We’ve all been there... it starts out with the best of intentions. A good old spring cleaning, a declutter, a purge of things we no longer need. But then, all of a sudden, the sheer scale of the task at hand sinks in, we become overwhelmed, get distracted by small mementos we come across and the next thing we know, 3 hours have passed and we haven’t made a dent.
A new year is a great time for a fresh start, and nothing breathes new life into a space quite like a spring cleaning. In order to avoid feeling overwhelmed, there are little things we can do to make it feel manageable.
- Commit to the task at hand. There’s no use going in half-heartedly, so ensure you block out a generous amount of time. Ask yourself why you want to do this, and why it’s important to you. Are you moving into a new house and need to downsize? Or perhaps you’ve simply been inspired by Marie Kondo and want to live a more minimalist life. Whatever the reason, be sure to acknowledge and return to it - that’s the fuel that will keep you motivated!
- Get boxes and trash bags ready so that you’re ready to go and have everything you need at hand.
- Once you’ve started, don’t feel like you have to make rash decisions if you’re really stuck on whether to keep something. Create a “maybe” pile which you can go back to in a week or so.
- If something like an electronic doesn’t work and it’s not fixable, throw it out - no debates.
- Remember that your house isn’t a museum - it doesn’t need to be filled with mementos that you are only hanging on to because you feel guilty about letting them go. You’re also not a bad person if you want to give away items you’ve inherited from loved ones.
- Try not to dwell on sunk costs. As you go through things, you may feel reluctant to throw something out due to how much you spent on it, but just think that if it’s not adding value to your life right now, then there’s no use hanging on to it. You can also try to resell unwanted items of value on eBay and other sites.
- Think of the last time you used something. If the answer is more than six months ago (and it’s a non-seasonal item), you should probably get rid of it.
- Lastly, do your bit for the planet by recycling and repurposing wherever possible, whether that’s giving unwanted items to friends, or dropping them off at your local clothes bank or charity shop!