Spring has sprung, and that can only mean one thing: It’s time for spring cleaning. We all love spring because it’s a time of rebirth; the grass is green again, the sun is shining, and we can finally bring our favorite sandals and pair of shorts out from the back of our closet.
Chances are by the time spring comes, your closet (and any other storage space) is also in major need of a rebirth. Physical clutter creates mental clutter, and who has time for that? So, we’ve created a few guidelines to help you pare down and purge for a clutter-free spring.
1. A Place for Everything and Everything In Its Place
This has been the anthem of organized people for years: Everything in your home should have a place. If you don’t have a place for it or can’t find one, is that item really something you need? Life is much simpler when you know exactly where to find something because your space isn’t cluttered.
2. Love It or Lose It
We hold on to things for many different reasons, some we can’t explain. This rule is a pretty quick decision maker: If you haven’t used or worn an item in the last six months to a year (depending on what it is), you don’t love it. Right? Ask yourself if you would buy this item today. If the answer is no, you don’t love it. If something no longer fits you, your home, or your aesthetic, you have to lose it. Figure out what you really love and lose the rest! This is also a great rule to employ when making current purchases. If you don’t love it or if you can live without it, do you really need it?
3. Say Goodbye to Multiples
Everyone has her own weakness in this category. Whether it’s a million iPhone charger cords or one too many pairs of black pumps, we all have certain things we buy multiples of that we simply don’t need. Multiple items that perform the same function are clutter in your space; they have to go.
4. Maybe Isn’t Yes
As we begin the process of paring down, sometimes fear creeps in. How many times have you held on to something because you might use it down the road? The beautiful dress hanging in your closet with nowhere to wear it; the waffle iron wedding gift you’ve had for two years now and never made waffles; the piece of furniture you bought to refinish that’s been sitting in your garage for six months.
Don’t let the fear of possibly needing an item scare you into keeping things you don’t need—it’s time to say goodbye. If you haven’t done anything with it yet, you’re not going to. Meaning to do isn’t doing, and maybe isn’t yes.
5. Edit, Constantly
Hard as we try, it is almost inevitable that we accumulate more stuff. Throughout the year, try to evaluate areas as you use them; ask yourself if you need the items you see. You can always sell items that are valuable, but you don’t need anymore. This makes parting with some of your belongings easier because you get something in return. Donation gives items a chance for a second life with someone who will appreciate them. And remember, it’s OK to trash items that are unusable.