Way, way back in the 1400s, the word “clotern” was used to describe a blockage or clot “formed by heaping things on top of each other.” In the 1570s, the term evolved to “clutter,” defined as: “Things lying in heaps or crowded confusion.” It wasn’t until the 1940s when “declutter” became a term in our everyday vernacular, meaning, quite literally, to remove the clutter.
Here’s another fun fact: According to a recent report by Statista, 69% of people engage in Spring cleaning each year. And while some of that may be dusting cobwebs from bedroom corners or vacuuming curtains in the den, a lot of spring cleaning projects involve decluttering messy spaces. (Decluttering is also essential for those who are thinking about putting their home on the market; chaos takes away from prospective buyers seeing a property in its best and most organized light.)
So, if you’re about to embark in your yearly Spring decluttering, these five tips will help you get started:
Break down small spaces. Target, Home Depot or our local hardware store sells drawer dividers and small modular organizers that can help you organize a shelf or drawer. Many times, clutter happens when items are allowed to roam freely inside a small space – use drawer dividers in your desk to separate pens from markers or in your refrigerator to keep the vegetables separate from the fruits.
Label your containers. For your kitchen pantry, purchase leak-proof containers for your canned goods, rice, pasta and other food that can be stored and stacked. One important tip is to label your containers, so you know exactly where your pantry items are at a glance.
Be ruthless in your elimination efforts. Marie Kondo famously encourages decluttering enthusiasts to remove whatever “doesn’t spark joy.” But, if you can’t figure out whether that cracked vase you bought on that road trip makes you truly happy, here’s another barometer you can try… Have you used the item in the past year? Will you use it in the next 12 months? If the answer to both questions is “no,” you can probably donate or toss it.
Keep a donation box in your closet. Have you ever tried something on and thought, “What was I thinking when I bought that?” Puzzled, you replace it back in your closet and move on with your day. Imagine now there’s a box in your closet, where instead of hanging the sparkly 80s inspired turtleneck back up, you place it in the box and at the end of the month, donate whatever’s inside! Who knows? Maybe your fashion faux pas will be someone’s wardrobe favorite.
So, if you are Spring cleaning because you’re planning to sell be sure to contact us for proven ways you can maximize property value and get your home ready for sale!