National Spring Cleaning Week is running 6 – 12 March 2017 and is encouraging us not only to think about what needs cleaning but what needs clearing in our lives too. Their research last month found that:
45% of people admit to feeling more productive having a tidy and clean home
48% stated that having a clean home makes them feel better psychologically.
So they’ve teamed up with APDO Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, the UK’s experts on making more of your physical space to help you gain more mental space and clarity too.
APDO Head of Partnership Liaison, Katherine Blackler of SortMySpace Ltd admits that she’s not an expert at spring cleaning herself, but has offered us some top tips on spring clearing instead:
1. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to tackle the entire house in one hit. Take a room at a time. Within that, work on one area at a time (the floor, countertop, cupboard, drawer, fridge).
2. Allocate time to sort through things. Switch off and eliminate likely distractions. Remember it will take longer to declutter as well as to clean initially. Stay motivated that the less you have, the quicker all your future cleaning and maintenance efforts will be.
3. Getting started is often the hardest part. Take little steps if giant leaps are unrealistic. But definitely start.
4. Take photos of your starting point. You’ll easily forget how far you’ve come when you hit the brick wall and don’t think you can push on.
5. Reward yourself for your achievements, both during and at the end of the process.
6. Try to gather all your similar items in the same place (shoes, CDs, books, food items, jewellery, paperwork, loose batteries etc). You can see exactly how many duplicates you have, what’s no longer serving a purpose for you and your household and what could be thrown away.
7. Sift through your food stuff and ditch anything that’s definitely seen better days. Challenge yourself to use up the contents of your freezer for this week’s mealtimes. It’ll make defrosting it so much easier but also stop things lurking in there indefinitely.
8. To confirm which clothing you are really wearing (or not!); Hang all your hangers backwards (e.g with the hanger hook poking towards you). Each time you wear an item hang it back in the wardrobe the right way round. After 6 or 12 months you’ll clearly see which clothes you haven’t worn as they’ll still be poking at you. You’ll be more confident in parting with them having proven they’re redundant to you.
9. It’s much easier and more fun to have company to do the job. Team up with friends or family and then spend time at each other’s house helping both parties to get their desired goals. If there are too many emotions or opinions at play within your known circles or you haven’t time to invest in decluttering two places, consider hiring an impartial and accredited APDO organiser. They’ll use their experience and knowledge to help you get the job done in a fraction of the time and it ensures you actually do dedicate the time to tackle your problem areas.
Whatever you do, however big or small this springtime, keep in mind Katherine’s favourite quote to help stay focused:
“Do not have anything in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”
Professional Organiser & Declutterer, SortMySpace Ltd
& APDO Head of Partnership Liaison
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