Declutter Your Life During Spring Cleaning


It’s springtime! You know what that means—the birds are chirping, the flowers are in bloom, and... does the house seem messier? Maybe. Although it might just be your spring-cleaning senses tingling. 

This year, why not elevate your spring cleaning experience and focus on decluttering. The decluttering process is about saying goodbye to the things you don't need and embracing the things you do. The result will transform your living space into a relaxing haven where you feel truly at home. And the restorative effect of decluttering isn’t in your head. It’s science.

What Happens When You Declutter Your Life?

Have you heard of the Konmari method? The method was named after Marie Kondo, who is a pro organizer that has a minimalism inspired approach when it comes to decluttering your mind and your house to change your life. She wrote a book all about this revolutionary method called Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and she has a very popular Netflix show called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Her mission is to help you declutter your life, and Marie isn’t the only one that believes in the power of being clutter free. 

Decluttering your life has mental and physical health benefits that can impact you every day. A 2010 research study1 found that individuals who thought of their homes as “cluttered” were more likely to use the words “tired” and “depressed” to describe their mood. On a physiological level, these individuals also had higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in their system.

On the other hand, study participants who described their homes as “restful” or “restorative” had lower levels of cortisol and exhibited fewer signs of exhaustion and depression. But the benefits of decluttering don’t stop there. 

After reviewing multiple studies, psychologist Dr. Michael Schulein believes that a decluttered life benefits the most meaningful parts of our lives:

“The research is pretty straightforward that it is our activities and our interacting with family and friends that bring us real, enduring happiness. By reducing the clutter of things, we refocus on what matters.”2

So just by spending a little time tidying up your home, you can lower stress in your body and your mind, and focus on the most fulfilling parts of your life. 


What Month is Spring Cleaning?

You can spring clean in March after the vernal equinox (the astronomical first day of spring), or in April when the first flowers bloom, or... in October. Spring cleaning doesn’t actually require a particular month or season (sadly, there’s no national holiday for scrubbing and organizing). Regardless of the time of year, just pick a day and boom, it’s time to tidy!


How Do You Organize Spring Cleaning?

The hardest part of spring cleaning is always beginning. But once you dive in, you’ll be surprised how satisfying the work can be. Here’s a quick three-step practice inspired by Dr. Craig Sawchuck, a psychologist at the Mayo Clinic3:

  • Pick a Day – Instead of putting off your declutter-a-thon to next weekend (and then the weekend after that, and the weekend after that), put a date on the calendar and commit that day to cleaning. 

  • Get Supplies – A few supplies and a little forethought can make spring cleaning a streamlined process. Take a look at these items to get you started:

    Spring Cleaning Essentials 

    • Lots of garbage bags
    • Cleaning spray
    • Rubber gloves
    • Paper towels
    • Storage bins

  • Make it Fun – Find ways to make the day enjoyable. You could build a playlist of all your favorite songs to sing along to, plan a great takeout dinner as a reward, or take before-and-after pics for a social media humblebrag at the end of the day. 

How to Declutter Your Home and Your Life: Make Room for Better Things

You’ve got the garbage bags. You’ve got your cleaning tunes. You’re ready. But when the day finally comes, you may be wondering where to begin. This guide breaks down the areas that will have the most impact on your day-to-day life. But first, a quick class in decluttering: 


Decluttering 101

Wherever you choose to declutter, a few basic principles will always apply. 

Keep... 

  • The things you use day-to-day or for life’s necessities
  • The things you absolutely love
  • The things that make your life better

Donate or Throw Away...  

  • The things you can’t remember the last time you used
  • Things that are broken beyond repair
  • The unnecessary things that cause you stress

Remember, what’s necessary to you might not be necessary to someone else. You might find your old fashioned apple peeler necessary to make your famous Thanksgiving apple pies. That’s the beauty of spring cleaning—you rediscover the things that are essential to live, and the things essential to living your fullest life. 


Your Bathroom

Ah, the bathroom. Home to an organizational black hole that seems to accumulate more chaos with every passing day. You know what we’re talking about—the medicine cabinet. But with a little tidying, your bathroom will become an oasis for relaxing bubble baths and nourishing skincare routines once it’s clutter free. 

What to Take Out

  • Old skincare products (the older the product, the less effective it is)
  • Expired medicine
  • Empty or nearly-empty bottles of shampoo or makeup
  • Toothbrushes or toothbrush heads that are more than three months old

You’ve Made Room For... 

  • A new skincare routine you’ll want to use every day 
  • Nourishing multivitamins and new medication
  • Fresh makeup
  • A sleek new electric toothbrush

Quick Tidy Tip: Springtime is all about rebirth and renewal. Take the opportunity to fill your now-tidy medicine cabinet with restorative skin care. By the time spring becomes summer, you’ll be ready to shine with your new glowing summer skin care routine that prevents saggy skin and promotes anti-aging.

Your Closet

Do you have to wrestle your clothes out from a tangle of broken hangers? Do you always trip over a pile of shoes? By decluttering and re-organizing your closet mess, you can make your daily change of clothes absolutely serene. 

What to Take Out

  • Clothes you haven’t worn in more than a year
  • Broken or low-quality hangers
  • Shoes that hurt your feet or are too damaged to fix

You’ve Made Room For... 

  • New fashion pieces you love
  • High-quality clothing hangers
  • A shoe organizer that works for you

Quick Tidy Tip: Put on a fashion show for yourself and try on all of your clothes. If something doesn’t feel right and if you don’t feel great when you wear it, throw it in the “Donate” pile. Your closet might be a bit bare afterward, but you’ll be left with two wonderful things:

  1. A closet full of clothes you love. So instead of sorting through every potential outfit you feel so-so about, you can choose from outfits you know you look great in. Talk about a daily confidence booster!
  2. A fantastic excuse to go shopping.

Your Bedroom

Your bedroom is the first thing you see when you wake up and the last thing you see before you fall asleep. A decluttered bedroom can get you in a zen mindset from start to finish.

What to Take Out

  • The useless knick-knacks on your bedside table
  • Magazines or books you no longer read
  • Furniture you don’t use (say goodbye to the beanbag chair)

You’ve Made Room For... 

  • Candles with your favorite scent
  • Framed photos or posters
  • A comfy reading chair


Quick Tidy Tip: Throughout your decluttering journey, you might come across a forgotten passion or project. That could be a yoga mat, a HAM radio kit, or even just a set of watercolors. Before you add the items to the “Donate” pile, take a moment to reflect. You may discover a renewed excitement for the project. If that’s the case, put the items in the “Keep” pile and make a plan to keep that passion in your life. 

Your Kitchen

The kitchen is your home’s hearth. It’s where your friends and family gather for a meal, a glass of wine, and great laughs. By organizing and decluttering your kitchen, you’ll be able to relax and live in the moment even more.

What to Take Out

  • Expired spices, cans, and dry goods
  • Broken cooking utensils
  • Non-stick pans that are no longer “non-stick”

You’ve Made Room For... 

  • A spice organizational system like a Lazy Susan
  • Finding exactly what you need right away when you’re cooking 
  • A new set of pans


How Do You Declutter Every Day?

Spring cleaning and decluttering might be a once-a-year event for you. But daily cleaning can help you enjoy the long term effects of a restful and restorative home. 

Here are tips for how to spring clean a little bit every day:

  • A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place – Once you’ve decluttered your home, put your belongings in places that make sense. Make a mental rule to keep those important items in their designated spaces. It will help you find the things you need in the long run and keep your home organized. 


  • Quick Tidy Tip: You can be your own professional organizer. Take a picture of how you want your home to always look and refer back to it if you need to remind yourself where things go. 


  • Get Smart with Storage Space – Invest in smart storage options for your home. Plastic bins, closet organizers, and drawer dividers can help keep chaos at bay.


  • Never Go To Bed Disorganized – Put aside time before you go to bed to tidy up life’s daily clutter. Even if you can’t get to the whole house, designate one area that you will always tidy before you go to sleep. When you wake up and start your day, you’ll be able to enjoy a little haven of tidied zen, no matter what. 

  • Spring Cleaning for Your Health and Happiness

    Spring cleaning is a time of rebirth and reflection. You get to create the best version of your home and yourself and revisit the memories you’ve accumulated over the years. Once you’ve enjoyed the results of spring cleaning, it will become easy to make decluttering a part of your daily life. Those efforts will create a restorative home through spring, summer, fall, and winter. 

    If you need additional tips on ways to declutter your skin care routine and simplify your life, check out more of our In The Glow blogs where we cover women’s topics like facial exercises and transitioning to gray hair, living a healthy lifestyle, inspiration, beauty technology, and skincare. Share your decluttering stories or photos with us on Instagram



    Sources:

    1.  Saxbe, Darby E, and Rena Repetti. “No Place like Home: Home Tours Correlate with Daily Patterns of Mood and Cortisol.” Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19934011.
    2.  “5 Health Benefits of Tidying Up.” Marshfield Clinic Blog, Marshfield Clinic Health Systems, 1 Apr. 2019, shine365.marshfieldclinic.org/wellness/benefits-of-tidying-up/.
    3.  Williams, Vivien. “Mayo Clinic Minute: Mental Health Benefits of Tidying Up.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2019, newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-mental-health-benefits-of-tidying-up/.

     

    Article Reviewed by Wendy Johnson
    Wendy Johnson//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1504/4854/files/wendy_large.png?v=1588836438

    Vice President, Marketing

    Wendy Johnson brings to Alastin Skincare over 22 years of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and aesthetics industry experience in various sales, training, marketing and thought leader development roles.

    After spending 10 years in gastroenterology at Tap Pharmaceuticals and Prometheus Laboratories, with sales and marketing oversight for in-line and pre-launch products, Mrs. Johnson transitioned to an aesthetic career at SkinMedica in 2004. While there, she was responsible for marketing one of the top 2 branded prescription hydroquinones, launching a leading branded low potency steroid, and oversight of the acne franchise line extensions.

    In 2010, Wendy joined Merz North America where she developed and managed the Physician Relations department in support of injectable, topical and device business units under Medical Affairs, before transitioning into managing a Regional Aesthetics Marketing team.


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