Tender, Loving Care of Your Home’s Value
Spring cleaning usually means scrubbing walls, washing curtains, and so forth. Add a few extra tasks – purging, decluttering, and organizing – to your spring cleaning routine to make your efforts pay off for the long term.
For one, a big purge helps you live better today and prepare your house for the market if downsizing is in your future. Decluttering can be daunting physically and emotionally, especially when you’re already stressed about selling a family home, so some advance footwork could ease your life later on. Moreover, by eliminating clutter, especially papers and clothes on the floor, you eliminate fall hazards and create a safer house.
For some, tidying up just doesn’t come naturally. But if you’re committed to making a dent in your piles of stuff and need help, look to some online programs and step-by-step help. You’re likely to find methods that fit your personality and style. Here are some starting points.
* www.Messies.com– The Messies Anonymous site features both free and for-sale decluttering and home organization advice and offers up two—the Mt. Vernon and Mt. Vesuvius—methods of cleaning.
The former is a methodical, marathon approach, requiring you to do three to seven tasks each day. Through those tasks, a tidier space and new habits eventually emerge. Then your job is just maintaining the new habits.
The Mt. Vesuvius method is more of a big dump that entails loading the stuff into labeled boxes and then dealing with the items box by box.
See messies.com’s six-week program at, http://messies.com/images/simplesixweeksrev.pdf and look at the site organizer’s blog, http://theorganizerlady.blogspot.com/ for reminders, quotes, questions, and habits of the day.
* www.Zenhabits.net– This site feels like something geared to those who are more advanced in the decluttering process.
Think minimalism. If that’s your goal, do head here.
It takes a philosophical approach to creating a minimalist environment and Zenhabits also addresses issues – rethinking your whole life -- that go well beyond just your physical space.
See: http://zenhabits.net/archives and http://zenhabits.net/a-guide-to-creating-a-minimalist-home.
* www.FlyLady.net– Flylady has a folksy, practical tone and delivers a comprehensive, long-term strategy for organization and cleanliness.
FlyLady’s philosophy: “Your home did not get dirty in one day, and it will not get clean in a day either.” As such, the information is organized so that you can choose your own pace and not get completely overwhelmed. You can do a 15-minute-a-day route, pick one task a day (you can sign up for daily e-mails), or speed walk through your house and dump 27 items into the trash at a time.
The foundation of FlyLady’s approach is “establishing little habits that string together into simple routines to help your day run on automatic pilot.”
Thus, one daily task for everyone entails cleaning your sink. It’s a way for you to develop one regular habit and also see evidence—a small clean, gleaming space—that you’re making progress. To a naturally neat person, it may seem ridiculous. For a messy person, it can provide hope and a sense of accomplishment.
FlyLady’s Home Maintenance Control Journal is especially helpful if you’re getting your house ready for sale. It asks you to pretend that you’re a real estate professional who is walking through your house and assessing what needs to be done.
You end up with a list of items that need fixing, cleaning, painting, replacing, and so forth. By completing those upgrades, you end up with a cleaner, tidier, better environment for living and a house that is more ready to put on the market. As FlyLady puts it, it’s “tender loving care of your home’s value.”
Designers and home organizers often recommend looking at magazines and websites for design inspiration and as a way to envision your ideal space.
So check out http://www.remodelista.com/issue/8/17/north-country The issue is focused on Canadian design.
Here are some articles where you can find more decluttering and downsizing advice.