Snowdrops and daisies are sprouting, and crocuses and daffodils are not far behind. Spring is here – and so is the time for spring cleaning. However, before you can start, you need to clean out your stuff. With the following tips, decluttering will certainly be easier for you.

How do I start? 

Actually, the beginning is quite “simple”. We like to use the following metaphor: How do you eat an elephant? – That’s right, piece by piece. 

So if you want to start decluttering, you should proceed accordingly – “one thing at a time”. Because taking on too much is usually counterproductive to motivation.

Step 1: 

First, determine which room you want to start in. In turn, in that room, pick an area or areas where you want to start.

Step 2:

Now prepare 3 boxes: 

  • Keep
  • Maybe (if you are still unsure whether to keep or pass on)
  • Throw away/sell/give away.

Step 3: 

Take your time and clear out the entire area you have decided to keep. Sort the contents into categories. For example, if you have your closet in front of you:

  • Jackets
  • Tops long sleeve
  • Tops short sleeve
  • Pants
  • Underwear, socks & pajamas 

This step is important so that you can clean out sensibly. Because with this system you can see directly what you have surplus of. This should also make it easier for you to “separate”

Step 4: 

Now start to distribute everything to the three boxes. “Keep” and “throw away/sell/give away” will probably not be difficult for you. But what about “Maybe”?

Now think about why these pieces ended up in the “Maybe” box. Did you get it as a gift or did it once cost a lot of money? These are often reasons why it’s hard to part with certain things. 

Try going through the entire “Maybe” box again with the following questions to make a final decision: 

  • Why do I own this item?
  • What is the purpose of this one?
  • When was the last time I used this item?
  • Do I still even like this item?
  • Would I buy the item again?

Step 5: 

What gets to stay now gets a permanent place. 

Put away the things you want to keep, organized by category. To keep yourself from chaos, get in the habit of putting things right back in its assigned place after use.

Where do I start? 

Start where you can make the most difference in the shortest amount of time – that is, where you can quickly see success. This will motivate you to continue.

The closet, for example, is a good place to start. For the simple reason that clothes that are no longer beautiful or no longer fit can be sorted out easily and without thinking much about it. In addition, there are hardly any sentimental items in this area, which are difficult to clean out.

Reduce your clothes by keeping only what you like and in which you feel beautiful and comfortable.

If you’re short on time, take on the bathroom cabinet, medication, or living room furniture, for example. Make sure that you finish what you have started. Unfinished work can lead to unnecessary stress and have a counterproductive effect on motivation.

When will I be finished? 

You may be in the middle of your decluttering campaign and wondering when you’ll be done.

Well, you probably don’t want to hear that right now – but still; you’ll never really be done! We’d also like to explain why that is. Maybe you are the kind of person who cleans out, declutters and reorganizes the house once and then thinks: “that’s it – done”.

But… Today’s consumer society has reached a current high, which we can hardly escape. Consequently, things accumulate in every household that we don’t actually need and that we will consequently sell or dispose of again sooner or later. It is not always our own carelessness that is to blame. Remember that we are often given things that we don’t like, that we can’t use, and that we don’t use.

So please don’t doubt yourself if you have cleared out the whole house and half a year later you find things you don’t really need anymore. This also doesn’t mean that you were inconsistent in the last cleaning. Because tidying is a continuous process that basically never ends. Because what’s practical today doesn’t have to be useful tomorrow.