A few weeks ago I asked you guys on Insta Stories about your challenges of spring cleaning. I’ve been knee-deep in projects all winter and I think I’ve established some helpful guidelines that have helped me stay sane and stress-free during the process.
1. One thing at a time
Often, home projects take way longer than necessary because they aren’t treated as a focus. Doing one thing well is more efficient than doing two things halfheartedly. Think about it.
2. Bite-sized portions
You simply can’t do an entire room all at once. Instead of focusing on the kitchen, focus on the silverware drawer. Next, take on the fridge. This gives you opportunity to complete something entirely before moving on,
3. Order of operations
Think about function first and then form. You can absolutely have a functional space that is also pretty, but thinking this way will save you headaches! If you’re buying random pretty baskets at Target without knowing where they will work, you are not following the order of operations! Know your exact needs first. Then find the pretty baskets that work for those exact needs. There are pretty baskets of every shape and size, I promise you.
4. Measure measure measure
Expanding on point 3, measure all iterations of a space before you go supposing something will work for you. Do not eyeball. Do not guess. Height width depth. No shortcuts! Just because a bin is the right length does not mean it’s necessarily tall enough or too tall for your needs. This requires focused thought, which is why we do small jobs, one at a time.
5. Purge first
It can be so tempting to put the cart before the horse and make decisions about a space without knowing what’s what. By eliminating excess stuff first, you’ll have a truly clear idea of what your needs are (and you’d be surprised how off we are when we guess).
6. Be decisive
I cringe when someone says that they can’t make decisions when it comes to keeping or getting rid of stuff. I think to myself, “who told you that lie about yourself?” and “how can we reframe those thoughts?”. Here’s the thing: I identify as a clutterphobe. It’s who I am, I feel really good about having a porch full of stuff being picked up by people and full garbage cans and that feeling once a year where I look around and see no mess. I refuse to think of myself as “unsentimental” or “cold” because of that fact- I have multiple giant memory boxes in the attic to prove that’s not me. And on the converse side of that, if you struggle with parting with items, you aren’t bad at making decisions. You’ve made the decision. So your goal should be organization-based: how to organize all the lovely, meaningful stuff you care about.
7. Stop shoulding all over yourself
Now, if you tend to hang onto stuff but it bothers you (I know from talking to many of you that that’s a common category), that’s different. If you’re holding onto things because you’re waiting for a sign that it’s time, or the right person to donate them to, or someone else to share the burden of storage- you’re also holding onto guilt about the idea that you should keep them. What I’ll say to this is, listen to yourself. Trust yourself to be able to distinguish what is a part of meaning and value in your world and what is just stuff. I believe that when you make the decision to part with these items, and reach out to your local network asking about homes for them, it will be serendipitous. But first you’ve got to make peace with the idea of parting with them. Release the guilt, take a picture and move on.
8. Clean the mental clutter
Spring cleaning isn’t just a thing for your house. Setting boundaries with those who are toxic, unfollowing accounts, and unsubscribing from emails is also spring cleaning, in my book. Since January, I’ve been unfollowing accounts that show up in my news feed if they spark any emotion for me but joy. In turn, I’m able to show up authentically and enthusiastically for the ones that do bring me happiness. It’s not a move of aggression or an indication of dislike for those accounts, it’s simply a way to curate my feed to be more what inspires me or makes me feel good.
As always, welcoming your thoughts and happy to help you brainstorm! Email me at @firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat. And check out the giveaway on instagram for $100 to spend where you want on some pretty baskets, storage carts or whatever you need to kick off your next project!