Have you been feeling the need for simple? I have. It doesn’t matter how much we simplify, eventually life gets away from us and clutter shows up all throughout our home. It’s the papers I “hid” and forgot about on top of the fridge when we had company. It’s the clothes the kids have grown out of and the clothes they’re growing into, that are all mixed at this point. It’s the toys that we didn’t get rid of before Christmas and their birthdays.
I used to be discouraged by this ongoing process of simplifying. I thought this recurring clutter meant I was doing it all wrong. I’m learning that’s not always the case. Sometimes that clutter simply means we got busy and careless and it’s about that time to get intentional again, to get things back to how they should be. The pleasant surprise is that the more we do this, the more we maintain and return to these simplifying routines, the easier they get.
The first cycle or two sorting through and simplifying our belongings was quite a challenging process (mostly because of my emotional attachment). But once that initial hard work is done, these seasonal upkeep routines can be done much quicker and often more easily. As I get ready to do my yearly Spring Simplifying, I’m sharing more about it in this post, and would love for you to join me.
What is Spring Simplifying?
Spring Simplifying is a more directed, and longer lasting approach to spring cleaning. Spring Cleaning is more traditionally about thorough, deep cleaning. Spring Simplifying gives me the chance to readdress the stuff in our home, simplify some spaces that have gotten out of control, and even do a little deep cleaning along the way. Usually, this is just the energy needed to fix other broken routines in the home like weekly cleaning routines or rethinking shopping habits.
Why Do Spring Simplifying?
In my ebook Simplifying Home, I have a chapter on Simplifying Seasons. Spring Simplifying gives me a set time on the calendar to address the problems in my home and to jumpstart the progress. When I look at my home as a whole, I may not always be able to pinpoint the source of the problem. All I see is dirty bathrooms, laundry that never seems to get folded, and papers that grow out of control. By simplifying key areas, I get back to the basics of needs vs. wants and get a better idea of where my limited time, energy, and money is spent.
How to Do Spring Simplifying
Following are 4 simple steps to simplify this spring…
1. Set time frame ahead of time.
When I had a lot of belongings I wanted to go through and a lot of areas in our home that I still wanted to decorate and make “home,” I would commit to about 6-8 weeks of work. Just a little each week to build progress. Now that it’s more about upkeep, I do about 3-4 weeks. If you just want to start somewhere and don’t have much time, commit one afternoon on a free weekend, then go from there.
2. Choose top task(s) that fit into that time frame.
In the past I have followed detailed, space-by-space checklists. This year, I will be using a 2-page worksheet. If you’re just wanting to do something or if you’re simply doing a little seasonal upkeep, then list your top 3-4 spaces that need some TLC. These could be areas that are disorganized, where things are spilling out of the allotted space, or whatever else makes it stick out to you. The most bothersome, noticeable, or in-the-way problems should get top priority.
3. Get to work.
Start at the top of your list, working on a doable space at a time. Empty out the space, and clean the area. For each thing ask, “Do I love it? Do I need it?” If the answer is yes, either put it back in the space or put it away if it belongs elsewhere. For anything you answer those questions with a “no,” “I don’t know,” or “maybe,” put them in a bag or tub and set aside for a week or two. Enjoy your simpler, cleaner space in the meantime. Then, after a little time passes, go back through the tub or bag and ask, “Is this item worth keeping at the risk of ruining this newly cleaned and simplified space?” If you decide you really do love or need it, find a spot for it. Otherwise, cut your ties and sell, donate, recycle, or regift it.
4. Keep going, or take a break until next time.
If this start gets you feeling excited about your progress, then keep going! Keep working down your list of spaces that need addressed. If you’re feeling too worn out from the process, that’s okay too. Take a break, enjoy the fruits of your labor, and get back at it again in the fall.
Comment below on what your Spring Cleaning / simplifying looks like this year. ↓ And tag your own simplifying posts on Instagram with #SimplifyingHome.