Time to Spring Clean!

Springtime has come early this year. You can feel Mother Nature shifting and changing beneath your feet. The songbirds came back early, and you just heard geese honking this morning. Little green shoots are coming up and buds are forming on the trees. You know what that means, don’t you? Time to spring clean!

But then you turn around and look at your dreck. You’re ready to give up even before you’ve started.

So much stuff!

This job is overwhelming. There is an emotional attachment to each thing, and it sticks to your hands. I got this knickknack when I went on that trip to Gallup with Suzie. This was from my great uncle Harry’s collection of bobblehead dolls. Never mind I don’t have anything it goes with. It was his. Then there’s that jacket I found at Goodwill. A great find, but doesn’t go with anything in my closet. Yikes! And there you sit.

What if there was an easy way to get started? These three strategies will help you get unstuck. And keep you going.

The Timer Method

  • First, get your three boxes labeled: keep, toss, and donate. A shortcut is to switch the toss box for a garbage bag. Once filled, put the bag outside your door. It’s halfway gone! You’ve already let it go.
  • Decide on the area you want to clear out. Perhaps it’s the corner of the office. Or the bottom of a bookshelf. Or a drawer in the kitchen.
  • Set your timer for 10 minutes. Start with the biggest items first. When the timer dings, decide if you want to continue or not. Bet you keep on going!
  • Once finished, place your donations in your car. Eliminate the temptation to rummage through that stuff again, and pull out what you “might need someday.”
  • Organize the things you keep where you can easily find them. Put them where you will use them. (For me, scissors go in the kitchen drawer. Nail file in the bathroom)

The Three-Second Rule

  • Kayleen Kelly, who specializes in chronic clutter and ADHD, developed this technique.
  • Once again, set up your keep, toss, and donate boxes. Let’s take on the closet floor. It’s full to overflowing with shoes, sweatshirts, bags, and purses. Every time you open the door, something falls out. You’ve been stuffing things in there for a while.
  • Pull everything out. You can see what you have. Rather than a mess of stuff, you know what was there.
  • Only take three seconds to decide. Pick up that pair of shoes. If you love them after three seconds, put them in the pile to keep. If you take longer than 3 seconds, they’re also keepers. You’re not ready to let them go quite yet. If you say “Yuck!” out they go. Simple, and effective. (When I used this technique with my own closet, I was finished in 30 minutes.)

Keep the Big Mo going!

  • Decide on that next area. You’re on a roll. No holding you back!
  • Count down 5-4-3-2-1 and start moving. According to psychologist Jennifer Wild, this technique snaps you out of your avoidance mindset. When you’re caught up in that slump? Anything, including sorting your sock drawer, looks more appealing than clearing out your stuff.

Get unstuck and have fun spring cleaning!


  1. Melissa Roth on 04/22/2024 at 8:58 am

    Great post. Now,, to motivate myself to get started…….

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