Nathalie Ricaud is a professional organiser and the founder of Get Organised & Beyond. She helps people declutter and establish systems so they can create and maintain a clutter-free, organised and peaceful home and make time for the meaningful things in their life. Visit her website for more details.
To stop procrastinating, envision your life free of clutter. For most people, cleaning is a chore that we’d rather put off. To get over the procrastination, focus on the benefits of being clutter-free instead of the task itself. Envision saving time by being able to find things easily, increasing energy and happiness in a clean home, and living in a stress-free environment.
Break down your spring cleaning into small and manageable parts. Be realistic with your concentration threshold and availability. Even 15 minutes a day can make a difference!
Purge by category where possible. Proceeding by category such as clothes, toys, kitchenware, books, paper etc. gives you visibility on how much you own in one category.
Build your decluttering muscle over time. Although Marie Kondo advocates to “discard all at once, completely and intensely”, it can be paralysing for some people because of all the decisions to make, so don’t feel bad about breaking your clean-up tasks across several weekends.
Be respectful of others’ belongings. It may be tempting to get rid of everything once you’ve started, but don’t ever purge your family members’ belongings without their involvement.
Give yourself a deadline to dispose of your castaways. If you intend to sell an item but there hasn’t been any buyer by your deadline, donate it. Similarly, if you want to offer items in good condition to your friend but can never find time to meet up, donate them instead. Sometimes the most important thing is to find the best option and move on.
Be savvy when selling. Selling takes time, so make sure the item you’re trying to sell is worth your while by setting a minimum amount – if it goes under that amount, you might be better off donating it instead. A garage sale is hard work but makes sense if you have a lot of small items to sell. Selling online on the other hand can be a long and tedious process, so evaluate which makes the most sense.