6 simple steps to spring clearing your home
By Aimee Heckel
Spring isn’t just the time for cleaning. It’s also a good time to clear house — get rid of the things you don’t need and minimize clutter.
Every month, we talk to the Colorado-based professional organization company, Major Mom, to get advice on how to make your household run more smoothly. This month, Major Mom organizer, Joanna Monahan, talked to us about spring clearing.
First, some facts:
- According to Newsweek, the Average American burns 55 minutes a day looking for things they know they own but they cannot find.
- The American Cleaning Institute has proven that 80 percent of the time clutter is not due to a lack of space, it is due to disorganization.
- Orderly homes reduce housework by 40 percent.
Want more time in your day? Here are Monahan’s “majorly simple” steps to spring clearing:
1. Stop the incoming clutter.
Don’t bring in anything new until you have handled what you already have. This goes for papers and other items. Stop shopping. Avoid garage sales. Cancel magazine subscriptions. Halt the junk mail at www.donotmail.org. Stop digital clutter, too. Unsubscribe from junk emails, and don’t sign up for new ones that you aren’t going to read.
Before you buy something new, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need it?
- Do I love it?
- Do I have a place for it?
- Do I already own something that serves the same purpose?
2. Conquer the clutter.
“After awhile, we stop seeing the things in our home,” Monahan says. “Take a walk around your house with an objective eye.”
Donate or discard things that are broken, ugly, have no purpose or you don’t like. And deal with your stuff first — not other people’s stuff.
3. Organize one space at a time.
Start small, with one drawer, one closet, one room, Monahan says.
“Don’t be paralyzed by perfection. Clutter and disorganization happen over time; it is not realistic to expect to have your whole home ‘perfect’ in a day,” she says.
When focusing on one space, follow these steps:
- Ask yourself what purpose do you want that space to serve? It is a pantry? Coat closet? Desk drawer? Create a vision of what it will be. (Supply zone, gift wrapping central, linen storage.)
- Take everything out of the space.
- With your vision in mind, decide what you want to keep there. Everything that does not serve that purpose goes somewhere else, or get rid of it.
- For each item you decide to keep, establish a home for it. Consider getting drawer dividers or baskets.
4. Label, label, label!
Label the homes for your objects, and your family will always know where things go. Try the Dymo Label Maker from Office Depot, $32.95. Save money at Office Depot with these coupons, paired with 5 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com. Read more articles about Office Depot here.
5. Return everything to its home daily.
Set aside 15 minutes at the end of every day for family clean-up time. Turn up some fun music or make it a game. A few minutes a day will make a big difference.
6. Hire a professional.
If you feel overwhelmed or need help or advice, hire a professional organizer. Email Major Mom for more information at Liberators@MajorMom.biz.
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