Declutter Your Home and Life

Therapist, Author, Educator and Life Coach.

Birds are chirping, the sun is shining and soon blooms will be bursting in our yards. Spring is here!

While we are gearing up for spending more time outdoors, it’s also a great time to declutter our homes. “When we remove the negative, we leave room for the positive to enter,” says Diane Lang, a therapist, author, educator and Life Coach. She has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude. Just having the sunshine in my office window lifts my spirits. So I figured getting some tips on where to even start from Ms. Lang would be a good idea.

So when you start declutter of your car, backpacks, pocketbooks, home, office or any space ask yourself:

Do I love this?

Do I use this?

Am I holding onto things that are from my old self?

We can hold on to thing from previous chapters of our lives that no longer fit who we are today. So now take a look at the items and ask yourself:

Does this work in my life today?

Is this part of who I am today?

I had a client that kept a lot of clutter in her dinning room. When we went through all this stuff, she realized she was holding onto things from her previous life when she was married. That was almost five years ago. This made her realize the things she was holding onto were no longer serving her new phase/identity in life and it was time to redecorate.

More tips…

Start small. Do one thing at a time. Maybe start with the top of the table or one drawer at a time. If we start with something too big like a whole closet we will overwhelm ourselves, feel stressed out an procrastinate. Instead clean one thing at a time and when you finish with the one thing you will feel a sense of accomplishment rather than frustration and stress.

Have your kids do a declutter session in their room with what they do not play with anymore. Then have them pick the place or people they will be giving away there toys/clothes, too. Your kids also get the feeling of paying it forward. If there is no-one we know in need of the stuff she is getting rid of then we will make a trip to the donation bin, local church or thrift shop. It boosts their self-esteem and happiness levels. It also teaches them to help others and have respect for others.

Hold on to the memories but remove the ‘stuff.’ When my client had to move her mom from a five-bedroom house to a senior living apartment there wasn’t much room for all her stuff. We knew what her mom wanted was the memories not the stuff so we took pictures of all her things she loves and made a memory book for her. This allows memories to stay with the person but not all the clutter.

Visualize the space. We tend to procrastinate on decluttering if we don’t have an idea of what we want to do with the space we are cleaning up. Ask yourself, what do I want to do with this space? Visualize it? When we have a clear vision of the space in its new identity, we tend to put action towards the dream.

Personally, I think family togetherness mixed with some decluttering is always a good idea. While our girls were on spring break in Wisconsin we went and took every stuffed animal and toy out of their bedrooms and are now going to have them decide what we keep, donate, or toss. I also can’t wait to tackle the winter coat closet. It will be nice to open a window and get ready for some nice ‘spring like’ weather.

Christine Bachman

About Christine Bachman

Christine Bachman is founder and president of Plan It PR, a public relations and marketing firm. The mother of five shares tips and survival stories in “Play Dates and Power Lunches.” Ms. Bachman started working public relations after a long career in broadcast journalism, which included work as a television anchor, reporter and producer.