Why wait until spring to do your cleaning and decluttering? The winter months are usually known as the hibernation period and if cold nights, rainy days and early sunsets leave you stuck inside why not make the most. Beat the winter blues and create a peaceful, cosy home by crossing-off some ‘spring-cleaning’ jobs off your to-do list now and free up time to enjoy the summer sunshine when spring does eventually bloom again.
Here are a few tips to help you start the ‘winter-clean’:
1. Make clear goals for yourself and follow them
It’s easy to set vague goals for ourselves because when we don’t reach them, we can claim that they were impossible anyhow. But if you would like to declutter your life, make you goals definite and achievable, break them down into smaller goals and mark off when you achieve each step so that you know you are making headways and you are moving forward. Go room by room through the house and tackle one problem area at a time, and don’t get discouraged, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you probably won’t be able to declutter the whole house in one go – but keep going!
2. Put the six-month rule in place
Physical clutter is usually the result of not throwing away old things that you no longer use. We keep things for various reasons – for nostalgic reasons or because you feel that you might need it someday. But how do you determine between something that you need and something that you should throw away? A suggestion is to put a six month rule in place: if you haven’t used something in six months, and you don’t feel like it is something you would keep around for future generations (such as a keepsake or a memory), you should toss it away or give it away. This is a way to make sure that you don’t end up hoarding objects that you don’t need.
3. Get your digital life in order
Even though the digital era has made storing important information easier, finding an image of file that isn’t labelled correctly can sometimes be just as difficult searching through online folders as offline documents. So when you clean out your house, make a point to spring clean your online life too. Clean out your desktop, create folders for important information, backup important documents and pictures, unsubscribe from unused newsletters and clean out your email inbox. And while your online upgrade your software and apps and ensure your security settings are in place.
4. Set up a home office for all of your files
Receipts, bills, and household documents quickly pile up, and when the fridge starts to make a gurgling sound and you can’t find the warranty or the user guide in that pile, or this frustration rises! Make it easier on yourself by setting up a home office where you can file all your documents. It can be a ‘study’ room in your home, or even just a desk or corner. Create a system that you can understand, file your documents by date, or category, this will help to increase your productivity. Convert a bookcase or cabinet with boxes and holders into the perfect filing system. Also look to companies like Capitec Bank that support digital innovation and enable you to live better and get rid of the paper clutter. The app allows you to send electronically stamped statements to your e-mail address straight from their app instead of paperwork lying around.
5. Declutter your schedule
This is an understated point on this list but one of the most important ones. If you ever feel like you're running from activity to activity with no time for yourself, it’s time to clear the schedule. Women often forget that we can only do so much and we don’t have to say yes to everything. While there are some commitments we can’t escape, such as work and kids, others we can, so start decluttering by thinking about what and who makes you happy and learn to say no to the rest. Keep control of your schedule by create a list of what you want to and need to achieve each week, assign a goal to each day, and then cross them off as you accomplish them.
The benefits of being organised and decluttered, at home and at the office, are increasingly promoted as being able to help people think more clearly and be more productive, as well as lifting our moods. So make your move while you are hibernating this winter and get a start on decluttering your life for a new you come spring time.