Tag Archives: decluttering

Beautiful bouquet of daffodil in a living room. 3d rendering

Clear The Clutter For Spring

spring cleaning week
APDO Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers joins forces with National Spring Cleaning Week for the first time this March.

We recognise this is the perfect opportunity to declutter, clean and organise your spaces in order to create a more functional and uplifting environment.

Katherine Blackler (SortMySpace and APDO head of partnership liaison) explains “We are excited to partner up with Relations Group, the PR company behind National Spring Cleaning Week because we feel there are a lot of synergies with APDO’s work. Springtime has always been a key focus for the public to review and improve their spaces. As the days gradually lengthen and we emerge from those feelings of hibernation, we often look for fresh starts. People like to change the spaces around us to align with that drive for new beginnings. By teaming up with National Spring Cleaning Week it’s a great opportunity for APDO to showcase our members’ expertise when it comes to clearing as well as cleaning and how to get the best long-term results from your spring cleaning efforts.”

Cleaning conept - hand cleaning with cleaning brush. Isolated on white background

So what is spring cleaning and how does our APDO president Ingrid Jansen (Organise Your House) recommend we approach this annual phenomenon?

I remember when I was young, my mum would spring clean our home and my sister and I would be enlisted to help with this activity. She would clean on a regular basis, but she dedicated one week of her holidays each spring to turn our house upside down and we would do all the annual jobs.  The tradition of spring cleaning originated from homes of yesteryear having wood stoves or coal to heat them. When the heating was no longer needed come springtime it was the perfect time to get the soot and dirt out of the house and start opening windows again. Even though we had central heating my mum would honour the tradition of spring cleaning and many of us still continue to.

Now I believe there is a difference between cleaning, spring cleaning, decluttering and organising.

CLEANING

Cleaning are those daily, weekly and even monthly tasks that need to be done all the time. Daily task include doing the dishes, emptying the bins, washing laundry, etc. Weekly tasks include vacuuming and mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom and toilet, dusting the furniture, doing a grocery shop and meal plan. Monthly tasks could be dusting the skirting boards, washing the car, sweeping the patio, cleaning the picture frames, etc.

SPRING CLEANING

In my opinion spring cleaning is when you thoroughly clean your house from top to bottom, starting on the top floor and working your way down. This is also the most efficient way to clean a room too; start with the ceiling and finish with the floor to make sure all the dirt is collecting as you go. Annual tasks might include using a ceiling mop for cobwebs, cleaning the light fittings, washing the nets and curtains, washing pillow and mattress protectors and vacuuming the mattress and getting the dust out of books. Tip: open the book in half and slam it shut again with reasonable force to shift the dust (ideally next to an open window!). Clean chair legs and vacuum the seat, wipe the bedframe, empty wardrobes and chest of drawers and move them aside to clean behind. Clean inside the drawers and wash the windows inside and out. Last but not least clean the floor (especially under the bed and other places often overlooked the rest of the year).

In the kitchen, empty all the kitchen cupboards to give them a wipe over. In the living room, move the sofa away from the wall and take out the cushions to vacuum the sofa. Clean behind the television which is a magnet for dust, and clean any table and chair legs. Again work from ceiling to floor and don’t forget your curtains and lights.

DECLUTTERING & ORGANISING

Now during spring cleaning you will end up emptying cupboards, wardrobes and chests of drawers to clean inside and behind them. If you can spare the time at this stage, it’s a sound chance to declutter (taking items you no longer want out of circulation) and to organise (putting items back in an orderly, logical way) during your spring clean. Check sell-by dates on food items and decide if you need to put quite all of the 15 black t-shirts you no longer wear back into the drawer. This process undoubtedly does take longer so you may decide to declutter and organise on another occasion.

However you decide to do it, spring cleaning is a great way to clear the cobwebs in both your house and your head to feel more organised! If you need help decluttering and organising while spring cleaning why not get an APDO professional organiser in to help you?  Check our Find An Organiser page for someone near you.

spring cleaning week logo

National Spring Cleaning Week 6-12 March 2017

 

Cleaning conept - hand cleaning with cleaning brush. Isolated on white background

APDO have secured an exciting collaboration with Relations Group, a PR company that promote National Spring Cleaning Week from 6-12 March 2017.  We recognise this is a popular time of year for the UK to declutter, clean and organise your spaces in order to create a more functional and uplifting environment.  APDO members will demonstrate their expertise giving advice on how to successfully clear before cleaning as well as how to store and organise for longer term benefits of a spring clean.

This is a first for APDO and, with coverage nationwide using Relations Group’s established radio, online and print connections, should be a great opportunity for us to reach and inspire more people to tackle their physical environments.

Divorce agreement. Wife and husband can not make settlement

Divorce and Downsizing: 3 Steps to Letting Go of Your Belongings

Sarah Macnaught (Rightsize) specialises in helping clients to rightsize their homes and their possessions as they move through the divorce process. She is available seven days a week to cover all working hours and time-zones. Call 07792 298 595 or email sarah@right-size.co.uk for a free consultation.

When people are going through a divorce I’m often brought in to help deal with their belongings. There are various scenarios. Sometimes the husband leaves to start a new relationship, taking the bare minimum of possessions. His wife is left feeling overwhelmed and resentful about having to deal with every single thing. So she calls me. On other occasions family lawyers and divorce coaches refer cases to me because their clients are arguing over Every. Single. Thing. As well as the negative moods and toxic atmosphere, couples fighting over joint possessions can lead to higher legal fees and longer settlement periods.

As a professional organiser and belongings coach I get my clients to approach dividing their belongings in various ways. But I encourage them to base each decision on this one value: “Is this fair and reasonable?”

Here are 3 steps to dividing up the home that all separating couples should follow to make the process as smooth as it can be.

Be Practical: Make an Inventory of Everything

Think like a removal company and draw up a home inventory. There are phone apps you can use – Sortly and Encircle are brilliant – and you can produce downloadable documents to share with each other and legal teams. Photograph stuff wherever possible and give each item some sense of size like this:

4 drawers obsolete black & cream computer cables

3 shelves football programmes

3 boxes old cosmetics

8 large boxes wine glasses

1 three-seater sofa

10 metres of DVDs

This will make you both stop and think. No, it isn’t fair for one partner to deal with everything. And the cost of setting up two new homes will be offset if belongings are distributed fairly and reasonably, just as financial assets are.

Be Mindful: Expanding into Two Homes

“If I keep (all) this, is that fair and reasonable?” Especially when children are involved, both homes will be family homes, so an even division of all utensils, furniture, clothing and toys is important. Though there are often things (mother-in-law’s ornate vase anyone?) that both partners will gleefully donate to charity rather than lay claim to. The excess of possessions in UK homes is well documented so there’s practically always enough to go around. One parent doesn’t need the standard British haul of 8 pots and 6 casserole dishes!

Also couples should think about their short term accommodation before making any decisions. One father told me, “I insisted on the 3-seater sofa and oversized armchairs from our 6 bedroom Victorian home. When the removal company arrived at my rented townhouse, absolutely nothing could fit up the narrow stairs to the living room on the first floor.  It’s all still in storage, two years later.”

Be Generous: The True Meaning of Conscious Uncoupling

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin may have made conscious uncoupling a ‘thing’ but it was originally coined by US therapist Katherine Woodward Thomas in 2011. The idea here is that you give generously as you let go of your possessions – re-gifting large furniture you love but have no room for; selling old paintings and donating the proceeds to your favourite charity; setting up a Men’s Shed with all your DIY tools and materials. The bigger the act of generosity on your part, the better you’ll feel about letting go.


This guest blog highlights how versatile APDO members can be regarding the services they provide. If you’d like to find an accredited professional organiser near you, search here. If you feel decluttering and organising could be your dream career, visit the website for details on how to join APDO plus training courses.