Yesterday was clean your room day and in my group I gave 5 tips on how to clean stress free. I always have a hard time starting cleaning and getting through the really big tasks gives my anxiety a hard work out. More often than not I end up crying on the floor in the middle of a pile of crap from 1989 that I can’t fathom how to get rid of or put away. I’m basically a hoarder that hasn’t gotten bad enough to be on the TV show. LOL I watch that show to make me feel better about my hoard.
There are a few things that I do, when I remember to, that makes it easier on my psyche to clean and go through stuff. That’s where I came up with these 5 tips to stress free cleaning. One of the biggest parts of my hoarding is clothes. It used to be books, shoes, trinkets, crystals… well literally whatever was my current obsession, but now it’s mostly clothes. So most of the time I’m in my bedroom crying about not being able to go through everything and get rid of stuff. But when I use these 5 tips, it makes things so much less stressful for me. Just have to remember to do them before hand.
For me, I’m easily overwhelmed, easily stressed, and that ends up keeping me from cleaning my room or organizing any space more than anything else!
1. Don’t look at the entire room that needs to be picked up and cleaned. That can cause me to be extremely overwhelmed and I end up crying instead of cleaning. Pick a spot in the room.. doesn’t matter how big or small, that is determined by your level of anxiety. Once you pick a section to clean, clean it thoroughly! Don’t just move things over to another part of the room. Put everything away. Wipe tables off, clean walls, vacuum, whatever needs to be done, do it completely on that small part. Then look at the beauty that is your accomplishment! Woot! Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small you think they are. This will keep you going!
Stress free tip 2. Instead of keeping all your mementos in a box, take pictures of them and only keep the pictures.
This is one of the hardest things to do. I am almost…. well maybe more than almost, a hoarder. I have boxes and boxes of papers, trinkets, rocks (yes rocks) and many other things from my past and my family’s past. Some of it has already gotten ruined by being in boxes and being eaten by bugs or mold.
The best way to protect a lot of these things is to not keep them. I know, I know! That makes my heart sink a little too. BUT if you take a picture of your goodie, and then upload it to the cloud (Google, Facebook, etc.) then you’ll have them forever, in good shape and can even share them with others!
Stress free tip 3. Make sure you take breaks to keep the stress level from being too much.
I am terrible at taking breaks as often as I need to. I feel guilty for stopping. I feel guilty for not doing enough. So generally I push through, and then fall over in pain and can’t do anything more. You should take a break after each small section is complete, at the very least. More often if you need to. The breaks will replenish your energy and keep you going.
Eat, meditate, sleep, watch TV, read…. do something to take your mind off of working and replenish your energy and motivation to keep going. Have you ever tried doing a 5 minute meditation, where all you do is concentrate on breathing? It will work wonders on your energy!
Stress free cleaning tip 4. Have an idea of where you will be donating items before you begin.
Ok, so maybe this should have been tip 1 instead of 4. LOL But, there’s no time like the present to figure this out. As you go through all the items you want to get rid of, you’ll need to know where you can donate some of the items.
Let’s face it, we all know that we have too many **ahem** clothing items, shoes, toys, books, dvds (people still use those right?), silver ware, and who knows what else. As kids get older and no longer fit into things or lose interest in the game they had to have, we have to get rid of them somehow. Burning everything down is NOT an option (or so I’ve been told, I still think it may be, but you have to decide for yourself).
One great place to donate items to is local women’s shelters. Even if they can’t use the items, they can often sell them, or use the materials for recycling/upcycling. Call around, look online, find the charity that could use the things you have. Even pet toys and items can be donated to a local rescue or zoo!
Stress free cleaning tip 5. Make sure you have all the supplies, boxes, hangers, bags, etc. that you need for everything.
This may be the last tip, but again it should have been number 2. What can I say, I don’t always write/create in a linear mode. It’s still a good tip.
I can’t tell you how often I go to do my laundry and finally put it all away (after weeks of taking clothes out of the basket or dryer… what? don’t judge!), and I find I’ve run out of hangers. I can either run to Wal-Mart to get more, order some on amazon thus put off finishing for another day, or just live out of baskets for another week. I won’t tell you which I do most often, but if you’re paying attention, you should know already.
Boxes and bags are great to have around for storage or to transport things to that charity you picked out already! You may also need cleaning supplies, tissue (for the tears that I will be crying as I try to decide which leggings I really don’t need anymore), a chair, music, water to drink. Whatever you need to make the cleaning easier and faster for you.
Do you have everything you need? What room are you going to tackle today? I’m going to do ONE load of laundry and put it away. That’s all I can handle after work, but it’s a start!
Want more organizational tips and tricks for the clothing hoarder in you? Would you like to learn more about me and my crazy adventures in LuLaLand? Join the Strawberry Patch Boutique for Fashion, Friendship and Fun!