Spring is in the air, it’s time to open all the windows, let the fresh air in and give your home a good cleaning. Make decluttering a part of your spring cleaning routine; after all, it’s easier and less time-consuming to clean when you have less stuff, right? I know it can be difficult to view your stuff as just that, stuff; however, if you take the time to go through your things, you will create more space and functionality within your home, and more importantly, create a sense of peace and tranquility.
We get so used to our surroundings that things just blend into the background and become part of the wallpaper. To really look at possessions objectively, try clearing off a cluttered shelf and put the items in a pile. Step back from the shelf and look at each item in the pile; be honest and ask yourself, Do I like this item? Do I need it? Before you place the items back on the shelf, ask yourself, will this item serve its purpose better in a different location in the house, or with a new owner altogether?
Recently I visited a friend and noticed a corner filled with cooking magazines and old phone books; she’d become so used to the pile and just didn’t see it anymore. She ended up donating the magazines to the senior center and placed a much needed filing cabinet in its place. My friend is overjoyed with the new space, and commented she wished she’d done it sooner. Just a small change in a corner gave her a new perspective of functionality, creativity and appreciation for the space.
Try this activity: label four different boxes as “trash”, “sell”, “donate” and “keep”. You will find it much easier knowing that you have four choices for each item, and it’ll become clear as you sort through how to dispose of the items later.
Possessions often come with an emotional attachment. Often times we receive gifts over the years that may not fit with the décor of our home, or we receive a shirt that may not be our style; we feel guilty or wasteful with the thought of getting rid of it; however, if you really want to declutter, it’s important to acknowledge the emotional attachment and give yourself permission to let it go. Donate the items that you no longer need or want to someone in need, it may comfort you to know that others can truly benefit from it. Local Broomfield donation centers such as the ARC, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and Precious Child would greatly appreciate your donations. Also, the city of Broomfield is hosting its annual free curbside spring cleanup. What a great incentive to clear some cluttered corners and create a brand new space.
Studies have shown, clutter can trigger the stress hormone, negatively affect mood, and decrease our productivity. So, let’s look at spring cleaning as a transitory activity - symbolic of a fresh start, and get started with spring cleaning this weekend!