For exclusive access to all our stories, including sequences, teacher tips, video classes, and more, join Outside+ today.
Try a new take on spring cleaning. These three simple steps will help you clear your living space to clear your mind.
Minimalism has arrived, especially in home decor, and hands-on decluttering companies are helping those of us stuck in the aspirational stages. “Clutter drains us, by reminding us of everything that needs to be done,” says Cary Telander Fortin, co-owner of the declutter and design service New Minimalism in San Francisco. “When it’s gone, you feel free.” Fortin’s starter tips for paring down:
- Assess the organizing helpers you already own. Are they just more “stuff” (e.g., is your footwear swimming around an inefficient shoe rack; is that multi-binder system for recipes too complicated for your dozen go-tos)? Make peace with the money you spent by donating these items to charities or schools.
- Base your “keeps” on what brings you real happiness and value. Ask yourself, “Am I using this?” or, “Do I truly love it?” If both answers are “no,” it’s clutter.
- Immediately decide what you’re keeping, returning, donating, or recycling as unplanned items come into the house. Postponing action on unwanted gifts, iffy purchases, and bundles of hand-me-downs creates piles on the floor or countertops, whereas decluttering in real time keeps your space consistently clear.
See also Home Decor: The DIY Terrarium