Time for Spring Cleaning
- Learn about yourself. Cleaning and rearranging may cause you to look at each of your possessions, but they don't require that you evaluate them, especially if you're just putting them in boxes and closing the lids. In contrast, actually removing stuff from your home forces you to decide what's truly important to you.
- Benefit others. The possessions you rarely use sit on shelves or tables, or in a garage or closet or drawer, gathering dust. Before you buy even one more storage container, consider donating your excess.
- Control your urge to shop. A fresh start is wonderful, but do you really need to greet the new season with a trip to the big box décor store? Maybe paring down will provide the lighter look you crave.
- Inspire gratitude. Cleaning and organizing provide a temporary lift to your mood. They tidy a room, but rarely lead to a new outlook on life. You may still feel your house is too small and your income too little. But clutter is evidence that you have more than you need. When you start to remove excess possessions, you realize how prosperous you actually are.
- Clear everything from flat surfaces, including magazines, plants, lamps, candles, photos, figurines, dirty dishes, junk mail....
- Clear everything from the floor, including furniture, rugs, baskets, clothing, backpacks, cases of whatever bought on sale and shoved into corners....
- Clear everything from the windows and walls.
1. What is the purpose of this room?
This will help you decide which furniture is necessary.
2. Would I like to have more empty space?
Do you want room to do yoga? For your kids to play? To set up a music stand and practice an instrument?
3. How can I arrange furniture to best use this space?
You might decide to add or leave out some pieces.
4. How do I want to feel in this room?
This will help you decide to add or leave out accessories such as rugs, curtains, pillows, throws, lamps, color, electronics.
5. What do I already own that could be used regularly rather than stored?
The things we store in the back of a closet are stagnant, but the things we use every day are alive with character. Why not use your nice stoneware and declutter the plastic dishes? Or your grandmother's quilt and donate the Walmart comforter? (Or, if you've only kept Grandma's bedding out of guilt, find another family member who wants it, or sell it to a collector.)
6. What do I already own that can personalize this room?
Examples include the hand-painted vase you bought on your honeymoon in Mexico, your kids' art, a photograph or painting of your favorite place, or the dresser you creatively refurbished. Display just a few items to give them the spotlight they deserve.
7. How can I bring a bit of nature into this room?
Maybe you have a couple of favorite potted plants, or you'd like to have a vase of daffodils or flowering branches, a tray of seashells you've collected over time, or even a prism to hang in a sunny window. What do you love about our beautiful world?