The sun is shining, the snowdrops are out and children are casting off school jumpers with merry abandon. I think spring may well be here. (Not that that rules out snow flurries next week….) But just in case these seasonal stirrings are turning your attention to housework, I thought I’d repost my musings on spring cleaning from this time last year;
If you’re even remotely considering a spot of Spring Cleaning – just hold that thought!
Though spring may undoubtedly have sprung and you may be keen to revitalise your home after the dark days of winter, before you do…
I have a tip that will help make this seasonal maintenance work much easier. In fact, this simple step may even bring wondrous benefits to you, your home and your life, long after you hang up your marigolds.
So before you attempt to usher the new spring freshness into your home, I invite you to consider the secret weapon of successful homemakers: decluttering.
Now you may be thinking, Do I really need to bother? Is it really worth the extra work, especially at such a busy time of the housekeeping year?
But the answer is a resounding Yes! Spring is the perfect time to tackle your clutter demons. For a start, you can tap into the spring energy – and you may well need this extra boost if clutter has taken a hold. And there is a whole host of convincing reasons to bust your clutter sooner rather than later. (10 of these are coming up but if you’d like a more in-depth study, check out my favourite clutter guru, Mimi Tanner, or I recommend these great books: Cut the Clutter, Clearing the Clutter.)
However, undomestic goddess that I am, I’ve found the most compelling argument to get to grips with my family’s ‘stuff’ is that it makes housework faster, easier and less teeth-clenchingly irksome.
So, decluttering reaps dividends for the initial effort required at any time of year. But if you’ve got a mammoth spring cleaning schedule ahead of you, there really is no better time to deal with your clutter.
And to help you do just that, here are a few more motivating reasons to get busting!
10 Really Good Reasons To Bust Your Clutter
1. Less housework! (It bears repeating)
What more excuse do you need? Experts reckon that a clutter-free home requires 40% less housework than a messy one. 40%! Just by getting into the habit of putting away (or giving away) your things, you could cut your domestic workload almost by half!
2. It pays. Literally.
In her book, Women & Money, finance expert Suze Orman is emphatic about the link between a tidy, orderly home and the state of your finances. She says, “If your affairs remain a mess, wealth will elude you.” I’ve actually had personal experience of this. Every time I have a major sort-out in my office, more money comes in. I don’t know how it works or why, I just know it does and am happy to go with it. So, the next time you want to hide from your clutter – just think of the money!
3. More clarity.
Our brains deal with A LOT of information. We are constantly being bombarded by things to see, hear or think about. But our brains need time out, not just in sleep, but in rest. Clear spaces and surfaces are soothing to the mind. This mental recharging is also good for our overall health and well-being. So free your home from mentally-distracting clutter. You will be rewarded with more serenity and increased peace of mind.
4. Tidy children
Children have lots of stuff. So, wouldn’t it be nice if they kept their own things in order? Raising tidy children is one of the Holy Grails of parenting (and it will mean less work for parents in the long run). But children learn most, not by our instructions, but by our example. When children see clutter and chaos as the norm, why would they bother to tidy up after themselves. If you are operating the ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ rule, training your little angels to be self-tidiers could be a long hard slog.
5. Home as sanctuary
Our homes are meant to be a place of refuge from the world. We need them to be calming, soothing and supportive. Without this space to retreat and regroup, life can be a constant battle. So the time investment in your home (de-cluttering) will deliver a return on your quality of life. The benefits of having a sanctuary are priceless.
6. You can find things.
Do you ever spend time looking for your keys, phone, documents, etc? And doesn’t it always happen when you are in a rush? How do those frantic, frustrating and stressful episodes make you feel? Not great. Imagine how much more smoothly life would run if you had fast and reliable access to everything you need. Well, this life is available! And though it comes at a price, luckily that price is simply a habit of putting things were they belong. And for cutting that health-sapping stress from your life, it’s excellent value.
7. Boost self-esteem
Can you remember a time when you felt really proud of your home? How good did that feel? Regaining that successful feeling is within your hands. Seize control, you are in charge. Make your mind up to succeed! And with success in your home and renewed self esteem, you’re on the road to success in all areas of your life!
8. Banish The Fear of The Unexpected Visitor
Do you cringe when you hear the doorbell? The wonderful FlyLady describes it as CHAOS – Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome. It’s a horrible feeling. Why live with that fear when you can avoid it? Imagine hearing the door and being happy to have a visitor. Compare that to the heart-sinking despair at the state of your home. So the next time you’re facing chaos and wondering, why bother? – know it’s worth doing because it makes you feel good.
9. The Feng Shui Effect
Two words – Bad chi.
10. Save the planet
When you wage a war on clutter, you develop the habit of regularly getting rid of things that you no longer love or need. Donating these things to charity is a triple whammy of goodness. Firstly, the charity benefits (and because of good karma, so do you!) Secondly, by releasing leftovers of your past, you make space in your life for wonderful new things. Thirdly, you are saving the planet by recycling – your trash may be someone’s treasure!
As always, I’d love to hear what you think!