Spring Cleaning… it’s a term I grew up hearing and wondered what does that actually mean? Well now that I’m grown and have a space of my own, I totally get it! At this time of year when everything is renewing itself outside it makes me want to clean up, de-clutter, and bring some new life to my home as well.
Our outer space is a huge reflection of what is going on in the inside. I know for me, when I'm stressed or have a ton going on, my car, bedroom, kitchen, and desk reflect that. Anyone else? That's why we covered INNER Spring Cleaning first. (see post here)
Once you've done the inner work, how fun is it to represent that in your outer space. It's also an important aspect to clear the energy and step into the new YOU.
"Spring Cleaning isn't just about sorting through things and getting rid of clutter. It's about taking stock of who you are, and how others see you. It's a chance to redefine yourself, to change expectations, and to remember that it's never too late to recapture who you are, or to aim for who you want to be." - Anonymous
Spring is the perfect opportunity to go through your stuff and take the chance to redefine yourself and your space. I’ve been doing this. I went through my studio and made piles of things that no longer serve a purpose in my life. Books that I haven't read and honestly probably never will. Books that I did read and didn't really change my life. I went through my desk and came up with an entire garbage bag alone of all the things I no longer need.
I kept going and came up with another garbage bag of things that just could go straight in the trash. And then I started on my closet, and let me tell you, my closet is smaller than it's ever been in my entire life. I have been meticulously going through it and getting rid of things a bit at a time for the last 2 years. But this time just felt like the finale, I filled up 2 more garbage bags full of clothes and shoes and purses and belts. If I haven't used it or worn it in the last 6 months it went in the bag. I like the idea of having I 30 winter items and 30 summer items. (and I may add, I’ve learned that yes, San Diego does have a winter.) I didn't quite make it but almost.
It feels amazing.
It feels amazing to be able to actually see the clothes in my closet without having to pull them apart. It feels amazing to know that the 10 pairs of shoes in my closet actually get worn on a regular basis. I feels amazing to see just the 3 bags that I actually use hanging on the wall. It feels amazing to look at my book shelf and only see books that light me up and bring wonderful messages to my memory. It feels amazing to get in my desk and see only the 5 pens and 3 pencils that I actually like. If my motto in life and business is that today is the day to feel lighter and brighter, then I definitely want this reflected in my home.
So what tools have I used in how to make decisions about how to de-clutter my home? Below are 5 suggestions you can easily implement in your own spring cleaning, no matter what the weather is doing outside.
Spring Cleaning for your Home Tips
1. Spark Joy Method. - This method is from Marie Kondo's magic of tidying up. When I first read it, I'll admit, I thought it sounded pretty silly. However, I implemented the strategy and it works. If I pick up an article and it doesn't spark joy in me, I get rid of it. This means that I keep the drumsticks even though I no longer have a drum set because when I pick them up I am filled with the memories of playing and that makes me feel joy. But the books I've never made time to read and the clothes that don't fit anymore and the 45 extra pens I have in desk... those all have to go. Just try it.
2. If you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it. - I know, you're cleaning out stuff and you come across something that you haven't used in years and you just know that as soon as you throw it out you will find a need for it, but guess what? You will improvise. You will find another way. And if you haven't used it in at least a year, you should throw it away or give it to someone who will enjoy it.
3. For Sentimental Items - If it has sentimental value, but it sits in a box in your closet or basement 365 days a year, take a picture of it, save it in a special folder on your computer and lovingly give it away. If you can't bear to do that find a place to display it. If you're going to keep it, it needs to add value to your daily life.
4. Pile Method. - Put everything in a room in a pile on the floor and go through it one item at a time. This may seem crazy and overwhelming, but it really works at seeing the sheer volume of STUFF that you have and quickly lightening your load. Make sure to do one room at a time with this method. :)
5. Don't Buy Stuff You Don't Need. - This one is not about getting rid of stuff, but about not adding more to the load once you get rid of stuff. You may find that once you declutter and get rid of stuff you may feel this compulsive NEED to go to Target and find stuff to replace the stuff you just got rid of. Resist this urge! Once you have decluttered your home, allow yourself a moment to breathe into the feeling of your new space, rearrange things if you need to feel something new, and embrace the lightness and brightness that remains.
TODAY IS THE DAY TO FEEL LIGHTER AND BRIGHTER.
Inside AND Out.
For some added inspiration, check out these amazing resources... The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up By: Marie Kondo, The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store By: Cait Flanders