Spring cleaning – Declutter with me (and how to prevent recluttering!)

After a long-than-usual hibernation period here at Cassiefairy HQ, it is now time for me to start spring cleaning. In particular, I’m tackling one of my favourite activities – decluttering. I love a good clear-out and really appreciate the extra space I gain by removing some of my lesser-used items. Here are some ideas to boost your spring cleaning and minimising efforts this year…

All that surprise snow in March and April has made me feel like spring hasn’t really arrived yet this year. Although it’s sunny most days, there’s still always a thick frost when I wake up in the morning so it still feels really Wintery. And when it’s dark and cold, I simply don’t feel like getting on with too much tidying and decluttering. I like to save this task for the optimistic days of spring and summer, then cosy-up in the autumn and winter.

If you too are overdue a bit of a Spring clean, I thought it might be handy to share the steps I used to get my home and belongings in order this month.

DECLUTTERING

To be honest with you, it’s one of my favourite tasks. No matter how many things I decide to let go, there always seems to be more that I could do So any given afternoon you’ll find me looking though a box and choosing some things to get rid of. It’s just my preference to have fewer items and more space – because that also equals more time to yourself, as you’re no long having to organise and clean those things.

It can be hard to let things go, and there’s no need to declutter sentimental items. The best advice I’ve come across for minimising your stuff is to choose what to keep rather than what to get rid of. Minimalist Francine Jay introduced this idea and I find it to be a much more happier way to categorise your belongings. It allows you to look at the positive aspects of your items – whether it’s handy for perform a task, whether you love the way it looks or if you enjoy the way it makes you feel – and then decide if you still need it.

STORAGE

When you’re deciding what to keep it’s important to bear in mind the fact that you’ll need to store it somewhere. There are a couple of options for storage – at home and away from home. The first one is making sure that you have somewhere to store the belonging in your home – everything should have its place. That could be a chest of drawers you’ve cleared out, shelves, cupboards or even some handy underbed storage like the sliding drawers I made for myself this year.

The second option is for items that you want to keep but don’t need to keep close to hand – such as a sentimental items, your childhood belongings and hand-me-downs. These you’ll need to pack safely away in sealed boxes and find somewhere else to store them so that they’re not cluttering up your living space. Spaces such as attics are suitable for small items (they’ve got to fit through the loft hatch, after all) but, for sentimental pieces of furniture you’ve inherited or larger items like a childhood rocking horse, you’re going to need more space so a storage unit or garage could be the solution.

If you’re going to store items away from your home it’s important to choose a local self storage option so that you can revisit it regularly and continue to work through your belongings and minimise more items. If it’s too far away to visit on a regular basis, you’ll probably forget all about it rather than clear it out! A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used something for a year, you might be able to let it go, because it’s unlikely that you’ll use it the following year either. Sure, you might want to hang onto special collections or a piece of furniture that has been handed-down through the family, but try to find a space for it in your home so that you can appreciate it and enjoy it in the future.

PREVENTING RECLUTTERING

Recluttering is a term I recently came across on a minimalist blog and it’s an important part of the spring cleaning and decluttering process. When you’ve cleared out some stuff and have finally have a bit of space in your home, it can be tempting to fill up those empty spaces with more stuff. After all, if you’ve got an empty hallway table, you might as well use that drawer for something, right? And that’s precisely when you might be tempted to go out shopping, spend money (that you could be saving!), buy some new stuff and reclutter your home.

Instead, I’d recommend spreading out your existing belongings so that they’ve got more space in your drawers and cupboards. That way it’ll be easier to access your items when you need them AND you won’t feel like you have empty spaces that you’ll feel the urge to fill. After all, if you buy more items, you’re only going to end up decluttering them in a few year’s time, so why not cut out this process altogether?

CLEANING

Now that you’ve got less stuff to clean, doing your big spring clean is going to be SO much easier. You won’t need to move as many items out of the way while cleaning, and you don’t have extra pieces of furniture to vacuum around or nik-naks to dust. So, instead of wasting your time cleaning and organising all the excess stuff (which has now gone!) you’ve now got more time to get out the steam cleaner and the window washing gear and get those surfaces sparkling. It’s so lovely to have clean windows with the sunshine streaming in, isn’t it?

What do you think of my decluttering process? Will you be having a spring clear out this year? Let me know you own decluttering tips and spring cleaning hacks in the comments below and best of luck with your own minimising efforts! 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

2 thoughts on “Spring cleaning – Declutter with me (and how to prevent recluttering!)

  1. Haha same here! There’s a blog post on TheoreticalMinimalist.com about recluttering and that’s the first time I’ve heard of it! 🙂

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