Spring Clearing Week starts today. Why Spring Clear?

Today marks the start of Spring Clearing Week; an opportunity to reflect on our lives and ensure that our home (our sanctuary) supports us to live our best life. It’s a chance to remove any physical clutter and create calm, order and space for what’s important.

What is Spring Clearing Week?

You’re probably familiar with Spring Cleaning – the practice of turning everything out and giving the house a deep cleaning. But did you know that 50% of the UK population have abandoned the traditional spring clean due to apathy and a lack of time (MoneyMagpie).

Happily, the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO) is keen that we don’t lose this valuable chance to clear our homes of any physical (and associated mental) clutter so have launched Spring Clearing Week.

Isn’t it an outdated tradition anyway?

Spring cleaning is this thought to have many origins (read more here) but regardless of how it came about, Spring Cleaning – the act of turning out the contents of the home to clean, gave our ancestors chance to review their possessions and clear out what they no longer needed.

Arguably there is no longer the need to clean up the mess left from burning wood and whale oil and with modern inventions such as the vacuum cleaner it’s much easier to maintain a clean home. However, whilst our homes may be cleaner than days of old, they are substantially fuller. We have the technological and economic capability to acquire more things, but the lack of time to manage our ‘stuff’. We also know more about mental health and that our full homes are having a negative impact on our stress levels and ability to focus. It’s more important than ever that we maintain a tradition of sorting through our things.

The psychological benefits of creating a calmer more organised environment to live and work are well-known.

A good declutter will:

  • create a sense of confidence by practising decision-making skills
  • address the disorder that causes feelings of frustration and anxiety
  • enable mindfulness whilst engaging in physical activity
  • free up physical space for thinking and relaxing
  • remove distractions enabling focus and productivity

So Let’s go for it!

Have I convinced you yet? Come on! I want you to have a go – it doesn’t have to be your whole house, but try to tackle one area of your home as we step into Spring!

I’ll be joining you too! Every day this Spring Clearing Week, I’ll be sharing my experience and tips as I declutter our spare room and create space for a much-needed office.

See my progress and read my tips on social media:

Competition Time!

I’m also offering one lucky winner organising support from me worth £150

This support will be tailored to the individual and will include:

  • Up to 4 hours of practical tailored advice
  • Hints, tips and ideas to make the desired changes
  • A choice of planner to keep the spring clearing on track or organise household tasks
  • Support to tackle possessions
  • A sample of doTERRA essential oils to relax or energise

Storage Ideas for Children’s Things

School holidays are the perfect time to organise children’s things. You can engage your children in sharing the toys, books and clothes that they’ve out grown and learning important organising skills for themselves.

You can read more about decluttering with children in my previous blog. Here I share ideas for organising clothes and common toys:

Children’s Clothes

Store clothes that you want your child to access easily to get themselves ready, in drawers at their height. It’s a faff the first time, but if you fold everything into small chunks (Marie Kondo style so that they stand up in the drawer) and use small boxes or dividers to separate the vests, tops, leggings etc. It’s really easy to see everything and choose outfits quickly. It’s also easy to maintain.

Hang coats, dresses, things that crease easily in a wardrobe, putting items you rather they didn’t get hold off to the edge, out of the way.

Given that children grow so quickly, I find it’s unusual to have more than a few seasons worth of clothes out at one time, so I tend to hang things in sections – q) starting to grow out of, 2) fits, 3) need to grow into. Use high shelves to stash a clear plastic box of hand-me-downs and clothes you’ve bought in sales ready for them to grow into.

Lego

Lego and other construction toys can be tough to store because there’s so much of it and it gets everywhere. If you’ve looked at storage ideas before you’ll have seen there are lots of ideas from Lego tables, walls, drawers and so on. I think your approach to storage works best when tailored to the way your child likes to play with it. Your main aim is to make it as easy as possible to put away for everyone.

If your child likes to build the individual kits then store in individual bags or boxes of a suitable size and include the instructions too.

If your child likes to create new things from their kits, and you don’t see value in having different coloured sections, a large crate works very well. Everything can be swept into it at the end of a session and new things created next time. We keep the instructions in a magazine file but a clear pocket book is a good alternative.

(Just so you know I’m an Amazon affiliate so receive commission if you shop via these links)

Books

Create a cosy book corner or library area where all books live. Store books on little shelves, in book cases or boxes depending on the volume, size and age of your child. Add cushions, a comfy chair or bean bag and maybe a canopy to make it feel like a safe and special nook for quiet time. It’ll give them the freedom to choose their own stories, read independently and be a great place for your child to sit quietly and relax. Also, it’ll be easy to keep the house tidy – all books are returned to this place.

Crafts things

I love to use clear plastic crates with lids for craft items so that the contents can be easily identified. Large ones work for papers and coloured card. Smaller containers are good for beads, feathers, goggly eyes and the like.

If you have a cupboard to pop these boxes away that close to the table or messy area that works well.

These trolleys are also cute and enable craft materials to be moved around as needed. Pots are fab for storing pens, glues sticks and scissors and making them easy to access and tidy away.

Whatever you choose…

Whatever storage methods you choose, containers, whether clear plastic crates with lids or colourful boxes make sure to choose the shapes and sizes to suit your space. Aim to keep similar items together, creating zones for different toys close to suitable space to play and label as much as you can. Perhaps have a baby nursery in the bedroom and leave craft materials for a downstairs space, where you can supervise their use.

If you can engage your child in creating the labels and use colourful images this will be more meaningful for them and will help them remember where to tidy things back to.

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional Organiser

If you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

I provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. I specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see my services or get in touch.

The Perfect Time to Organise Children’s Things

The school holidays are the perfect time to review your children’s toys and clothes.

As you all take a breath after the chaos of the term-time routine, you will start to spot the things that your children no longer need, have grown out of and fallen out of love with.

The holidays provide a great opportunity to remove those old toys, unloved items, out-grown books and clothes. Whilst you could whisk some things away while your children are at nursery or school (and I have done this myself occasionally), it’s good to involve them, engaging them in the task, methods and reasons why it’s good to pass things and important to help them create healthy habits that will stay with them into adulthood.

You will help your growing child to make room for new hobbies, new toys (as birthdays come along) and  new interests and it’s a great activity to keep everyone entertained on a rainy day.

A good organising session will also mean you’ll all go into the new term feeling lighter, clearer and better prepared.

Organising our possessions is a valuable life skill we can teach our children - Laura Williams

It can feel daunting but involving your children in the activity gives them:

  • A joint activity to do with you
  • The ability to find what they want to play with easily
  • A sense of responsibility for their own things
  • Skills that will stay with them as they grow
  • Some appreciation of the toys they have
  • Ability to share their things with other less fortunate children
Baby dolls

In the same way you want to be engaged, enjoy activities and understand why you need to do them, so do your children.

How you engage them twill depend on their age and their personality, so here are 10 ideas to try:

  1. Explain what you are going to do together and why
  2. Make it fun with a game, playing music or having a race
  3. Create a competition with a prize for the most well organised room
  4. Talk about children less for fortunate than themselves and get them to imagine what it might be like
  5. Get them to make a list of their most favourite toys so that you can ‘protect’ these
  6. Show them that they will be able to find the things they want to play with more easily
  7. Explain that you’ll be able to store toys close to where they want to play with them so it’ll be easier to play
  8. Ask them to look around a messy room and ask them how it feels, get them to imagine what it would be like if there was clear space to play on the floor, do crafts or dance about 
  9. Show them videos, pictures from websites or leaflets from charities that support children, explain that these children don’t have any toys and will love to receive one of theirs that they no longer need
  10. Explain that there is not lots of room in the house so it’s important than when we no longer need something we give it to someone else to enjoy. Give examples of things you’ve managed in this way

Before you embark on your organising session make sure that you are ready for a declutter first:

  • Get boxes ready for charity donations, recycling and rubbish
  • Choose a room or area (such as area of room, a cupboard) depending on the time available
  • Think about how you are going to remove the items you’ve sorted out from your home before someone find them and changes their mind

Once you’ve decluttered and know what you want to keep, organise items by category, storing them where they’wll be used.

See part 2, coming soon, for storage ideas for children’s clothes and toys.

About OrganisedWell

Would you like help getting organised?

Laura Williams, Founder and Professional Organiser

 

If you need guidance, ideas and practical support to make more of your home, organise your possessions in a way that supports your best life or to get started with your decluttering project, then give me a call.

I provide tailored advice and practical support to clients looking to make changes, to create calm, ordered space and free up time and money to focus on the important things in life. I specialise in organising rooms, garages, wardrobes, paperwork and much more; see my services or get in touch.