This past Monday (March 20, 2017) was the official first day of spring. Many people, including myself, connect spring with spring cleaning. Personally, I love cleaning, my friends and family make fun of me all the time for it. I know there are many people out there that despise cleaning and organizing, and I totally get it. But sometimes, you just need to pause your busy life so you clean the mess around you.
In honor of spring and spring cleaning, I want to share some of my cleaning and organization tips with you!
There’s a difference between WANT and NEED.
Start going through your things and ask yourself “Do I really need this?” More often than not, we tend to collect things we don’t necessarily need, and those things start to pile up. Personally, I have what I like to call my “I have no idea where this should go drawer,” and you may have something similar. Go through those things you’ve collected over time and get rid of the things you don’t need.
Use the one year rule.
Simply put, if you haven’t used, worn, or thought about using a certain item for a year (or maybe even a few months), get rid of it. If you can go that long without using it, it probably isn’t important enough to keep.
Find storage that works for you.
This works for digital and physical things. Need space on your phone? Find a cloud service you like or transfer your files to your computer or maybe an external drive. Need space in your house? Get some storage boxes, drawers, or closet organizers so you can move things around. You may surprise yourself with how much extra room you have once you organize your clutter.
Folders and tags… Use them.
This, like storage, works for both digital and physical things. I do work on my computer everyday. I have hundreds upon thousands of files that I’ve worked on, so I created my own labeling and tagging system to help me keep track of everything. It’s helped immensely over the years, I’m able to find whatever I need quickly and efficiently. Same with your physical things, label your storage boxes. Find a labeling and tagging system that works for you and start using it.
Donate, donate donate!
Not everything needs to be thrown away. If something you no longer need is still in good condition, whether it’s clothes, furniture, electronics, or whatever else, find someone or somewhere to donate it to. Your “trash” always has the chance to be someone else’s treasure. Donating your items can help to save someone lots of money, and who doesn’t like to save money?
Use a calendar.
This may not work for everyone, but I can honestly say that it helps me a lot. I add things on the digital calendar I have on my phone, but I also keep a physical wall calendar that is placed above my desk. Having a reminder go off on my phone when I have an event coming up is great, but sometimes I ignore it and totally forget about what I needed to do. Having my wall calendar right in front of my face everyday helps me to see and remember what I have coming up.
Write it down.
Whether your type out a note on your phone or you write it out on a piece of paper, take notes! Personally, I like to take the time to physically write things down because it helps me remember things better.
Tidy up your work space.
Don’t let your work pile up. Finish things in a timely manner and clear your workspace as you go. The more you let things pile up, whether it’s papers on your desk or folders on your computer desktop, tidy up when you can. The more things begin to pile up, the less motivated you’ll be to get work done.
Besides cleaning my physical space and digital space, what I like to do is clean up my mind. It might sound strange to you, but for me, someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, my mind gets cluttered over time. To cope with the chaos in my head, there are some simple things that I do, that you might benefit from, too!
Keep a feelings journal.
No one has to read it besides you, so write whatever you want. Be honest with yourself, make it personal, spill out all of your thoughts and feelings. I like to write in my journal every night before I go to bed, it helps me to decompress whatever happened throughout the day.
Keep an idea journal.
Especially for those who work in creative fields, like myself. If you’re like me, sometimes when I get an idea, it stays with me for a second and leaves in an instant. You never know when a good idea will come to you. Keep a little notebook with you so whenever or wherever you get an idea, you can jot it down before you forget.
Focus on the good.
This one might sound a little weird, but hear me out. We let negative thoughts take up space in our mind all the time. Clear out the bad and make space for the good.
Now… Get to cleaning!