Hello my friends,
Welcome to May when things start to feel lighter and brighter. After such a cold spring on the east coast even the word ‘May’ seems to fill people with glee. While it may not be shorts and flip flops weather yet, our thoughts are beginning to turn to days spent outside soaking up the sun, fresh beginnings and packing away the cold weather gear we are truly sick of. All of these thoughts lead to thoughts of spring cleaning.
There is something about throwing open your windows, hanging clothes on the line, packing up heavy coats, sweaters and long johns it all feels . . . freeing. I am not immune to that desire to freshen up our closets and our living space. I was raised with the thought that when your chores are done you can fully enjoy your relaxation. No nagging thoughts of dishes to be done or floors to be swept, just you and your leisure. This is the mindset that fires my need to create order in the house at this time of year. If I can get the mucking out done and get the household running smoothly before summer arrives there won’t be anything hanging over my head on beach days. That is some excellent motivation.
My plan is to spend the month of May tackling the clutter and finding a place for all things. As I’ve said before I am no minimalist. I never will be, I enjoy my stuff too much. But I have also come to the place when I must be honest with myself, after all I am 48 years old, it’s time. I need to stop defending my chaos of things and admit that it does create a certain low level of stress in my life. I can enjoy having my books and whatnots more if there is a bit of order. Boy oh boy getting to that little bit of order is a long long journey.
I am hoping that all of you would be willing to send me some of your ‘spring cleaning’ advice and tips. What do you tackle this time of year? What are your best clutter busting tricks? Being a bit of a bibliophile when faced with a task I turn to a book. Over the years I have accumulated a few books on getting organized (I know some of you are laughing and that’s okay).
A friend gave me one for my birthday a few years back, perhaps a not so subtle hint I needed to make a few changes. I am currently revisiting that book and this time round I seem to be ready to embrace some of the wisdom contained within.
Over on the Letter’s Facebook page I will be dropping a couple of tips each week. I am looking forward to your thoughts and guidance. What has worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you? Let’s use the month of May to encourage each other. I want you to be able to sit on your back deck, park bench, beach blanket and rest in the knowledge that all the winter boots are packed away and in a place you will be able to find them next December.
How do you approach spring cleaning and clutter busting? Here is my ‘getting started’ list. What would you add to the list to increase our chances of being successful? Far too often, even with my best intentions I get overwhelmed and throw in the towel. Not this year! This year by the end of May we will all be able to look back and see marked improvement, so say we all!
Mindset: Begin by giving yourself permission to part with things. For many this is a no brainer but for us clutter junkies it’s a huge step. It can be an emotional battle, but I assure you the result will be worth it. As I have moved things out of our house the weight of being the caretaker for all ‘that stuff’ has been lifting and it feels great!
Make a Plan: A. Figure out what needs to be done in each room. This step makes my little “list making” heart sing. I like to see that visual reminder of what I need to do next and the beautiful check marks of completed tasks. B. Decide where you are sending things that are leaving your home, set out the bags or boxes before you start. It is easier to part with things if you know where they are going. Is there someone you know who can use children’s hand me downs? A charity shop you can donate to? (BFM, Salvation Army, local woman’s shelter, Hospice, etc.) Do you throw yard sales or does someone you know? You could fill a box for them. Have a box or bag for recycling and another for garbage. Unfortunately we all have things that should be just tossed not given away, be honest with yourself. As you see these containers begin to fill you will get a shot of encouragement.
Have your supplies ready: Far too often a cleaning session has been derailed because I ran out of glass cleaner or garbage bags or whatever. It was all the opening the procrastinator that lurks inside me needed to leave the job for another day.
Pace Yourself: As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day but everyday they did lay some bricks. You know yourself, you know the time and energy you have, use it wisely and don’t allow yourself to be discouraged. Some people set a timer and work for an hour. Others choose to tackle one area at a time, the bathroom cupboard, one dresser drawer, etc. Whatever your method beware of the bunny trails! There is nothing so discouraging as getting to the end of your time and realizing you began six different things and completed none of them.
What other recommendations would you add to our getting started list? What jobs are you going to complete this May? As always I am looking forward to hearing from you. Be sure to keep an eye on the Facebook page for tips and inspiration. We can all use more people in our cheering section and I am happy you have chosen me to be in yours.
Until next time,
Your Post Mistress,