If you’re stuck inside this winter, why not make the most of it with some cleaning before spring rolls around? According to Marie Kondo, author of a #1 New York Times bestselling book titled The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “when you put your house in order, you put your affairs and your past in order, too.” In other words, not only will tidying make finding what you need easier, you will clear your mind for the more important things in life. Kondo recommends doing as much as you can at one time for the best long-term result.
If you aren’t ready to dive headlong into Kondo’s approach or can’t carve out the time required for a full push, start with a few key areas that take minimal effort but will have a big mental and emotional impact.
1. Check under the bed. What’s hidden under your bed? When was the last time you used anything under there? In many cases, what’s stored under your bed is a reflection of clothing, shoes and seasonal items that you just don’t want to deal with. They’re like the hidden anchor weighing you down. Pull everything out and spread it out on the floor where you can see it all. Apply the classic rule that if you haven’t touched it in a year, you don’t need it. Put it in the donation pile. Make it your goal to have just one tidy box of items under the bed.
2. In Your Kid’s Bedroom. In the chaos of daily life, it’s easy to let clothing that is too small stack up next to the toys that haven’t been touched in two years. They often find permanent residence in the bottom of a bin, which means it’s time to make a clean sweep. Take 15 minutes and two trash bags and look for items that can be thrown away, or donated as appropriate. Some of the most common suspects: socks that don’t have a match, broken toys, those tiny figurines that haven’t been touched in years, dried out markers, crayon nubs and obviously too-small clothing.
3. Tackle Your Bookshelves. Go through every bookshelf in your house and decide what books you must have in your life. Keep only the ones that make you want to sit and read them immediately (but don’t – keep tidying!). Put the remaining ones in boxes to donate or sell to the half-price bookstore.
A cleaner home will help you organize yourself with a cleaner mind. That way you’ll be ready to get outside and enjoy the weather when spring comes.