. That's okay. If you feel like a sentimental item is too important to get rid of, find a special palce for it. You may also try to think about the different ways that item can bring joy to someone else.

"The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don't."
-Marie Kondo