Got the urge to do some spring cleaning?
It’s a lot easier to clean house when floors, counters, tables and all horizontal surfaces are clear.
If you look around and see piles everywhere, don’t despair. Here’s a simple system for clearing the clutter from your home, room by room.
Get four boxes or bins and label them: Keep, Move, Donate, Toss.
Pick a room – any room – and choose a small space like a dresser drawer, shelf, or the floor of your closet. Set a timer for 15-30 minutes.
Remove everything from that space and sort into four categories:
KEEP – things you love and use regularly in your present life
MOVE– things that belong elsewhere in your home
DONATE – things that are just taking up space, but might be useful to others
TOSS – things with little or no value that can be recycled or trashed
Make decisions as quickly as you can. My mantra: If you don’t love it or use it, lose it. If you have to think about it for more than a few seconds, that’s a clue that the item is probably not all that important to keep. Afraid you might need it someday? Ask yourself: Could I get it again pretty easily and inexpensively if I need it again? If the answer is yes, let it go.
When your time is up, put away the keepers, move the stuff that belongs elsewhere, bag up the donations and put them in your car (or find a local charitable organization that will pick up at www.donationtown.org), and toss the contents of that last box into your recycling or trash bin.
Repeat this process daily. When you finish decluttering one space, move on to the next. When that room is decluttered, tackle the next room until you’ve cleared the clutter from every room.
Using this system, you’ll be on your way to a cleaner, happier home in no time!
This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Clean Green Living.