Spring is here... and with it comes longer days, warmer weather and most likely a better mood.
However, chances are that even though you’re feeling more upbeat, your home is still suffering from the winter blues.
The remedy - a thorough spring clean.
Spring-cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our home after winter. While a vacuum and scrub may take care of the dust and grime that has built up over the past months – decluttering your home is actually the key to transforming your house, and even your life.
According to decluttering expert, Peter Walsh, the removal of mess and unused items has huge emotional benefits
Peter said that people living in cluttered homes often feel frustrated and anxious.
“Decluttering has the ability to generate fresh energy, create emotional and physical space, and release negative emotions,” he said.
The most strategic way to declutter your home is by working room-to-room. According to personal organiser Kerri Rodley, your bedroom is the best place to start, as it’s the most important room for healing and rejuvenation.
In the bedroom
At some time in our lives, we’ve all been guilty of creating a ‘floordrobe’, where the task of hanging clothes or folding them away in draws seems all too hard.
Even if we’ve mustered up the energy to use closets, walk-in-robes and drawers, the likelihood is they’ve become cluttered over the year.
The first step - go through your wardrobe with a ruthless hand. Look at the items you haven’t worn in a year and clothes that are out-dated and you won’t wear again.
Sort the clothes into bags that you can donate to charity and the items you could sell on eBay and Gumtree. Put the money made to good use, such as towards your home deposit or making extra contributions to your mortgage. Remember every dollar counts!
Before you begin to refill your closet and drawers, separate your clothes into categories, such as shirts, pants, t-shirts, dresses, and jackets. This system helps you keep track of what you own throughout the year.
Everyday decluttering tips
Spend five minutes each day rehanging and folding the clothes that are out of place in your draws and closet, or that have made their way onto the floor. A little time each day means you won’t be faced with the huge tidying task at the end of the week.
To keep an eye on the clothes you no longer need, Peter Walsh suggests that you turn all clothes hangers to face back-to-front. Over the next six months, if you wear an item of clothing, return it with the hanger facing the correct way. At the end of the six months consider selling or donating anything you don't wear regularly.
Put the life back into your living room
The living room is a heavily used space. It’s where you are most likely to entertain friends, watch TV, where your kids will play and where you could also find yourself eating dinner on the couch.
Here are four items that are most likely creating clutter in your lounge room:
- Old newspapers and magazines – although we consume more news digitally now, the magazines and newspapers we do buy quickly accumulate. Make sure to recycle the items after you finish reading them.
- Paper work – save having a pile of bills, take-away menus and user manuals on your coffee table. Sign up for your bills to be sent to your email, look at menus online and download manuals.
- Your kids’ toys – while your lounge room may also double as a playroom, have a chest or basket in a discreet corner of the room to place all the toys away and reclaim the living space. Keep an eye on the toys your kids are using and if they’re no longer being played with, donate them to a charity.
- CDs and DVDs – keep these items out of sight in a cupboard and create a streamlined look in your living room.
All about first impressions
Tripping over piles of shoes or an umbrella isn’t an inviting welcome into your home for you or your guests.
To fix the pile of shoes stacking up at the front door - shoe racks or a cubby system are a simple solution. A small table with a tray on top is ideal for keeping small items, such as keys, coins and garage door remotes, in one neat place.
To create space in a small entry, avoid heavy furniture such as a coat closet and instead, consider solutions such as hooks for hanging coats, handbags, hats and scarfs.
Simple tips on how to declutter your home:
- Bathroom – sort through your make-up, beauty products and medications, throwing out all expired items or those you no longer use.
- Bedroom/ living room – choose storage friendly furniture, such as an ottoman that doubles as storage.
- Kitchen – purchase utensil holders to keep your forks, knives, spoons and cooking utensils neat. This will also help to easily find them.
It’s an ongoing job
Don’t wait for your home to become a mess. Keeping your home uncluttered is a daily task. An app called ‘Tody
’ can keep you, your family or housemates on track. Tody allows you to create tasks and to-do lists and set the frequency of when they need to be done. The app alerts you to when a chore is due or overdue, when something was last cleaned and shows who has been leading the fight on clutter and uncleanliness, and who has been slack.