Time for Spring Organizing
The tulips or budding, the birds are singing, the snow has melted and spring has arrived. Here’s to warm weather and bright colourful flowers and a chance for some spring organizing.
Cleaning vs. Organizing
Many people welcome spring with a fresh and vigorous intention to spring clean their home. How about some spring organizing instead? Cleaning is for getting rid of dirt. Organizing is about managing space, time and stuff so that you can find what you want, when you want and use it to enjoy your life.
Here are 5 tips to help you get started with a spring organizing project and guarantee success.
1. Pick one small area to tackle on at a time
Also limit the time you commit to a spring organizing project. Unless you have help and a whole weekend, start with an hour or two. Organizing requires decision making and decision fatigue can hijack a project. Start all to avoid feelings of overwhelm. If you end up interrupted, you won’t have a big project left unfinished. Try a drawer, closet, cupboard and maybe one or two of those boxes in the corner of your basement.
2. Focus on reducing volume
Getting rid of things that we don’t need, like, want or use is a good goal for spring organizing. Shedding doesn’t have to mean throwing into the garbage. Shedding it about giving items a life beyond your front door. Worn towels and other linen can go to an animal shelter. Books can be donated to a Little Free Library. Clothes can be sold or donated to charity. By decreasing volume, you will have less items to manage and more free space in which to live.
3. Give items a home
Everything you own needs a home. A common complaint I hear from clients is that their belongings don’t have a home. As a result, they never put them away. Items used frequently and consistently need a home that is easy for you to both take the item out and put it back in. We call that storage and retrieval. Items are more likely to end up back in their homes when storage and retrieval are easy. Items that are used seasonally or only occasionally can be stored in less accessible locations.
4. Take away, right away
Take shed items out of your home as quickly as possible. You will see the impact of your hard work and tough decisions. Less items means you can enjoy the clear space. A stack of donations and recycling at the front or back door can be discouraging. It can also tempt you to second guess your decisions. Take those items away, right away.
5. Have fun and reward yourself
Organizing takes emotional and physical energy. Make it fun to make it easier. Play your favourite music. Invite a friend who might like some of the clothes you are shedding. Involve the children and make a game out of sorting old toys.
Spring organizing will also be more successful if you have decided on a reward for yourself when you are finished. This is a great self-coaching technique for reinforcing the value of your work. It also makes the organizing work seem less onerous which means you are more likely to do it again. Maybe some fresh flowers for a table? Take yourself out to a movie? Arrange to meet a friend for an expensive and fun coffee? An ice cream for you and the kids? You get the picture.
Spring is a time of renewal and fresh starts. It is a great time for spring organizing to make space, out with the old, unused or unneeded. Good luck and remember to have fun.