Spring is just around the corner, the days are getting longer and warmer, the buds are appearing on the trees and the flowers are beginning to bloom. It’s the time of year when we start to dress a little lighter, crave lighter foods and shed the heaviness of winter.
As a professional organizer, one of my favorite times of the year is spring because it is the perfect time to organize the house and sort through all of the “stuff” that has accumulated through the winter. However, most of us are busy, and the thought of organizing the entire house can usually feel extremely overwhelming to the point that we don’t do anything at all. Things begin to pile up, and what most people don’t realize is that there is a link between an over-abundance of household objects and your health. It can increase your stress, waste time, as you are continuously looking for things, and even cost you money when you lose bills and receipts, thereby accumulating late charges.
The one area that I find completely fascinating is how excess clutter has been linked to weight gain. Living with clutter increases stress, which causes hormone levels to rise, and the result of that is overeating.
So if you are ready for spring after a long winter and you’d like to shed some winter weight, why not start with a little spring decluttering? There’s probably that one room or area in your home that is driving you mad, and rather than organizing it, you avoid it. However, an entire room can feel extremely overwhelming, so what I usually recommend is to start with a category. For example, if your entrance is piling up with winter boots, shoes, jackets, ski pants, toques, mitts, and so on, pick one category, such as footwear, and follow these three simple steps:
1. Gather all of the footwear from the entire house and find a space that is large enough to lay them all out. Group them by which belong to each family member.
2. Have each family member go through their pile and ask them to set aside the ones that they absolutely love and want to keep. And this means love, not the ones that you paid a fortune for but never wear because they hurt your feet. For all of the rest, create a donate pile of any footwear that is acceptable to donate and a trash pile for the ones that are no longer acceptable to donate.
3. With the shoes that are left over, separate the winter footwear from the spring and summer. Pick a location to store all of shoes out of season, such as a spare closet, bins, or in each family member’s closet. This is Canada, so you never know, we may get another snowfall and you will need those winter boots, but if they are in a consistent and easy to reach location, you can still wear them if need be.
Don’t forget to put the ones you are donating into a bag and drop them off at a charity or location of your choice. This doesn’t mean driving around with them in the trunk of your car for four months either.
Tannis McLaren is a member of the Professional Organizers in Canada. She is also the rep for Stor-x, a custom closet and storage-system company for Upper and Central Vancouver Island.