It may not be time for spring cleaning yet, but getting a head start on your clutter cleaning could improve your overall emotional, physical, and mental well-being. The beginning of the year is actually the best time to start cleaning because it gives you a clear mental and physical space for 2017. If you’re ready to start your clutter cleaning for the year, here are some easy tips to get your home ready.
15 Minute Rule
It’s important to use time to your advantage when cleaning out clutter. Don’t think about losing a whole day cleaning or spending hours in one room of your house. Instead, block out 15 minute time intervals to clean and focus on accomplishing as much as you can in those time frames. You can do 15 minutes an hour, 15 minutes a day, or 15 minutes a week. The most important thing is to keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed.
Trying to tackle everything and jumping from room to room is a quick way to get frustrated and quit. Instead, start with one small space of your choosing and only work in that space until it’s completed. Don’t try to set out to tackle the whole house in one sitting.
No Clutter Zone
Once you’ve cleared out a small area for yourself, designate that as the no clutter zone. No matter what, don’t allow clutter into that space. This space could start out as small as a corner of a room or as large as a whole floor of your house. As you clean, make your zone larger and larger until your whole house is a no clutter zone.
A great way to organize is to sort your items into four piles-keep, trash, donate, and maybe. If you’re having trouble making decisions on what pile to place items in you can use a maybe pile, but make sure at the end of the day everything from the maybe pile has been moved into keep, trash or donate. Some helpful things to consider when making decisions about what to let go of are how functional the item is, how much storage space it’s taking up, and why you want to keep it.
Take Clutter Out
If you’re using the pile system, you’re going to start filling up the trash and donate piles. Put these items into boxes or bags and once you fill a bag, immediately take it out of the house. Put it in the dumpster or drive it to the donation center immediately. This will keep you from second guessing yourself and going through and taking things out. If you keep rethinking your decisions, you’ll end up organizing the same things multiple times.
Oftentimes we get discouraged while clutter cleaning, especially if we’ve worked really hard and can’t see a noticeable difference, so it’s important to set small goals in order to feel a sense of accomplishment. Make sure you keep your goals manageable. For example, make cleaning off a countertop a goal. This is usually something you can accomplish in one session and doing so will make you feel a lot more positive about cleaning again the next day.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get your home back on track for 2017. If you have a reasonable amount of clutter your home should be clean in no time, but if you have more clutter than you can handle you may need to involve professional help.