Guys, I hate to alarm you, but spring is already over. If you’re anything like me, your mind is still stuck somewhere back in July and you hadn’t even considered the notion of spring cleaning until I mentioned it five seconds ago.
I mean, decluttering your life transcends seasons but getting it done before the new year is always a great idea, especially when you have public holidays to play with. And sometimes you need expert help.
Not only do they have the most job-appropriate names in existence, Louisa Dyson from Alice + Albert and Helen Joy Butler from helenjoybutler.com know a thing or two about organisation and spring cleaning.
Louisa Dyson is the owner of Alice + Albert, a Brisbane business that will take care of your to-do list no matter the size. Here are her top tips for spring cleaning and overhauling your wardrobe:
Why should we spring clean?
We all tend to put off tasks that are more strenuous or time-consuming, but the longer we leave them the more likely it is that we’ve made it much harder for ourselves than it needed to be. Spring cleaning puts these tasks at the forefront of our minds while providing some solace that there are other people doing similar things.
What are your top wardrobe decluttering tips?
1. Clear a few hours in your diary to complete this task in full, otherwise you run the risk of creating more mess than you bargained for!
2. You’ll need three bins or bags for the following piles: Donate, Ditch, Dry-clean (or mend). Create a space to pile the items that you’ll keep and have vacuum bags or storage boxes for winter clothes.
3. As you pull each item out of your wardrobe, ask yourself the following questions:
– Have I worn this recently?
– Have I worn it in the last two years?
– Do I have multiple/similar items of this style?
– Will this item last another season?
– Does it make me feel good?
4. If you answer yes to the majority of the questions, then these items should either be going straight into storage for winter or they should be checked over to make sure they don’t need dry-cleaning/mending.
5. If you answer no to the majority, then decide if the item is good enough to be donated to charity or if it should just be ditched.
6. For any items you end up donating or ditching, make sure you keep a note of any wardrobe staples that you’ll need to replace. (Did someone say shopping?)
7. When putting your clothing back in your wardrobe, group similar items together and check on the condition of your hangers while you’re at it.
8. To complete your decluttering, put the items to be donated and dry-cleaned straight into the car so they are ready to be dropped off. Put the ditch items straight into the bin. Label, seal and store the remaining items immediately so you aren’t left with any clutter or further tasks.
If someone is pressed for time, what are the most important jobs that they should do every day?
Start each day thinking about and writing down priorities for that day and get straight to it, starting with the hardest, most time-consuming or least attractive task and getting it out of the way. This will set you up for success for the remainder of the day.
Be careful of the dangers of the internet – particularly social media. There are a number of apps that you can get now that lock your access to these distracting platforms for pre-determined periods of time to help keep you focused on the job at hand. A good one I have used is called Freedom.
What is something that people can do to feel organised every day?
I’m all for lists. Having a list on your phone or a piece of paper with what you want/need to achieve that day helps you to visualise your goals, keeps you focused and provides a great sense of achievement when you come to crossing the items off! Don’t over-do it, though; make sure your lists are achievable and that you are setting yourself up for success.
Why do you think more and more people are looking for services such as Alice + Albert?
We have never lived in a faster-paced, more action-packed world. Between our work, personal and home lives and the various roles we play each day, we have never been busier. Finding that elusive “work-life balance” is a daily juggling act and we are incredibly tough on ourselves if we drop a ball or two. With the increased awareness around mental health and mindfulness, we are starting to think more about how we value and spend our time. Outsourcing and getting help doesn’t mean you are failing; instead, it shows that you are choosing to take control and spend your time wisely – something you should be proud of! One of my favourite quotes by Michael Altshuler sums it up perfectly: “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
Helen Joy Butler is an Intuitive Professional Organiser and Certified Elemental Space Clearing® practitioner. Her aim is to help people create a sanctuary in all aspects of their lives. She shared with us her tips on getting organised just in time for summer:
What are the benefits of decluttering our space and mind?
Your physical space is often a representation of your internal space.
Many of my clients feel exhausted, tired, overwhelmed with life and balancing it all. Keeping a household running, let alone organised or clutter-free, is becoming increasingly difficult given most of us live busy lives. When you remove the clutter from your physical space, your mind feels calmer, clear and less stressed.
There is a saying: “The less you own, the less owns you.” In other words, if your home/life/space/mindset has less in it, you will feel more in control, more focused, more on-track with your life goals and purpose. I’m not suggesting you become a minimalist, but take the time to remove things from your home and life that you don’t need to make room for things you do.
What are your tips for spring cleaning – where should we start?
When it comes to spring cleaning, there are five places you can start:
1. At the front door, to welcome new experiences and opportunities into your home and life.
2. In the centre of the home, to create momentum. It’ll shift the energy out from the centre of your home so that you are motivated to work through and spring clean everything.
3. In the area of your home that’s causing you the most grief.
4. Somewhere small. This is for people with low energy or who are overwhelmed and it all seems like too much.
5. Anywhere! This is for the procrastinator or perfectionist who says it’s all too hard anyway!
If there is a task that isn’t important to you (for example, cleaning the windows) but you can still see that it needs actioning, consider outsourcing. Professionals can often get the job done quicker and more efficiently, and even better, it saves you doing it!
For more information on spring cleaning, here is an article I wrote some time ago with plenty of tips and tricks.
What are some everyday things that we should do to stay healthier, happier and more organised?
On a practical level, here are some everyday things we can do stay more organised:
– Have systems for everything (when the washing gets done, when you shop for groceries, when you pay the bills, when you open the mail).
– Do things as you go (wash up while dinner cooks on the stove, action a letter as soon as you open it).
– Constantly remove items you don’t need from your home.
– Get everyone you live with onboard to keep the home organised.
– Think about what you need before you go out and buy (be a conscious consumer).
– Slow down, pause, breathe. Your home doesn’t have to look like a show home. Remember you and your family live here.
– Have one to-do list and use it.
– Think ahead. This will help you see what’s urgent and what’s coming up, and help you see any clashes or changes you need to make to your schedule.
As for everyday things we can do to be happier and healthier:
– Connect with nature
– Create with your hands
– Move your body
– Do something you love
– Show thanks and gratitude
– Welcome the concept of sanctuary to all parts of your life