a spring cleaning guide : on stuff and clutter
When I picked up Poet from pre-school last week, most of the children were sniffly, the parents croaky. The nasty flu is making its way around our community and while I chatted with parents about illness and remedy the conversation naturally veered towards the current state of our homes. Basically, the mess is rife and we haven’t had a chance to catch up. We’re waiting for the warmth of spring and the last of the coughs to leave and then….it’s time to clear our clutter.
The concept of clutter is an intriguing one and in preparation for this community spring clean I’ve proposed, I’ve been reading up on the subject in Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. Think of it as a discussion on clutter from an energetic perspective – and a guide to clearing it. I must admit, I’ve always regarded feng shui to be a little too esoteric for me. However, I’ve gleaned a lot from this book (even if it meant skipping past the hippy paragraphs). To sum up its message in one sentence: clutter holds stale, stagnant, draining energy which, once cleared, gives you more motivation, inspiration, time and perspective.
So why does clearing clutter seem overwhelming to many of us? Because the simple act of looking at it is draining in itself. Dealing with the clutter, clearing it, takes some self-motivation but once you start, you quickly realise how satisfying the process can be, hence you gain more energy to keep going. It’s also a fantastic way to deal with stress and anxiety – getting rid of the stuff that’s weighing you down in your own home.
A few tips to consider as we countdown to spring:
– identify the clutter zones in your home (this won’t take much thought; it’s usually quite obvious). For me, it’s the entryway, the kitchen bench, one corner of the lounge room and the garage. I particularly loathe the clutter in the entryway because it obstructs a smooth journey in and out of the house.
– ensure that there is a clear walkway from your front door to your backdoor – no obstructions. If things are in the way, they make the simple act of moving around your house to be difficult and, at times, stressful.
– create a junk drawer in every room, if need be (I prefer to call it a miscellany drawer). But, choose a small drawer, use it sparingly, have regular clear outs.
– take a look at all the doors in your home and ask yourself: are they easy to open and shut? If they’re not, remove the obstruction (anything stacked behind the door, laundry baskets, bags etc). If you can open and shut your doors without effort, life becomes that bit easier (and you have more time).
– clutter occurs in your kitchen, too. Take a look at your pantry, perhaps it’s time to use up the food in there before you buy any more? I foresee a few chickpea curries in our near future.
– observe your children over the next week – what do they play with, what toys haven’t they touched in the past year? I know it’s most definitely time for a big toy clear out in our house.
– plan to start small (a kitchen or bathroom drawer or even your handbag – yes, portable clutter exists) and then slowly progress onto the larger, more clutter-filled areas of your home
– make decluttering a priority and create set times to do it (an hour here, an hour there) otherwise it will never get done.
– finally, ask yourself: if I was moving house tomorrow, what would I get rid of so I didn’t have to cart it to a new home?
Are you feeling motivated? I am!