A tidy house is a tidy mind, but the chaos of tackling the annual spring clean is daunting enough to surrender to the mess. We all heed the call to clean that spring brings. Spring cleaning was originally a Jewish tradition that involved cleaning their homes in preparation for Passover. Nowadays spring is still a reminder to crack open the windows and doors and let the fresh air in.
Equally, this time of year serves as a reminder to rethink our organisational strategies and rehome our clutter. Popularised by the Netflix programme 'Tidying up with Marie Kondo', Kondo's method consists of working through your belongings and deciding if each item 'sparks joy' in you. If it does not, it goes. Now a global craze, her organisational mantra shows the connection between the state of our homes and the impact it has on us.
We want to make it as easy as possible to spring clean the mind, body and soul - as well as the spare room aka storage facility. So we've put together some useful tips so you can successfully declutter in no time at all.
One area at a time
Make an overwhelming task manageable by separating your clearing into sections. Once you've identified what room you'll begin with, try and subdivide that space into areas. For example, focus first on a shelfing unit and work your way around the room. This way you won't miss a spot, leaving no stone – or drawer – unturned.
The clothes predicament
Arguably the most daunting area of them all. Holding a permanent residency inside our wardrobes, we're all partial to keeping outdated, unworn and unwearable items. Previously advice may have been to simply 'get rid', but in our current state of environmental decline recycling and rehoming clothing is vital.
In 2015 alone, 92 million tons of waste created by the fashion industry was sent to landfills. "Fast fashion" brands continue to churn out cheaply made and quickly discarded items, so there no time like the present to defiantly get creative and upcycle! Adding bits of embroidery or snipping parts here and there with the help of online tutorials can lengthen the lifetime of an item, reinvigorating your wardrobe and resisting climate change.
Coined first in 2013 by Laura Jordan and her business Rag Revival swishing, attendees would bring unwanted clothes to the events for others peruse and perhaps take home for no cost at all. In 2020, swap shops are popping up everywhere, and even appearing at London Fashion Week with brands such as Puma and Burberry contributing to the rails. Instead of chucking your undesirable items away, bring them along to your nearest swap shop. Let others breathe new life into your old clothes and potentially find replacements you'll love.
Get Discounts for Recycling
You can now get discounts for brands such as Missguided, Cath Kidson and Superdry for recycling your old clothes with thereGAIN app. Just package a minimum of ten items, post for free using your local drop off point and get discount rewards for all your favourite brands. Saving you money on that coveted summer wardrobe and recycling at the same time!
Give to Charity
A classic option many people already use, charity shops are a great way to get rid of unwanted clothes. With charity shops located across the UK now opening up services to provide homeless individuals with free clothing, clearing out your wardrobe has never been more beneficial.
Don't forget that you can always sell clothes on eBay or Etsy to make a little extra cash for your clothes. Its easier than you think and through Interparcel you can send parcel for discounted prices all year round, so whatever the season, spring or otherwise, you can deliver hassle free.
Surrounded by mounds of dusty books?
We've all got shelves, boxes and corner stacked with books we've read or yet to read; 'How to Play Guitar for Dummies' or an untouched copy of 'You Are What You Eat' or similar titles that have sat idle for years in our houses have outstayed their welcome.
Now because of the glue used to hold most books together recycling them isn't an option, but there's lots of other ways to shift those dusty hoards.
- Bookcrossing was defined by the OED in 2004 as n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others who then do likewise. You can easily register through their website, label your books and simply leave them in a public space for someone to find. You can track the progress of your books to watch how many people share it.
- If you're looking to make a little cash out of your spring cleaning, you can sell books for cash. WeBuyBooks offers a service that allows you to sell them you old cookbooks, textbooks and weight-loss books.
- If you've got valuable books that you'd like to sell independently, why not try eBay and list your books for auction? Make your shipping easier by linking your Interparcel account to your eBay listings so keep shipping your books simple and affordable.
Need to tackle the paperwork?
Keeping track of bills and letters is a task much harder than it seems – you find as soon as you need that particular bill or letter it's nowhere to be found, a needle in a haystack. It's a good idea this spring to get your documents in order.
Take an inventory – Firstly figure out what sections you need to create so that you can organise where each document belongs. Take an inventory of your records, perhaps organising them by importance or date.
De-clutter – Get rid of documents that you don't or won't need going forward, as well as multiple copies of the same record so save on space and make room for future files.
Reduce your paper usage – Apps like Evernote make scanning documents onto your phone or computer easy, so keeping physical documents at home is no longer the only option. Filing documents online may also make organising and accessing records less hassle.
If you've followed all of these steps you can be certain your house is looking slightly better than it did - with considerably more room for all those summer clothes you're soon going to don. Just simply return to this guide next spring and repeat for the foreseeable future