Top tips for decluttering prior to a spring clean

Major Principles Of Decluttering

We’re delighted to share this guest blog by our Cambridgeshire Professional Organiser, Maria, following a recent collaboration with Allison Homes about Spring ‘Clutter Clearing’. The change of season often brings sense of wanting a fresh start and to feel renewed. It can also be a time to spring clean or ‘spring clear’ your life. The ultimate goal is that your home should bring your joy and be a sanctuary. Read on for Maria’s advice on how to approach your spring clean and top tips for decluttering:

Top Spring Clearing Tips

Declutter First

Multiple bits and pieces can mean it is more difficult to use what you have, keep things clean and make living areas fully functional. A practical and important principle to keep in mind is: declutter before you organise. We always give this guidance at A Tidy Mind, because clearing clutter means you will then start from an accurate place when it comes to deciding what you need to organise. If you attempt to organise before you have fully decluttered your space, it could feel like you’re organising forever!

When decluttering, ask yourself some simple questions such as:
Does this still add value to  my life?
Do I own something else that does the same job?
Will I realistically use this?

Everything we choose to keep comes with some kind of trade off. We need to store it, clean it, think about it, maintain it etc. That’s why each of our belongings need to ‘earn it’s place’. Your space is precious so protect it by being selective over what you keep.

When decluttering, make special consideration when it comes to large items such as furniture. It may be too bulky for the room or if there is an excess of pieces of furniture, rooms can feel particularly cluttered. Ask yourself whether you need each item. Does that chair in the bedroom enhance the space or instead does it tend to be used as a ‘chairdrobe’? Do you use that coffee table? When you next replace your sofa, could it be with a smaller version to create more open space in the living room?

Be Patient

Please know that decluttering takes time. It takes a long time to build up collections of belongings and it’s natural that it will take time to reduce too. Avoid putting unrealistic expectations on yourself, as you’ll only feel bad, unfairly to you, if you don’t measure up. No-one can declutter their home in a week. Instead go through your belongings in stages. An hour here, a few hours there. Even 5 minutes can be enough time to go through your sock drawer.  Many of our clients take more than a year to complete their decluttering journey and learn to love the process along the way.


Taking in a whole room at once, can be overwhelming and you may not know where to start. That’s why we recommend decluttering by category space allows. There will be main categories such as ‘clothes’ which can then be subcategorised e.g. ‘jeans’, ‘t-shirts’ and you can declutter by subcategory to make things less overwhelming. If working in the kitchen, you might group together all herbs and spices, and go through these to make your decluttering decisions.  Once you have finished decluttering each category, you can organise them into an allocated space, then start to declutter a new category, and so on.

Have a Plan

Consider your approach, especially with regards to a big decluttering project like a ‘whole house declutter’. If there is an attic or cellar, start there because they are likely to house lesser used items that you can more easily part with. Plus, making space in these areas is useful when it comes to reorganising the rest of the home.  In the same vein, start with less frequently used cupboards, boxes and drawers as you may find it easier to make decisions about your belongings.

Another point to keep in mind is to avoid starting with sentimental categories, because decisions may be more difficult and the pace naturally slower, which isn’t as motivating.  Go for less emotive categories, and ‘big wins’ so you strengthen your ‘decluttering muscle’ and drive yourself forward to keep going.

Be Decisive

It may not be possible to know whether you are making ‘the right’ decision. But clutter is oftentimes the result of decision delay, so try to let go of the need for certainty. There’s often an argument for keeping most items because they ‘might come in handy’. However, if you can, try to avoid keeping things ‘just in case’, because lots of items ‘may’ be needed. If you don’t have a use for it in the foreseeable future, consider letting it go now.

Finish the Process

Decide what you are going to do with your decluttered items. Is there are charity shop or local project where you can drop items or will they pick up from you? Do you need to call ahead to check whether they are accepting items? Many local recycling centres have ‘reuse’ sections and our favourite charity partner, the British Heart Foundation, does a home pick up service. You may also find it useful to look up local recycling options and waste disposal options, as any questions left hanging in the air can be a cause of procrastination over starting your decluttering journey.

The Final Touch: Professional Cleaning Service After Decluttering

Decluttered your space and feeling great? Now, take it to the next level with a pro house cleaning service!  They’ll tackle all those spots you might miss (or avoid) during a regular cleaning, giving your newly organized home that just-moved-in clean.  Imagine: no more dust bunnies, no more grime – just a truly fresh start to enjoy your decluttered space.  Consider it the ultimate reward for your spring cleaning efforts! ”

Need More Tips or Help…?

We hope you found this blog post useful when it comes to the basic principles of decluttering prior to a Spring Clean.

If you are based in or near the Cambridge area and need assistance with decluttering and organising your home and workspace, do get in touch with Maria for a friendly chat or a free consultation.

If you are based in other parts of the UK and need professional organising help, you can check our professional organiser locations page here to find your local organiser.

In case you missed it, also written by Maria, our Cambridgeshire principal professional home organiser is this popular post on How To Prepare Your Home For Sale, which includes some brilliant home staging and styling tips for if you want to sell your home, or even if you just want to spruce it up.

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