Spring is (finally) here. It may not have seemed like it would ever arrive, but it’s here, and with it arrives the traditional ritual of freshening up your home. I speak of course of Spring Cleaning. This is a great time to clear out unwanted items and remove clutter, but first thing first – where do you start?
Let’s start with just some general decluttering and since its spring, some general cleaning. This forces you to go through and move EVERYTHING to actually clean. It’s amazing how much better everything looks minus a coat of dust and the layer of stuff removed. This gives you a chance to start collecting the things that have another home or you no longer have a use for. Take advantage of this and remove all accessories and soft goods to one location to revisit. It’s better to work on one room at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. This is a great time to vacuum your sofa, deep clean rugs and wash bed pillows, you know, all those things we use every day but don’t really register how dirty they can be especially if you have pets or little ones.
Once you’ve cleaned, take any extra items as well as your accessories and soft goods and sort through them. Don’t just find another home for them in a different room or storage unless you are actually interested in keeping it. Make it a goal to honestly sort through and release unneeded or unwanted items. Have a section for keep, donate or gift and throw. Once you’ve done that, throw out the throw pile immediately, put the donate items in your vehicle so you will be less tempted to reclaim them and resort your keep pile into specific rooms.
Resorting further helps you to remove items and can be a fun way to go shopping in your home. Look at items in a different way or for a different purpose. Don’t restrict which room an item has to be in and again, only retain what you absolutely love. Holding onto unwanted gifts or family heirlooms can be stressful. See if the person would like their piece back or again, donate. Other family may be interested in the piece you’ve unwillingly inherited. It is unhealthy and unwise to hold onto a piece to make someone else happy.
Important Note: If Pinterest and other DIY “projects” have taken over your life, have a serious and honest conversation with yourself. Set a deadline to complete each project and if you pass that deadline, donate or throw and commit to that rule going forward. Sometimes time is better spent on a girl’s night out or a family dinner.
Once you’ve cleaned and sorted out your room, you can start to tackle the clutter. Begin by editing your collections. These are better grouped together instead of spread out all over which can look busy. You can also rotate pieces in and out to keep things fresh and ensure the collection doesn’t take over your space.
Don’t spread accessories out over your spaces either. Shelves look better half empty and a tray on a cocktail table can help limit the amount of pieces you put out. Empty or white space is healthy and gives your eyes a rest as they move around the room. It also enhances the accessories you have out as they stand out now instead of getting lost in the clutter. You cannot over edit.
Have a Place for Everything
We are all guilty of buying pieces we have no spot for and then we hold onto it just in case because seriously it’s going to be perfect somewhere. Have a place for everything BEFORE you purchase it. If you still find yourself buying without a plan, have a one in, one out rule. Anytime you bring in a piece, something similar must go out which provides a place for the new piece. This rule works really well with clothes and children’s toys as well. Follow the sorting rules and donate or re-gift when possible. There is probably a friend who admires your style who can give a second life to your pieces or make some side cash reselling.
My process is to get the larger pieces set and then add soft goods such as pillows and throws. Next add lamps and then table top accessories. The accessories is where you can easily overdo it so less is more to start with. You can even live without accessories for a day to see where your eye naturally feels something should be or hold back in the beginning to see how much your room can handle.
Good luck decluttering and enjoy the coming spring!