Tag Archives: Spring Clearing Week

The APDO online directory helps UK clients find a local organiser to suit their particular organising/decluttering needs. | Spring Clearing Week Tag

Open notebook and a pen next to a pot plant

Spring Clearing Week wrapped up!

Spring Clearing Week 2019 has been inspiring and informative! In case you missed any of our tips, blogs and interviews, here’s a round-up for you:

 

decluttered organised bedroom

We were delighted to guest post for:

 

organised boxes in a white room ready for unpacking

We shared these intriguing initiatives happening outside APDO:

  • You might think it odd that we interviewed an online sales platform but you’ll soon see why we wanted to bring you this very interesting interview with Tara Button, founder of BuyMeOnce.
  • If you’ve not used Library of Things we highly recommend watching this fascinating interview with Alys Penfold, Community Activator. Will you be inspired to set up a Library of Things in your community?!

APDO Spring Clearing Week 2019 logo

Thank you for reading, sharing and liking our Spring Clearing Week tips!

And, finally, thank you to the APDO Social Media volunteer team: Simon Wizgell, Nichola Skedgel, Claire Birnie, Cory Cook, Tilo Flache, Mel Carruthers and Kate Ibbotson, for working tirelessly behind the scenes this week.

APDO Spring Clearing Week 2019 logo

In conversation with BuyMeOnce

Tara Button, CEO & Founder of BuyMeOnce, is at the forefront of the global movement to change the way we shop and live forever, championing the longest-lasting and most sustainable products on Earth. 

In the spirit of Spring Clearing Week 2019, professional organiser and APDO member Caroline Rogers spoke to Tara, to find out more about the movement, the website and how we can all benefit. 

 

You can find out more about Spring Clearing Week 2019 here!

APDO Spring Clearing Week 2019 logo

This is no April fool: it’s Spring Clearing Week!

Yes, you read that right, APDO is encouraging you to Spring cleaR before you Spring cleaN!

Life is often busy. Our homes, our heads and our calendars can end up pretty full.

A survey by Money Magpie found that less than half of Brits now bother with Spring cleaning. However, 60 per cent seize Springtime to declutter, so, in 2018, APDO introduced #SpringClearingWeek to encourage this great ritual of a Spring Clear.

Clearing clutter at home

We rarely take time to plan what we bring into our homes; gifts, freebies and impulse purchases sneak their way in, even when we have the best of intentions. This is a great time of year to consider if you have any unwanted items that sneak in too often and for you to consider strategies that could stem the flow.

By reducing the number of unwanted items that arrive into your front door, you begin to set a good baseline from which to clear items out the back door, so to speak. Not sure where to start? A fun game to start at the beginning of a month is The Mins Game, which you can play with a friend or others in your household and helps you to slowly build up the number items to let go.

Clearing calendar commitments

Demands are made on us from work, children, friends, family, media…. The list is almost endless and we can end up feeling pulled in dozens of different directions.

Maybe you pretty happy with your physical space but you’re feeling thinly spread when it comes to the number of commitments in your week. Take some time this week to consider what is important to you and what you can put to one side, even if only temporarily; do you need to enlist help with something, learn to delegate a task or simply say “no” to something or someone?

A vase of daffodils on an organised coffee table

Creating clearer thinking

Often clearing your physical space or diary can help to increase mental clarity. Removing distractions from our environment or reducing activities that drain our energy frees up just enough space in our heads to allow us to process our thoughts more easily.

Spring Clearing Week Resources

APDO professional organisers will be sharing motivational tips and clever hacks on our blog and social media this week.

Many APDO members know what it’s like to be overwhelmed by clutter, and have become professional organisers in order to share their decluttering experience and knowledge with their clients. If you would like a helping hand this Spring Clearing Week, you can find your local organiser on the APDO website.

Headshot of APDO President Katherine Blackler

Presidents Day: An interview with Katherine Blackler, APDO President

18th February is Presidents Day – what better day than to have a catch up with our APDO President Katherine Blackler. Katherine runs her company SortMySpace Ltd in South East London, but has taken some time out today to share her story with us.

How did you get into your chosen career and why?

I left a fast-paced project manager role in the corporate world to work out “what makes my heart sing”. I had spent 15 years in the City organising people and processes but was experiencing a disconnect. Whenever I was plugged into the day job, I just couldn’t reflect easily.

In the past, I’d travelled between work contracts to gain perspective and inspiration. This time I decided to stay put in London and refurbish my small home instead. While I was sleeping on a friend’s sofa-bed to dodge the dust of the building work, I noticed an article on minimalism which my best friend had left out. The William Morris quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” jumped out at me. It changed the way I created my new space and saw my possessions. And, unbeknown to me, it started to shape my new career path.

I then took a six-week road trip across the USA where I found myself helping out my host families: organising the trunk of a sleep-deprived mum’s car to have items for the ‘top-end’ of their kids in one box and items pertaining to the ‘bottom-end’ in another!  I made suggestions for my cousins in Chicago on how to use their space differently to save the hassle of moving to a new house. I even found myself in IKEA with a tape measure within 24 hours of meeting one of my brother’s friends in LA!

At that point I’d never heard the concept of a professional organiser and declutterer, but it made me realise this was something I genuinely enjoyed and that it could be an expanding market in the UK in the near future. Amusingly, I initially googled the term “efficient living consultant” as I had no idea what I’d be called if I made the jump!

A group photo of APDO Board members

The APDO Board in January 2019, one of 3 live meetings a year that the APDO Board hold

How did you become APDO’s President?

I first volunteered to be part of the APDO conference team as I have experience of running events from my corporate life. The Board felt I would be a good fit for a new role as Head of Partnerships and Campaigns helping to connect the Association with relevant businesses and charities whose focus or products overlap with the work our members do. I introduced the concept of Donate a Day during National Organising Week 2016 whereby our members get together to give their time and expertise to a charity for the day. It started with one event in London with six organisers and by 2018’s National Organising Week, we had almost 40 members supporting 12 charities across the UK. That’s one of my proudest APDO achievements – thus far!

I then introduced a second campaign week to APDO’s diary and we launched Spring Clearing Week in 2018 as a twist on the traditional spring cleaning idea. We are expecting Spring Clearing Week to grow year on year now in the same way as National Organising Week has.

In April 2017 I became APDO’s President-Elect, shadowing the then President Ingrid Jansen (Organise Your House). I stepped up in April 2018 for a two-year term as President. When I step off the board, I’ll become Past President for one year, on-hand for advice and support to the next President.

Group photo of Katherine Blackler and APDO colleagues

Katherine and APDO colleagues during the first Donate a Day at Dress for Success during National Organising Week 2016

What do you hope to achieve during your Presidency?

I’d said in my manifesto that I want every household in the UK to know what a professional organiser and declutterer is before I step down! Nothing like an enormous goal to keep you focused (or permanently in post!). That’s not to say every household will also engage a professional organiser, but without knowing that our members and their services exist they won’t be able to even entertain the idea.

I’m convinced the concept is catching on. Anyone joining the industry now is getting an easier time finding clients and building their business than even a few years ago, even if it still feels slow to them! But we still have a long way to go until our services are as recognised and embraced as those of a window cleaner or a plumber.

I appreciate that you can now watch videos on YouTube on how to tile a bathroom (or indeed improve organisation in your wardrobe) but if you call in an expert it’ll be done in a fraction of the time, be tailored to your exact needs and it comes off your to-do list so you can do things you enjoy more!

What do you get from the President’s role?

Volunteering for APDO is undoubtedly a big commitment but it’s such an exciting time to be involved in this growing industry; I wouldn’t miss it for the world! We’re at a challenging transition point for the association as we position ourselves as THE go-to resource for professional organisers and the public. My board members, past and present, are a true inspiration. They are an enormous support as I learn and develop to be the best version of me that I can.

I see this role as supporting my personal goals of spreading the word further whether that’s speaking on stage, radio or TV (as well as continuing to work one-to-one with my clients). I feel our physical environment is so important to the way we operate and how we respond to the world and life’s curveballs. If I can help more people achieve some balance and joy that brings me huge satisfaction; it’s the ‘personal connection’ puzzle piece I was missing in my City days!

Screen shot of a video conference screen during an APDO virtual Board meeting

An APDO virtual Board meeting, one of 3 virtual meetings that the APDO Board hold each year

Why the sudden massive interest in decluttering and organising?

It’s been growing steadily for the past decade, but conversations have undoubtedly spiked with the Japanese decluttering expert Marie Kondo and her new show hitting Netflix this January. The fact that APDO has doubled our membership from 150 to over 300 members in the past 3 years demonstrates an increase in awareness as this as a career or business choice too.

With time being the most precious commodity of all, we’re all trying to find ways to gain time for friends, family and memorable experiences. One way to do that is to reduce what you need to curate, maintain, repair and replace in your home.  Great initiatives like the Library of Things are expanding where you can borrow household appliances that you only use once or twice a year instead of buying and storing them yourself.

I feel that social media is helping spread awareness about our buying patterns and the impact on the environment, especially issues like single-use plastic or throwaway clothing, so consumer habits are shifting too. These environmental trends align with the work we’re doing decluttering and asking our clients to consciously consider what’s necessary or joyful for them whilst trying to stem future influxes of items into their space.

I’m excited to see how things unravel over the next few years for APDO and all its members.

If Katherine’s story has inspired you to consider a career as a professional organiser, you can find out more about joining APDO here.

Happy Passover spring clearing

Spring clearing before Passover, the festival of freedom

For many Jewish families in the UK and beyond, spring clearing is a tradition that dates back thousands of years, because it’s linked to the festival of Passover which starts this year on the eve of 30 March. In this guest blog, Juliet Landau-Pope (JLP Coach) outlines the meaning of Passover and explains why the festival of freedom is an ideal opportunity to make time and space for what matters most.

What’s it all about?

Passover celebrates the redemption of the Hebrew slaves (Israelites) from the land of Egypt and their journey to the Promised Land. The name recalls the ten plagues sent by God to punish Pharoah and the Egyptians for rejecting Moses’ plea to ‘let my people go’. According to the book of Exodus, the Angel of Death passed over the homes of the Israelites and so they were spared.

Ultimately, Passover is a festival of freedom. (The Hebrew name for the holiday is Pesach from which the Latin and Greek word for Easter, Pascha, is derived.) According to tradition, the Israelites fled from Egypt in such a hurry that they didn’t have time to let their bread rise. That’s why Jews eat matzah, unleavened cracker-like bread, made only of flour and water.

A feast of freedom

Passover is one of the most important Jewish festivals; many who don’t identify as religious choose to take part in a seder, a festive evening that marks the beginning of the holiday. The meal is accompanied by songs, stories and discussions to encourage everyone present to participate. It includes many symbols to engage the senses: salt water to represent the tears of slaves; charoset, a paste made of nuts and dates that resembles the cement of the pyramids; and bitter herbs to signify the suffering of our ancestors.

Making space to share with others

Hospitality is a central theme of Passover so clearing space at home to welcome guests is an important part of the preparations. In addition to family members, it’s traditional to invite guests so hosting a seder is a feat of organisation – it’s often a long and rambunctious evening that requires a great deal of planning and preparation, such as moving furniture, extending tables, and borrowing extra chairs. To celebrate that we are no longer slaves, who had to eat while standing, there’s an emphasis on sitting comfortably or lounging on cushions.

Clearing and cleaning

During Passover, Jews traditionally refrain from eating foods made of grains – bread, pasta and cereals are off the menu. More observant Jews even use different cutlery and crockery so before the holiday, regular kitchenware is put away. Spring clearing before Passover is legendary.

To prevent contact with ‘forbidden’ foodstuffs, it’s customary to sweep and scrub every nook and cranny of the home and workplace. From cabinets and cupboards, fridges and furniture, you never know where those pesky breadcrumbs might lurk so it’s vital to clear before cleaning.

Past, present and future

Passover not only provides a history lesson but also a call to action, reminding us of the need to combat oppression and injustice that exists in the world today. Slavery can also be regarded as a metaphor for pressures of modern life, the ways in which we become enslaved by competition and consumerism, for example. Passover invites us to think about the personal meaning of liberation – how are you encumbered by the stuff in your space and in your schedule?

May this new season bring peace, freedom and positive change to all. And if you’re celebrating Passover, here’s to a chag Pesach sameach.

Juliet Landau-Pope is a declutter coach and study skills consultant. She has written two books: Being More Productive and Clearing Your Clutter.

If you need some help with your own spring clearing, you can find your local professional organiser here.

 

Project 3000 logo declutter organise

Decluttering with Project 3000

Claire Birnie of The Tidy Life Project started the Project 3000 challenge to help her declutter her own home, but it has taken off around the world with hundreds of people following her lead. Here Claire tells us all about this fun decluttering challenge and explains how you can get involved this Spring Clearing Week.

 

Disney princesses have undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years. In the 1980s The Little Mermaid’s Ariel gloried in her collection of gadgets and gizmos. Fast forward almost thirty years and Frozen’s Elsa exhorts the value of letting go.

Elsa, it would seem, is an early adopter of the growing trend towards decluttering, simple living and minimalism.

Never before in human history has the average family owned so much stuff. In fact, personal organisers have estimated that the average home holds as many as 300,000 items. With such an overwhelming number of belongings, it is little wonder that so many of us are seeking to declutter and simplify our lives.

decluttering services

 

Take a minute to look around you. If you are at home your surroundings are pretty familiar. That familiarity can often cause us to overlook the gradual and incremental increase in possessions building up around us. Yes, most of us know what we own, we just don’t know how much we own.

At the beginning of 2018, I decided to take action in decluttering my own home of the masses of unused and unneeded possessions that had built up without my knowledge. Over the course of one year, I planned to let go of 3,000 items – just one percent of that estimated total.

To hold myself accountable I committed to sharing my decluttering project on my Instagram page, using the hashtag #Project3000. It would serve as a motivator for me but also as a reminder to my clients and social media followers that professional organisers are not always perfect – we don’t live in magazine ready show homes!

When I began my clear out on January 1st I could not have predicted that Project 3000 would go global within a matter of weeks. Today there are participants on five continents, from the United States to Italy to Lebanon.

Project 3000 participants have reported feeling less stressed, calmer and even happier having decluttered their homes. Instead of the fears they normally associated with letting go – regret, anxiety, guilt – the more they let go, the more they want to let go. As the old saying goes, tidy home, tidy mind.

How you can join in the Project 3000 decluttering challenge:

  1. Set yourself a clear target goal and timeframe. It doesn’t have to be a year and it doesn’t have to be 3000 items – these are just suggestions. Find what works for you.
  2. Let go of your unwanted and unneeded items in as sustainable a way as possible. You can try selling, donating, upcycling and recycling. I have even been able to compost an old hat!
  3. Commit to not replacing the decluttered items with new ones.
  4. Love living with less.

Back in 1989, Ariel realised that her collections of thingamabobs were not making her happy. Today, you can follow Elsa’s lead and learn how to let it go!

 

If you would like some help with your Spring Clearing, you can find your local professional organiser here.

 

young woman clearing decluttering mind

Clearing the mind

We can all declutter our environments – our homes and places of work – but what about when our minds just won’t quieten down? Rachael Fenwick of Your Organised Life says that she has one of those minds that never stops thinking, planning and having a constant internal dialogue with itself. In this blog post, Rachael explains some methods to help us take back control and learn to switch off – which can help us to achieve our goals, be it daily goals or bigger life goals.

Mindfulness

A topical buzzword that’s been around for a while now is Mindfulness – learning to live in the NOW, to take each task or thought one at a time, to save us from mind-overload.

Earlier this year I attended an Ayurveda Retreat. It involved numerous hours of solitude each day; practising being mindful, and, as it was also a total detox from technology, it was easy to be mindful in this environment. (It also helps when your phone is confiscated for attempting to use it!)

What the three-day retreat taught me is that by being mindful in every moment, my mind can instantly calm down. I must focus on one thing at a time, so if I’m eating a meal I’m just eating – concentrating on the food, the flavours, the texture, the thought of nourishing my body. My thoughts and my subconscious aren’t allowed to take over. It’s rather powerful, extremely simple to do (with a little practice) and reaps instantaneous results.

If you’d like to find out more about the benefits of practicing mindfulness take a look at this website: www.bemindful.co.uk or or look up either of these informative books:

  • Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world” by Prof Mark Williams and Dr Danny Penman.
  • Modern Mindfulness” by Rohan Gunatillake

clearing decluttering the mind

Meditation

Another incredible way to switch off, clear the mind, relax and enjoy the moment is through Meditation. Just meditating for 10 or 15 minutes a day can have a huge impact on the mind, its clarity and calmness.

According to meditation expert Emily Fletcher (zivameditation.com), meditation provides your body with rest that is two to five times deeper than sleep.

Meditating for 20 minutes equates to taking a 90-minute nap, without having that “sleep hangover” afterwards. Instead, you’ll feel awake and refreshed, and, as Emily says, “more conscious.”

Meditation calms the nervous system, making it more orderly and thereby making it easier for your system to release pent-up stress. It also increases productivity, so in my opinion it’s a total winner. If you’d like to find out more, www.headspace.com is a great resource. I also love the book “Meditation for Beginners” by Jack Kornfield.

mediation clearing decluttering mind

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping is a relatively new discovery and a fast-evolving treatment in the West. Although the healing concepts that it’s based on have been practised in Eastern medicine for over 5000 years.

Like acupuncture and acupressure, Tapping is a set of techniques which use the body’s energy meridian points. You can stimulate these meridian points by tapping on them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power.

The technique works by releasing blockages within the energy system which are the source of emotional intensity and discomfort. These blockages in our energy system, in addition to challenging us emotionally, often lead to limiting beliefs and behaviours and an inability to live life harmoniously.

Resulting symptoms can be either emotional and/or physical and include lack of confidence and self-esteem, feeling stuck, anxious or depressed, or the emergence of compulsive and addictive behaviours.

It is now widely accepted that emotional disharmony is a key factor in physical symptoms and ‘dis-ease’. For this reason, these techniques are being extensively used on physical issues, including chronic illness, often with astounding results. As a result, these techniques are being accepted more and more in medical and psychiatric circles, as well as in the range of psychotherapies and healing disciplines.

EFT provides relief from most of these disturbances, often in minutes, and the results are usually long-lasting. In fact, EFT often provides relief where other techniques have failed and it has a high success rate, typically 80 per cent or better.

Understanding how emotional healing with EFT works may require an open mind for many people. The effectiveness of EFT only makes sense if it is related to the human energy system. Fortunately, you don’t have to believe any of this to receive the positive benefits of using these techniques.

Further information is available from www.thetappingsolution.com. An excellent introductory book on Tapping is “The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living” by Nick Ortner.

 

If Rachael’s post has inspired you to live a less cluttered life, you can find your local professional organiser here.

 

house decluttering service

Decluttering bad habits

When we think of bad habits we might think of biting our nails or smoking, but a habit is any regular tendency to do something, especially something that’s difficult to give up. It’s often a behaviour that has become engrained, we don’t even realise we’re doing it, or think that there could be another way. In this blog for Spring Clearing Week, Lesley Naylor of Clutter Therapy gives us some ideas on how to change old habits, look at how we organise things and realise that change is good and possible.

Hall Habits

The hall is the first thing you see when you get home. If you don’t have a hall as such then it’s wherever you hang your coats, kick off your shoes and throw your bags. For a lot of my clients this is a real problem area. They walk into their house and are straight away confronted by clutter. What a welcome! But rest assured, it’s often just habit. You wear a coat or jacket, then leave it in the hall. You use a bag, then leave it in the hall… and the same goes with shoes and post! But we’ll come to that later.

organised entrance hallway decluttered

My first tip would be to sit and think: what is it used for and what do you need? If you have space, I suggest a cupboard. One of my clients has a cupboard with hanging space and shelves which are used to store the ironing, because that’s what makes sense to her. Bars or shelves can be fitted at the bottom for shoes. Hooks for school bags or shopping bags can also be a good addition.

In a smaller space, coat hooks, with a shelf above, also work well. You can place small baskets on top for keys, gloves or hats. This also keeps keys out of sight of windows or the door. Limit the number of coats per person, as this easily gets out of hand. Have a day each week when the coats are cleared and hung back in the wardrobes. This also helps the coats and jackets keep their shape.

Shoes are often stored in the hall and there are many different styles of storage available. My old friend Google can help here. These can look very attractive and keep shoes tidy, but again once each week declutter and store surplus shoes upstairs.

Drawers are great for scarves. Fold scarves and store them so that you can see them all at first glance. It’s like a filing system. It’s important to make the space work and look inviting for you and your guests!

Postal habits

Let’s face it, life is busy but turning your back on the post can be like turning your back on the ocean – it catches you out! Piles of paper come into our homes every week through the letterbox, in children’s school bags or home from work. It’s so easy to get into bad habits of “I’ll open it later” or “I’ll deal with it tomorrow”. Often clutter is merely delayed actions and decisions. If you have a mail avoidance habit and want to take control, it can be done. I have spent a lot of time with clients opening avoided post, which they thought was unimportant, only to find cheques, important information and invitations or appointments, which they missed!

Organised mail on a hall table

Again, spend some time thinking about what will work for you. The first thing I suggest is having an easily accessible recycling bin for all the unwanted advertising letters and flyers. Having a shredder nearby also works so you don’t put any personal information straight into the bin. You should aim to cut down the amount of stored paperwork and, whenever possible, have a one touch habit. Don’t need it? Deal with it now!

In an ideal world, dealing with everything immediately is best. Alternatively, having trays or a drawer containing separate sections, close to where the post comes in works well.
1. Action (Give yourself a time limit to deal with this)
2. File (Empty regularly)
3. Time-limited information (e.g. notifications)
Once a week check through and most importantly, take action.

Car Clutter Habit

Car clutter seems simple, but it really is a bad clutter habit. My big tip is to have a roll of small bin liners in the glove compartment. When you’re stuck in traffic or arrive early somewhere have a tidy. Take your parking tickets, sweet wrappers, papers and sandwich wrappers home and bin them. It’s a good habit to get into!

The put it down and leave it a habit.

This habit can happen anywhere and it’s a big one. Once something has been left there for some time it just blends into everything else and gets added to and added to. It becomes one mess instead of individual objects. This can easily become overwhelming.

To avoid this happening do the reset test. Take a few minutes at the end of the day. Look around on your way upstairs and take the things that belong up there with you. Deliver them to where they live. Having a place for everything – like with like – is key. Get others in the house to help and build good habits for your children. Coach them in being organised when they’re young, it’s like giving them a gift for the future, and make it fun! A few minutes a day is so much better than the unsettling feeling of always having lots to do but not being able to face it because it’s a huge task.

In summary

These are just four habits that, if broken, will make a big difference, but all clutter habits can be thought of in the same way.

Think about your clutter making habit. Why is it happening? What will work for you? Can you put a better system in place? Even small changes can make a big difference. Then keep it up. Good luck!

 

If you would like some help with resetting your habits to organise your home, you can find a local professional organiser here.

 

 

organise my house declutter organise wardrobe

Marie Kondo and Spring clearing

In recent years, Marie Kondo and her bestselling book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying” have brought decluttering and clearing out into the spotlight. APDO member Clara Moore, of Glasgow professional organising company Joy of Space, is one of the UK’s first qualified Marie Kondo Consultants. In this blog post for Spring Clearing Week, she tells us all about the “KonMari” method.

tidy organised decluttered shelves of books and ornaments

Decluttering using the Marie Kondo method

Are you a tidy person? Do you have tidy habits? Did anyone ever teach you how to be like this?

I know I wasn’t taught this as a child. Through persistence and trial and error, I worked to develop these skills for myself, but it wasn’t until I came across the KonMari method of life tidying that it all fell into place.

I was so deeply inspired by her book and her method, that I immediately undertook what Marie Kondo calls a “life tidying festival”. From then on it has been so much easier to spring clean – something I enjoy doing every few months rather than just once a year.

Marie Kondo developed her method on:

  • six basic rules of tidying
  • the act of one big life tidying festival
  • the act of confronting yourself, your habits and your nature.

The Marie Kondo method

Marie Kondo firmly purports that “life truly begins only after you have put your house in order”, which is why she has devoted most of her life to tidying, not only through her core business of working one-to-one with clients, but also through her books, her network of consultants, and her #organizetheworld hashtag. It all comes together to fulfil her heartfelt wish to help as many people as possible to tidy up, once and for all.

The 6 rules of tidying:

Marie Kondo method is guided by 6 basic rules:

1) Commit yourself to the decluttering process
2) Imagine your ideal lifestyle
3) Finish discarding first before organising
4) Tidy by category, not by location
5) Follow the right order of category
6) Ask yourself if items spark joy

So how to do this:

Develop the skill to know yourself and know what sparks joy for you. By doing this you choose to have around you only the things that spark joy in you, either because you feel deeply connected to them or because they fulfil a necessary function in your life. Through discarding all the things that do not fall into this category you can start to attain your ideal lifestyle.

The Marie Kondo method suggests that you work through your belongings in the following order:
1) Clothes
2) Books
3) Paperwork
4) Komono (everything else)
5) Sentimental items

organised clothes in drawer Marie Kondo

Once you have discarded all the items that do not spark joy or feel relevant to you, the next step is to choose where to store each item and then to return it to it’s home after each use.  By doing this you cut down on the fatigue of continually searching for items and having to make multiple decisions. For example, “Where are my house/car keys?” “They are in the dish where I decided to store them and where I put them back after every single use”.

This approach works on two levels: by changing your way of thinking and by developing your tidying skills – thus changing your mindset and transforming your life.

Taking loving care of your belongings naturally results in a deeper connection with them, and a feeling of taking good care of yourself.

Spring is a perfect time to open yourself to this, as the days get lighter and brighter let yourself be inspired to declutter and let your home breathe as you make space for your current wishes, dreams and passions. Keep what is relevant to you now. Breathe new life into your home, create space. Let go, with love, the unfinished books, unloved clothes, unfinished creative projects – take joy in donating these items and passing them on to new homes.

For further information on the process of the KonMari method, you can find details in her books, in KonMari media and on my website www.joyofspace.uk

In summary, springtime and Spring Clearing Week is the perfect time to make up your mind to do something about any clutter, dirt and grime that has gathered in your home and your life. How much stuff is enough for you? What brings you joy? By confronting your home and belongings, and how you currently relate to them, one by one, you can give yourself the space to feel the truly spring-like pleasure of an amazing transformation, and the relief that you have finally spring cleaned your habits.

 

If you feel that you would like to wave a magic wand and have all your spring clearing already done, and tidy habits in place, remember that there are lots of lovely professional organisers out there who would love to help you achieve this wish and who love sharing their tidying and decluttering skills. You can find a professional organiser near you at this link.