Spring is almost here! When the seasons change it’s a good opportunity to reduce clutter in your life by cleaning your personal space.
Organization is important for your memory. Physical clutter creates mental clutter which promotes BSOS (Bright Shiny Object Syndrome). The more distracted you become, the tougher it is to store recallable memories. In addition, clutter creates stress which also negatively effects brain health and memory. As a result, when you are spring cleaning your personal space, you are also cleaning your mental space.
Here are a few tips to reduce clutter and get better organized this Spring:
CLOTHING –Use your hangers to help you recognize what you wear and what clothes need to find a new home. A clever way to get in tune with how often you’re wearing something is to turn the hanger opening out (facing you). Start with all your hanger openings facing in (away from you). After you have laundered clothing and returned it to the closet, hang up the hanger facing out. As the season continues you will see the items you wear and the items you don’t by the position of the hanger. Consider donating the items that haven’t turned. Ask yourself, “Why am I not wearing those items? How do those items make me feel? Are they taking up valuable space?”
CHILDREN’S TOYS – Rid your home of unused toys. Children’s toys seem to spread through the house very quickly. For toys that are broken or no longer age appropriate, it’s time to reduce their clutter. If they’re covered in dust, or buried under a bed, it’s probably time to say goodbye.
ELECTRONIC CLUTTER – Eliminate or disburse unimportant emails. Remove yourself from email lists, mailing lists, and other electronic messages. In addition, use the rules function in your email system to disburse emails to the right folders including the “Junk” and “Miscellaneous” folders. Remember, every email or electronic message takes time and attention to deal with (no matter how small or trivial). Reduce your mental clutter ASAP.
PAPER CLUTTER – Only keep the periodicals that you can read within a reasonable time period. As a guide, if you are not getting through the current month’s magazines or current week’s newspapers, then you probably need to reduce the number of subscriptions.
PHOTOS – Trim down the number of photos that you keep. In today’s digital age, we take multiple pictures of the same person/place/thing. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of pictures that we have on our phone or desktop. Review your electronic photos daily, especially after special occasions and vacations. Pick the best and delete the rest. With paper photos, scan your favorites and offer the rest to family.
MISCELLANEOUS – Remember the one-year rule. If you haven’t used an item in a year’s time, thank it for its service to you and send it on its way. Donate or dispose of it (depending on condition). Reduce, reuse, recycle.
ONE IN, ONE OUT – When one thing comes in your space, one thing should go out. Shoes, toys, tools, clothes, books, files, electronics, and every other new item adds to your clutter. Get lighter.
Take advantage of the seasonal change by getting better organized this Spring. You’ll be more focused, remember more, reduce stress, and increase your happiness. For more information on memory and brain health, contact Memory Spring at (530) 297-6464 or click here to email us.
Dawn Lawver is the owner of The Dawn of Organization and an instructor for Memory Spring. The Dawn of Organization (www.thedawnoforganization.com) provides consulting and hands-on organizing of your home and business, including preparing homes for sale, pre-move purging, and also taking donation items to a charitable organization.