Five Steps to Clear Out the Clutter
The thought of decluttering for spring can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. We reached out to professional organizer and Mt. Pleasant resident, Jen Van Buskirk of Home Organizing by Jen, to discover her secrets to professionally organizing and energizing a space. Follow these five decluttering steps to make any space positively radiant this spring:
Focus on one area
When setting goals, it is helpful to break them into smaller goals. “It is a very dangerous approach to focus on the whole home at once,” Buskirk cautions. Focus on which spaces are going to give you the most satisfaction. Is it that disheveled closet? Is it a disorganized home office? Start with whichever space intuitively comes to you first.
For those who may be intimidated by larger projects, once you have chosen a space, start by breaking it into micro-projects. For example, if organizing a closet, focus on one aspect at a time (think categories: blouses, shoes, etc.). Set aside fifteen minutes each day to work on your project until it is complete. Watch your space gradually transform with each passing day.
Let it go
Letting go can be tough, but it is a necessary step in creating a more organized and positive space. To truly gain a sense of what belongs in a home, items must be addressed individually. “You can look at your scarfs and think, ‘I love them all,’ but then, you aren’t addressing each individual piece,” Buskirk says.
Pick one item at a time and ask yourself: “Do I love it?” “Does it make me happy?” “Do I actually wear it?” If you can’t answer yes, it’s time to let go. You may be holding onto an item because somebody special gave it to you, but these items can build up quickly. If you are holding onto old gifts out of guilt or negative feelings, it’s time to let it go.
“If it doesn’t make you happy and if it isn’t serving you, then it has no purpose in your space.”
A key component to organization is categorizing. When addressing each item individually, ask yourself, “What other items do I think of with this piece?” If you want to find batteries, do you think of light bulbs? Tools? You probably don’t think of cleaning supplies. Organization by category will vary from one person to the next, but it is vital that it makes sense and flows with an individual’s lifestyle.
“It’s important to question how you’ve always done it,” she advises, “I come into spaces where people will put something in a place because that’s where it has always been, but it might make sense to put it somewhere else.”
Once you have completed your project, it’s important to keep it that way. The #1 culprit of disorganization is not being in the present moment.
Buskirk comments, “Often, we are so busy and preoccupied that we don’t pay attention to what we are doing.”
Suddenly, a once organized space is chaotic. When we practice mindfulness by taking the time to put items back in their proper homes, these tiny choices can make a great impact.
When you look around your home, ask yourself how your space makes you feel. Are you anxious? Or are you at peace?
“Letting go of those pressures and negative things in your space really puts a positive aspect on your life,” she says.
Decluttering can be a positive experience and one that leads to energizing not just your home, but you. Just in time for spring.
For more spring cleaning tips, check out organizecharleston.com.
Home Organizing by Jen