Are you getting ready to downsize to a smaller home? Is it time for you to do your Spring Clean up and De-clutter? Have you read Maria Kondo’s book or watched her on Netflix and gotten inspired? Whatever the reason you might be feeling the inspiration to de-clutter and embrace change in your life and in your environment.

This can be exciting and also bring up a lot of emotions. I have found that de-cluttering is a process. It takes longer than I ever expect and requires me to be honest with myself. Do I really need all of these books, clothes, papers, photos, kitchen items? Usually, the answer is no, but how do I tackle this job?

One Step at a time

Mario Kondo says to do it by category. I was resistant to this notion as I always did my de-cluttering by room. Once I did take all of my clothes out of the closet and held it up to see if I still liked it and it “sparked joy” I was able to discard more and more. It also helped to say “thank you” to those items which once served me well, but it was time to give away or pass on. They either didn’t fit me any longer or no longer gave me joy when I put them on. Now when I go in my closet I find only those items which are in good condition, fit me and make me happy when I wear them!

Books have always been an issue for me because I love my books! After sorting through them I found there were some that no longer served me and I could let them go. I also found out how to use the live library and download future books to see if I really wanted to own them or just read them. What a great resource!

Papers can easily take over a house! It took me a while to let go of old business papers knowing that I would never need them again. Once I did though I felt freer to move on into my newest endeavors. I find I need to always sort out my papers and discard. What about you?

Photographs are also a challenge. I love having photos of my family around as happiness boosters in my environment. I was given a holder for photos which allows me to change these often which has been somewhat helpful. I am still working on throwing out old photos that no one needs. Most photos today are ending up on my computer or phone. Where will these end up in the long run? Will anyone ever see them again?

I have found that I am thinking about downsizing a lot lately. My needs are less and I would like to be able to move easily without so much “stuff”! As I said, this is a process and I am giving myself time to continue to sort, organize and throw out. One idea that has worked for me in the past is if I am not sure about giving something away I put it in a box and seal it, date it and store it. If in a years time I have not looked for that item I do not open that box ever again I just give it away! This helps with the “I’m not sure if I want to toss it yet” syndrome.

 I have often been asked, “What if my spouse doesn’t want to throw anything out?” Rather than challenge them to continuously stay in your own lane and take care of your things. There is the possibility that they will begin to mirror you and want to organize their things as well. Is there a space that can possibly be only theirs?

Another issue I have seen and heard about lately is kids taking over a house.  Showing your children how to organize their own things, take responsibility for sharing the house with others, and doing their part is a good thing to begin at an early age. Having a clutter-free space for the family to enjoy their time together allows for the brain to calm down and not be distracted by “stuff”. How does this work in your home?

I have found that once you know what you want to keep everything needs a place and space. Once that is organized it is easy to keep it up; however, honestly, I always seem to need to do some sort of spring cleaning and reorganizing. I have never found it is one and done! It is easier each time I find a way to organize or fold but continues to be a process. I have also found once I de-clutter other things in my life seem to open up and I feel lighter and brighter. What are some of your tips and tricks? Are you feeling the urge to spring clean, de-clutter or downsize? Tell us about it!