Time for a Spring Clean Declutter

This week saw the first official day of Spring.  And not a moment too soon either!  I, for one, am looking forward to some warmer weather and the stretch in the evenings.  Spring always makes me feel like throwing open the windows of the house and letting the fresh air in.  But spring also makes me feel like getting to grips with the winter clutter.  There’s something about the short, cold days that makes me hoard, so spring is the time for decluttering in our house. 


So, as we look forward to the reopening of the trusty charity shops, here are my top five tips for getting on top of that Spring Clearout.

1. Get on top of the clutter lying about in our rooms.

Sometimes the clutter can be overwhelming and leaving an organisation job half done can sometimes seem worse that not tackling it at all!  So my top tip is to start with a very simple 10 minutes a day.  Open two black bin bags and have a box or laundry basket close by.  Each day for a week, choose a room.  Then in those ten minutes pick up anything that is lying around and separate them into rubbish (bin bag), charity (bin bag) and keep (box).  You’ll find that after a week each room with feel more under control and the actual act of going through the rest of the items will not seem so overwhelming.  Once you’ve tackled the everyday piles that seem to clog up our rooms, then you can turn your mind in to sorting the indispensable and beautiful, from the unnecessary and unloved.

2. Declutter Kitchen Cupboards and Drawers

Tidy kitchen units will make cooking a more pleasurable activity

I don’t know about you, but my kitchen cupboards are absolutely full of items I’m sure I couldn’t possibly live without!   I have many, many knives, serving spoons, cake tins, saucepans and all manner of other indispensable items.  But I think we’d all be surprised just how few items we actually use on a regular basis.  If you struggle with getting rid of things you might need in the future, find out if you use them!  Use a roll of washi or masking tape and stick a little piece of tape to each item in your draws and cupboards.  Then simply return to your normal routine.  Every time you use an item, remove the tape.  After a set amount of time (be that 6 months or a year – you decide) get rid of anything will a piece of tape still on it.  If you haven’t used it by then, you probably never will!

3. Declutter Your Wardrobe

Only keep the clothes you love and wear.  Somebody else will love the clothes you no longer need.

I have a great system for my clothes wardrobe.  I try to put as much of my clothes on a hanger so I can see what is there.  Then, as I wear the clothes, the washed version gets put back on a hanger to the righthand side of the wardrobe.  That way, with a glance to the left of the wardrobe, I can see which items of clothing I am not wearing.  Then when the decluttering day comes, I can easily identify what clothes I no longer need.  Another great tip for ensuring our wardrobes aren’t clogged up with clothes that don’t fit or we hate is putting a box in at the bottom.  Then each time you try on something that is worn out, or doesn’t fit, or you simply don’t like, but it in the box.  Then that box can be sorted into charity, recycling or passing on to friends when you have your declutter day.

4. Keep on Top of the Paperwork

Having a dedicated space for the paperwork will help keep your home tidy.

I find the household (and business) paperwork some of the most difficult items in the house to keep tidy and under control.  There’s so much of it!  My top tip for tackling the paperwork is to do it when you have time.  Opening the post when you don’t have time to action it will mean it gets put down on a surface and becomes clutter.  Keep all post that comes into the house in a paper tray or other smallish box, right by the front door.  Then on the day you have set time aside for the job, sit down with a cup of tea and sort it from start to finish.  This will obviously have to be done regularly – you don’t want unpaid bills or important information to sit for weeks on end!  Once everything is opened, sort into three piles – Action, Filing, Rubbish. 

Action: This if for anything that needs something done to it.  This is the pile that should be tackled first.  Pay that invoice, book that appointment, ring the insurance company about that query.  Whatever it is, try and complete it then and there, then with luck, you can file it away and it will be gone from your to-do-list.

Filing: Invoices, bills, bank statements, tax correspondence, payslips or anything you think you might need in the future.  Don’t leave your filing pile to be done later - do it now. A large filing pile is a depressing thing and will end up clogging up your living room, or office, or wherever you keep it.  Use Arch lever files or a filing cabinet and create folders for each type and put them in each and every time you sort your post.  Once every year remove items that are at least 2 years old and box them up to go into the loft or storage.

Rubbish: Flyers, envelopes or any letters that do not need to be kept or have any actions on them.  Remember to shred anything with your details on them and recycle what you can.

5. Get Rid of the Sorted Items

Once you’ve decluttered each area there is a danger that you will just put the bin bag for charity or the stuff for the tip to one side and never actually get it out of the house.  When you plan your declutter days, leave some time for a trip out in the car.  Bring those old clothes and toys to the charity shop and swing by the tip.  Your house will thank you for it.

I hope your decluttering brings you a bright and tidy home to face Spring.  Hopefully, soon we’ll be able to have people in our homes to see all the hard work!

Happy Spring to you all. 

Posted on March 26th 2021

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