April 12, 2019 7:49 pm

Tackling clutter in Alberta: Where do I put my winter coat?

Katie Hudson organizing a drawer

Katie Hudson/Tidy Katie
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Patio weather is on the horizon in Alberta, but our climate poses its own challenges with “spring cleaning”.

Katie Hudson, professional organizer at Organizing with Katie, explained why a clean-out in a province besieged by harsh weather can be more challenging.

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“Edmontonians have to do a switch-over. We’ve got all of these things we use during the winter that might not be put away properly or things in our home that need a little bit of maintenance as well,” Hudson said. “It’s important to put away the things you’ve used in the winter. Christmas décor, your winter coats, all of that. Then you can start a good declutter.”

More sunlight after a harsh winter can also act as a motivator.

“We’re coming out of the winter and we start to see the light. That’s motivating in every aspect of our life and also in our home. We have this energy now to lend to these projects you’ve wanted to do but have put off.”

So, once you’ve got the motivation to begin a spring clean — what’s next?

“We can get easily overwhelmed. You’re excited to clean, it’s finally spring. Then you do one drawer and you’re defeated by it. You have to pick an area that has the most impact.”

Hudson said once you have had a successful small area clean, you can use that motivation to push yourself to the next room.

READ MORE: Tidying up? How an Edmonton initiative gives your clutter a cause

She also warns that the process could get worse before it gets better.

“It’s a bit of a roller coaster. There are lower points in the process. People can feel overwhelmed because there’s a lot of stuff out and we’ve made it messier before we can tidy. I let my clients talk about how they’re feeling too. Part of motivation to clean is talking through it.”

Hudson said you also don’t necessarily need to revamp your life during a spring clean.

“It’s not realistic to be a minimalist necessarily in Edmonton, in our wardrobe for example. We’re going to need our winter coat, mitts, and a hat and that’s OK to have those things around. You just need to be diligent about that stuff. Think about ‘what can I put away?'”

If space is an issue, go with a storage solution.

“Put the winter clothes in a bin under the bed, or on top of the closet. If you’re strapped for space just put it in a space that’s out of the way. Put the winter coats to one side that your family doesn’t access as much.”

LISTEN BELOW: Tackling clutter in Alberta: Where do I put my winter coat? 

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According to Hudson, there’s a difference between getting rid of clutter and consciously putting your belongings in order.

“You want to put things back intentionally so that you can keep things under control and it doesn’t just keep getting messy again,” Hudson said. “Really think through where you’re putting your stuff. Don’t just chuck out boxes. Think about where your spring things are going. If you have kids and there are lots of outdoor toys, designate a plot to put those toys. That takes a bit of planning and thinking.”

It’s also helpful to bring in some additional support, whether that’s a professional or a friend.

“Having another person involved is a bit of an extra motivator. Add someone into the process who you can trust.”

It’s also important to not get caught up in pressure you may feel to spring clean.

“Be nice to yourself. We beat ourselves up for our mess. We spend a lot of time feeling like we are our mess or feel bad for letting things pile up. I think people should give themselves a break,” Hudson said. “Spring clean those negative feelings about your mess too and replace them with positivity.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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