We’re all familiar with the concept of spring cleaning — winter has finally given way to warmer spring temperatures, and it’s the perfect time to declutter your house and shake off all that winter dust. While it can be a great opportunity to make your home look nicer, there is a hidden value in decluttering your home that you may not have noticed. What is the real value of decluttering?
How to Get Started
The first step to take before you start your spring cleaning and decluttering mission is to figure out where to start. Depending on the amount of clutter in your house, you might need a few days to make your way through everything. Set aside two or three days, just to be safe. If you finish sooner — bonus. You get a free day or two to relax.
Start by sorting your clutter into three piles — Donate, Keep and Garbage. Once you have everything sorted into one of these three piles, it’s easier to move to the next step because you’ve reduced everything by two-thirds.
Organize What’s Left
Decluttering your home makes it easier to organize your belongings. Not only do you have fewer things to find homes for, but they’re often taking up much less space. When you’re decluttering and organizing, a few things to remember include:
- Don’t buy a bunch of containers or other organizational tools. It might sound like a good idea, but you’ll probably end up spending a ton of money on stuff you’re not even going to use. Organize first, then buy to cater to your exact needs.
- Don’t expect perfection but don’t quit either. Your drawers or closets aren’t going to look like they do in the magazines. Don’t worry about it. Instead, just make sure you complete any project you take on.
Organizing makes your home look better, makes you feel better and it makes it easier to keep the clutter down in the future.
Refresh Your Furnishings
Use your spring decluttering as an excuse to get into the darkest corners of your house where you wouldn’t normally clean. Dust bunnies love hiding there, but no dust bunny is safe from your spring cleaning fury!
As you’re decluttering, take the time to move your furniture and clean behind and under it. You may find some stuff that’s fallen under or behind your sofa or desk. Find some good dusting tools and eliminate those dust bunny colonies. Not only will your home look better, you’ll feel better once you get rid of all that dust.
Expand Your Cleaning
Spring cleaning automatically comes with some heavy lifting attached as you move furniture to make sure you get all the nooks and crannies decluttered. Instead of putting it back in the same spot when you’re done cleaning, try rearranging your furniture. It can help make your space look bigger, allowing you to expand into your newly decluttered rooms.
Move tall furniture toward the walls, and use low furniture in the center of the room, leaving plenty of space to walk around. Also, make sure your windows and light fixtures are clean and clear — the more light you can get into your room, the larger it will look. If you have the chance to slap some paint on the walls, light colors make small spaces look larger, especially when paired with natural or bright lighting.
Let Go of Excess
Finally, decluttering your home allows you to let go of the parts of your past you’ve been carting around from home to home. Do you have boxes full of your childhood schoolwork or piles of clothes that no longer fit you? Toss them in the trash or donate pile. We tend to cling to things for their sentimental value, but there’s a fine line between sentiment and ending up on an episode of Hoarders.
That’s not to say you should get rid of your photo albums or other items that bring to mind good memories — just don’t hang on to every scrap of your past or you’ll find it impossible to declutter.
Decluttering your space can be a relatively easy way to make your home feel more like a home and less like a storage unit — take the time to declutter during your spring cleaning, and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel afterward.
Anum Yoon is a personal finance blogger and writer. She created and maintains her personal finance blog Current on Currency. You can subscribe to her blog newsletter right here for her weekly updates.