8 Tips To Spring Clean Your Space and Make Room For Your Dream

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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spring cleaning throw out the clutter

Want to know how your dream plan is doing?

Go to the area in your home you have set up to work on your dream. How does it look? Is it organized? Are there images placed of you completing your dream? Is there a list of your goals? Have you even looked at it recently? Do you even have a place where you work on your dream?

What is it that they say? If you look at the rooms in your home, they represent the way you think . . . ?

Are you thinking organized, healthy thoughts? Or are your rooms a jumbled nightmare reflecting where your life has been for the past couple of years? If your dream has stalled or you can’t seem to get it going, maybe what you need to do first is clear the clutter in your space.

The reason I am asking is because this weekend was my annual spring cleaning event. I am writing this post with a sore back (and arms) from scrubbing, moving, tossing and organizing. Twice a year I go through every room, closet and drawers to clean every inch of my place — organizing everything as I go.

It’s a butt kicker, but such a satisfying feeling when it’s done. I’d really like to crawl into my freshly-made bed rather than do this post . . .

Instead, I thought I’d encourage any of you who are feeling stuck with your dream to take time out in your busy life to reorganize the room (or space, or drawer) that is bothering you the most.

Come on, I know you have one.

8 Tips to Spring Clean Your Space and Make Room For Your Dream

1. Make a list of what you need for your cleaning/organizing day. Do you have two colors of garbage bags? Do you have plenty of window cleaner? Dusting spray and rags? Do you need any boxes or storage containers?

2. Stock up on easy foods to eat, your favorite energy drink and pain-reliever for sore muscles, so as you go through your day you aren’t creating messes you will have to address when you are exhausted.

And if you write — do your post before your spring cleaning — not after, like I am doing here.

3. Make an appointment with yourself for your spring cleaning day. Make sure to turn off your phone and TV when your spring cleaning day arrives. Put on your favorite music. Wear comfortable clothes. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted.

4. I usually start to whatever is at my right when I enter the space I am going to organize. Sometimes it’s difficult for people to begin spring cleaning. It can seem overwhelming. This is why I use the rule of work on what is immediately to my right.

5. Two color of big garbage bags work for what needs to be thrown away and what needs to be given away. I throw away anything that is broken, or gives me bad feelings that I keep telling myself I will fix or learn to love. If it’s been 6 months — toss it — this goes for everything — especially the stuff that makes you feel bad. If I haven’t used it in the last 6 months, it either goes in the garbage bag or the give-away bag.

A side rule for the give-away bag is that I make a commitment to give it away in seven days or it goes in the garbage.  This motivates me to make sure I drop it off at Goodwill, or the friend who expressed interest in having my clutter.

6. If you tend to be someone with paper piles, get two nice looking boxes that will hold paper. Bring a garbage bag and sit down on the floor. In one box put everything you need to answer (or pay) in the next 30 days and put everything else in the other box, or throw away (or shred) those papers that don’t need attention in the garbage bag. Stack the decorative boxes in a corner with your pay-or-do-in-the-next-30-days box on the top.

7. Don’t get stuck thinking too long on anything. Speed and organization should be the goal — not lamenting for 20 minutes on every item trying to decide if you should keep it. If you haven’t used it in the past year — get rid of it!

8. If you are stuck and don’t know where to begin, visit Gail Blanke and her website, Throw Out Fifty Things. She has some great worksheets and tips for clearing out the clutter in your life. She’s the expert!

There’s a commercial at the beginning of this video. I encourage you to suffer through it and watch Gail’s tips on clearing the clutter.

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Clearing space for the next stage of my dream will allow me to work more efficiently and get more accomplished.

I know that even with my sore muscles I feel lighter more free — ready to welcome the summer.  And . . . a tea party picnic with my girl friends (hello dreamers) who have seen me through the last four years.

Throwing a party is another great way to motivate you to organize your home . . .

What about you? What spring cleaning needs to be done to move forward on your dream this week?


Catherine HughesCatherine’s dream is to be a motivator and published writer. She is testing her theories on motivation with this blog and the seven other women who have volunteered to be a part of her dream project. Catherine also writes about her life as a mom at the blog A Week In The Life Of A Redhead. She would also like to be invited to speak at TED as the next Erma Bombeck. Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in when needed.

  • Katie Eigel, Travel & Wellness coach

    Perfect timing! I am in the process of trying to minimize my stuff and I will take the “throw out 50 things” to heart. That’s much easier than whittling your life down to 100 possessions, a feat some of my girlfriends tried a few years ago.

    • Girl since you just moved I bet you had to go through this process whether you wanted to or not! 100 possessions? Now that sounds interesting. Do clothes count as one thing? Shoes?

  • Gwen

    I forget where I read about the 4 box system. But you label 4 boxes and with these 4 categories:

    Give Away/Sell
    Put away

    This has helped me make quick decisions when I am organizing any room.

  • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

    i always feel sooooo overwhelmed. I start the weekend with good intentions and something inevitably happens and nothing feels worse than a house have spring cleaned! lol I will follow your steps and see how it goes next weekend….thanks for the reminder and good suggestions….xox rem