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The essential list for a small space organizational Spring Cleaning
The days start to get longer, the weather warms up and it almost seems like the birds are singing louder – Spring has sprung! A new season brings a renewed energy, and perhaps a desire to start fresh with a spring cleaning. But while others are busy wiping down baseboards & flipping mattresses, I love to do an organizational spring cleaning instead.
With Spring shining its sunshine through my windows that could probably use a wipe, all I want to do is declutter and purge. We feel lighter in Spring, not so heavy & dark like we did in Winter, and what is lighter than reducing your inventory and moving on items that no longer serve you? Enter the “Organizational Spring Cleaning”.
DIVIDE YOUR PROJECT INTO ZONES
Spring cleaning feels like a Herculean task, which is probably why you only do it once a year. Well, an organizational spring cleaning is the same. It’s less elbow grease and more emotional in some ways – parting with things is not always an easy undertaking.
My main tip for doing an organizational spring cleaning is to divide your space up into zones.
I say zones as most small spaces have multi-functional areas vs specific rooms – if you have separate rooms, go with that.
My next top tip for an organizational spring cleaning is to put it on the calendar. Be realistic. You may only calendar one hour and decide that you’re going do your junk drawer one day and that’s all. You may book yourself in for eight hours and tackle the garage. Whatever you choose, make it realistic and make it work for you – and then stick to it. I find that if I plan a project out and break it up across a few weeks or a month and have it on the calendar, I’m more likely to succeed. Breaking the project into manageable pieces reduces the “ugh, I don’t wanna” factor.
THE ORGANIZATIONAL SPRING CLEANING PURGE
Sometimes an organizational spring cleaning just requires some sorting, tidying and putting things back where they belong. And sometimes it’s a full blown declutter situation.
If your organizational spring cleaning is just resetting your space back to zero, your project shouldn’t take too long. While you’re going through your things, take stock of items to keep on your radar for a future declutter. Also look at your organizational systems you have in place and think of ways that you could potentially streamline them to make them more efficient. Just because it’s organized, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be better organized (or is that just me always thinking about ways to level up my organization?).
If you’re looking at a full-blown declutter for your organizational spring cleaning, you may want to first read my article The Struggles and Unexpected Benefits of Downsizing your home. While an organizational spring cleaning session isn’t downsizing, many of the principles to decluttering are the same – less is more!
The art of decluttering is to rip the Band-Aid off – go with your gut, make quick decisions and don’t look back. If it’s been in a box for so long you don’t know that it’s even there, do you need it? Think about how much of your rent/mortgage you are paying to store things you don’t use, don’t need or are broken. I like to think that when I gift, sell or donate an item that no longer serves me, that I am giving it a new lease on life, and allowing it to fulfil its destiny – that it deserves to be loved and seen and used, and not stuck in a box. If it’s broken, either fix it and use it, recycle it or bin it. If it doesn’t fit anymore or you just don’t wear it, either gift it or donate it. Quick decisions. No regrets. Trust me, in a month you won’t even remember you owned it.
STORING SEASONAL CLOTHING
A big tip that I always suggest for maximizing storage in a small space is to keep a seasonal wardrobe in your closet and store the rest. By only having items that are appropriate to the season you are currently in, your life with be simplified. I find that I’m also more likely to wear more of my clothes more often, as I only see them for a few months at a time. When I had 12 months of clothes in my closet and looked at the same mass of clothing every day, nothing felt special. Now when a new season comes, it’s like I have a whole new wardrobe!
Curious about storing seasonal clothing? Well lucky for you I wrote an article about it called The Top 5 Tricks to Organizing Seasonal Clothing. There’s even a follow up on The Best Methods for Storing Clothing that you may want to read as well.
SET UP SYSTEMS FOR YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL SPRING CLEANING
As you go through each zone and start to organize your space, think of how you can simplify it. Take a step back and think about how you use the space. Would moving some things around make it more efficient? Think about what you do in that zone, what you need at your fingertips and what you could move to another location to make this one flow better. By implementing a system that will make better use of the space, you elevate your interactions within that space. Having everything where you need it, almost intuitively, simplifies your daily routine and will make you more productive.
MOVE ON THE EXCESS
Now that you’ve divided your space into zones and tackled each one individually, what are you supposed to do with all that excess that no longer serves you? Well, I hate to say it, but it’s time to do a bit more work.
Divide everything up into DONATE / SELL / GIFT / RECYCLE / GARBAGE.
Hopefully the first four will be the majority and very little will actually go to the landfill. Look into your local Charity Shops as well as the Recycling Depot. Both of those places tend to have a listing on their website of what they do and do not take. Keep this in mind when you’re going through your piles.
One man’s junk is only another man’s treasure if he wants it, otherwise it’s just another man’s problem.Please only gift things to people that want them.
While your space may not smell lemon fresh and your mattress may not be flipped, by doing an organizational spring cleaning, you have set your home up for a simpler, more efficient and productive season ahead. I hate to say it, but that beats clean baseboards every time in my books!