Sunday, 31 July 2016

Decluttering: it's not Just a Spring Thing

When most people think of cleaning, of decluttering, they think of the spring. People these days seem to be married to the idea of the "Spring Clean"- the annual clean-up job that we defer as long as possible, that takes place long after clutter has become entirely manageable, and that only takes place at all because the calendar deems it necessary. That's not the right way to look at decluttering. Living in a cluttered space isn't good for your physical or psychological well-being, so don't. Midsummer is as good a time to declutter as any, let 1-800-Ridofit help you do it. Here are four guiding principles to aid your summer declutter.

1. Space it out

A comprehensive decluttering (especially an overdue one) can seem intimidating at the outset. Rather than setting aside a whole day and getting disheartened when you're halfway through and still unable to see any discernible progress, set aside a couple of hours on a couple of separate days and small-chunk your work. Focus on one room, one category, or set one goal each day and work towards it over the course of the time you've set aside. You'll be better able to see your progress, and that'll help keep you consistently motivated.

2. Plan, plan, plan

Before you get started on these individual bits of work, plan them out. Sit down at the outset and map out what needs to get done, how you're going to get it done and when you're going to get it done. Again, stick to 1 objective per day to avoid getting overloaded and parcel out a couple of hours to get the work done. With your work small-chunked and a clear plan of action in front of you at all times, the work will go by faster than you can imagine.

3. Keep what's necessary, keep what brings you joy

In her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo introduces and explains a new, innovative, methodological approach to decluttering. She advocates for a ruthless approach when it comes to a comprehensive clean: disposing of anything that doesn't either "spark joy" or have a necessary purpose in day-to-day life (like a clothing iron or a set of cutlery). This may be a little extreme for your purposes, but it's a good starting point. How many superfluous non-joyful, non-necessary things do you have? How many should you have? These are good questions to ask yourself.

4. Start small, work your way up

A great objective for your first morning, afternoon, or evening of cleaning is to get rid of things that are useless. Old office supplies, un-paired socks, extra kitchenware, old movies- give your living space a once-over and get rid of the actual junk. If you're unsure about any particular item, ask yourself two simple questions: do I use this? Will I ever use this? If the honest answer to both is no, turf it. The soon-to-come real, in-depth cleaning and organizing will be a lot easier with all of that excess waste out of the way.

Set out a plan of attack, space out your work, trash what isn't joyful or necessary, and start small, with the actual trash, before you get to work on the heavy lifting, and you'll be in good shape for what is hopefully the first of many Summer Cleanings to come.

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