Wednesday is the First Day of Spring—which provides an excellent impetus to dig in and do something that only seems like a tedious chore. In actuality, it can be a sure way to treat yourself and the whole family.

That “something” is decluttering your house!

Why is this a “treat” rather than a tedious way to spend a morning? For one thing, it’s the relief you’ll feel only a short time after you get started. The stuff you get rid of has been lurking in more than the drawers, closet floors, and cupboards. The space it occupies isn’t just in your house—it also has a foothold in a corner of your mind, taking up valuable consciousness space.

If you don’t believe it, just grab a cardboard carton and go through the kitchen drawer (the one where all the pencil stubs, old rubber bands, and twist-ties are mixed in with the expired coupons)—and ruthlessly scrap the stuff you’ll never ever use again. Once you seal up the carton and put it out where the trash goes, check your demeanor. Chances are it will feel as if a weight has been lifted, as surely as if you’d just mailed a parking ticket payment before the deadline. 

It seems to be a universal human condition, putting off decluttering. It doesn’t make sense since getting rid of useless stuff always feels good, but there it is.

One practical tip for how to get started is described by the ICD (Institute for Challenging Disorganization)—a very serious group of productivity specialists and professional organizers. They recommend writing down your own list describing degrees of usefulness. An example of such a “clutter scale” might be:

1        Items I’ll never use

2        Items I almost never use

3        Items I haven’t used in the past 6 months

4        Items I don’t often use, but which are difficult to replace

5        Items I use every week (or simply love)

With your rating system at hand, you’ll find it much easier to toss 1- and 2-ranked items, and (especially on Wednesday, the first day of Spring) you might even be energized enough to trash most of the 3s!

Decluttering is much easier if you keep at it regularly—but it’s definitely mandatory when you’re ready to put your home on the market. That’s also when I’d recommend calling me!