Living in Hong Kong is great, but with space contraints and smaller apartments, a spring / Chinese New Year cleaning is a great way to declutter your life and start fresh! However, decluttering is easier said than done. Here are some sure fire tips to get you started and help you on your way, because let's face it -- unless you're 'Joy' -- nobody want's to clean.
Select an area in your home you’d like to declutter. Start with small spaces and you will to see progress faster. A quick way to get satisfaction from your elbow grease. Have a drawer that happens to home all things miscellaneous in it? Start with that one, and then move on.
Use containers. Boxes, bins, buckets, make them your best friend! They are great for keeping things organized, making sure you don't have too many of the same item -- plus, they look pretty… Win!
Once you move on to larger spaces, have a garbage bag near you while you declutter, so you can throw things away as you work. Get some kind of container (a box or bin) for things you plan to get rid of that aren’t trash. Ask yourself if each item is something that is really used and/or enjoyed. If the item is used/enjoyed, put it back in its place. If it’s not, put it in your get rid of it box, or in your trash bag if applicable. Examine each item individually, and try to work as quickly as possible. Remember that the goal is to declutter and get rid of as much stuff as possible.
Set space limits: 1 in 1 out. If you use it, replace it, but don't stock up on it! You don't need 10 spatulas. There's no use for two blenders. Decide what you can accommodate and stick to it. For us, each time we buy new shirt, let's be honest, it's not because we don't have enough shirts. And unfortunately, our closets don't grow in size. The answer? Try to giveaway or throw an older one away. Same rule applies for toys, accessories, gadgets, books - there is always someone you know you could give them away to.
Get familiar with your local salvation army / donation receivers. Create a box and collect all things that you want to give away. Once the box is full, drop it off at goodwill. Sometimes it’s hard to bring ourselves to throw something away, but putting it in the donation pile is non-threatening because we can always go get it a week later. Once the box is full however, don't go back in that box, you have lived without those items for weeks, you won't miss them once they have been given away.
Last but not least, rotation rotation rotation! Whether it’s clothing, decor, or your kids toys -- rotating things often can help you avoid forgetting items that you love. This post isn't all about decluttering, it's also about making use of the space that you have. By rotating things around, you will keep from filling up your home with things you don’t use. It might even help you enjoy somethings more!
After all the cleaning don't forget to CELEBRATE! You’ve gotten rid of clutter in your home. Invite some friends over, throw an elegant dinner party, or even better, GO SHOPPING! You deserve it!