During the dreary progression of winter days, it’s easy to let the dust accumulate and clutter take over. Now that spring is nearly here, it’s time to shake off the winter blues, refresh your surroundings and jumpstart all of those items that have been patiently waiting on your to-do list. Professional organiser and declutter expert Natalie Jane shares her top five do’s and don’ts
When you’re in a disorganised space, it can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information, affecting your mood and productivity. This is because the physical mess in your surroundings competes for your attention, leaving you tired and irritable resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.
On the cusp of the new season it’s the ideal time to switch a few stale habits for healthier ones and get your life back in order and back on track! Feeling a little daunted about where or how to start? These five do’s and dont’s will have you sorted in no time.
- You DON’T need more space, you need less stuff! DO declutter!
Toys, books, paper and clothes – sometimes the clutter can feel never-ending! Take control of the clutter that’s been building up over the winter and reclaim your space by getting rid of what you no longer need, love or use.
Where do you start? Choose an area that bugs you the most and begin there. Maybe a small space like a drawer or shelf and make sure you work methodically through the room. To help you stay on task use a timer, this will stop you getting side tracked. Celebrate and reward yourself after you’ve tackled small spaces, you’ll feel immensely productive and may even begin to enjoy the process.
- DON’T get excited and go shopping for storage containers and supplies that are the latest trend, no matter how tempting it is. DO decide what storage you actually need by decluttering first.
People seem to have an appetite for unnecessary purchases, which leads to excess stuff, adding to your clutter. Remember you can always reuse and upcycle storage you may already have with good clean or a fresh coat of paint. If you do decide you want a fresh “Spring” look, plan ahead. Write a list of the storage items you need. Not only will this help keep out needless clutter, it’ll also help keep your spending on track. Once you’ve chosen your storage system, be sure to label it so other people you live with know where to find items. My favourite is Brother’s P-touch label maker. It uses the most durable labels in lots of different colours (meaning they don’t fall off in a months’ time and can be used both indoors and outdoors!). Now everything will have a designated spot, helping kids put it back in the right place too.
- DON’T buy more items of clothing just because it’s a new season. DO review your wardrobe and have a look at what you already have.
Take a look at your spring and summer wardrobe and be honest with yourself. Try items on and only keep things you need, love or use. We only wear 20 percent of our wardrobe, 80 percent of the time, so if you didn’t wear it last season you probably won’t wear it this time round either. While you’re sorting your wardrobe put your winter items into storage and be sure to label it clearly you never know when you’ll need that rain jacket or woolly hat. While you’re labelling, you could use Brother’s fabric labels and mark children’s school and sportswear (that always seems to go missing!).
- DON’T leave items to go to charity sitting around your home. DO collect them in a box and put them immediately into your car.
Whenever I’m sorting through a room, from wardrobe to the kitchen, I always create four boxes; toss, donate, keep and relocate. From here, it’s easy to action each box, and you should put your donate box straight into your car. The next time you pass your local charity shop, your items are already on-board. It also gets them out of your home and stops others (and maybe yourself) diving back into it!
- DON’T procrastinate! DO just start…
Those long winter evenings have given us plenty of time to relax indoors by the fire, but now it’s time to take action and declutter. Put it in your calendar and stick to it! A good spring-clean will make you feel lighter physically and emotionally, infusing you with energy. You’ll be refreshed, renewed and much more relaxed in your environment, ready to enjoy the warmer weather that spring holds instead of clambering through clutter. Let it go, it will do you the world of good!