Spring Cleaning: Get Clutter Free in No Time

Spring — despite the late-winter snow on the ground — is just around the corner. Each as year days lengthen and evening light starts lingering long into the night — if we’re paying attention — we get to watch the world come back to life. Like Snow White from her slumber, the earth awakens to the promise that comes with the season of rebirth.

And Spring, for many, signifies another kind of rebirth. A chance to set the reset button on our lives, to make a fresh start. A great way to get started is to lighten your load by getting rid of the stuff you don’t need, but sometimes it can be hard to get started. Check out some of the best methods we’ve found for kicking your Spring Cleaning into high-gear — give them a go and you’ll be clutter free in no time!

Start Small

Taking on too much at once rarely works like you might imagine. Instead of celebrating untold success we find ourselves overwhelmed — having bitten off more than we can chew — and wind up unable to finish what we started. But if we tackle smaller projects we’ll get to get a lot more done in the end and avoid choking along the way.

Trash Bag Bonanza

Fill a trash bag with things you no longer want or need. When the bag is full anything that isn’t actual trash can be separated for donation, the rest should (immediately) go in an outdoor garbage bin. And make sure anything headed out for donation goes ASAP or you’ll just wind up storing things that would do much more good free from your basement.

4 Boxes

A simple, easy method for cutting clutter from your house, the 4 box method separates your belongings into 4 categories for sorting; trash, donate, keep, and fix/mend. Begin with one room (the smallest is a good place to start) and fill boxes until everything is sorted. Consider a room done once the items in each category are where they’re meant to be — the garbage, the consignment shop, the sewing bin, or back in its proper place.

Closet Hanger Experiment

Developed by Peter Walsh and popularized by Oprah, the hanger experiment is a simple and effective way to rid your closets of clothes you no longer wear. Start by hanging everything up with hangers hung backwards. As you wear and return clothes to the closet replace them with the hangers facing the right way. At the end of six months, anything on hangers still facing the wrong way gets pulled and donated — you’ll be amazed at how much you’re able to give away!

30-Day Minimalism Game

The brainchild of The Minimalists, #mingame is a decluttering method that enlists your friends. Starting on the first day of the month you each get rid of one item — anything — clothes, furniture, toys, electronics. The second day you say goodbye to two things, the third three, and so on and so forth. The one to keep going longest wins the game, but if by the end of the month you’ve both kept up you’ll each have gotten rid of 574 items and everyone wins!

Robyn McNeil is a Nova Scotia-based freelance writer, bartender, and assistant editor of the Whole Family Happiness Project. She lives in Halifax, with her son and a penchant for really strong tea, yoga, hammocks, and hoppy beer.


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