It’s that time of year when traditionally we throw ourselves into a spring clean – or do we?
A study in 2017 by Money Magpie found that 50% of the UK population has ditched this annual ritual. Long gone are the days of washing soot from the walls and beating a year of dust out of the furniture. Central heating, improved cleanliness and hygiene mean many of us are abandoning the annual cleanse. Add to that a lack of time and enthusiasm, and it’s no surprise this tradition is becoming obsolete.
Yet March is still the perfect time to harness the optimism and opportunity of spring. That’s why APDO (the Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers) has a modern alternative to spring cleaning with Spring Clearing Week running from 21-27 March 2022. This year’s theme “Clear for Calm” is designed to help you focus on creating a positive environment for the rest of 2022, empowering you to let go of your clutter and create more physical and mental space to do the things you love.
They want us to reduce stress, save time and increase our wellbeing by clearing the surplus stuff in our lives. And remember that unnecessary “stuff” can apply to objects, emotions, diary commitments and even relationships.
Local CPO® Certified Professional Organizer and APDO Past President Katherine Blackler (SortMySpace) explains that because each person has a different threshold and understanding of clutter, there are no fixed rules to suit all households. It’s not up to her to tell you how many china bowls or DVDs you should have and (sadly!), she won’t be the one to tell your partner they need to throw out their entire collection of books!
What she does do however, is to challenge you to think carefully whether something is still serving you well. Ask yourself the following questions when considering your belongings:
● Have I used or worn this in the last 6* months?
● Will I use or wear this in the next 6* months?
● Would I buy this for myself or my family now?
If the answer to these is ‘No’, consider selling, donating, recycling or, as last resort, ditching.
For items you do use, but only infrequently, ask yourself
● Do I need to own this myself? Could I hire / borrow it on the odd occasion I do need it? Check out the Library of Things in Crystal Palace that lends equipment and household items.
● If I kept this item, can I lend it to others to justify the space it takes up between my / our personal usage?
● If that job needs doing in future, would I be likely to hire a tradesperson who’d bring their own tools or equipment?
● Will the technology have been superseded by the time I’m likely to use this?
● Will I know exactly where to find this if I ever do need it?
● Can I afford to re-buy it if I need my very own version of this in future?
Katherine encourages you use Spring Clearing Week to think about what you could clear-out after the dreary winter months, to revitalise your space with renewed energy.
* You may wish to extend this timeframe due to the extenuating circumstances of Covid