Declutter Before You Spring Clean

Vicki Winterton shares her four step formula for approaching this necessary task:

1. Divide the Clearing Out and the Cleaning Up into two entirely different projects.

To begin the process round up a pen and notebook, then walk through your home and make a list of 3 spaces that need your attention. Of those 3, begin in the room where you spend the most time. That room will give you the greatest satisfaction. Decluttering is ALWAYS the first step. Why deep clean things you will not end up keeping? Round up 3 large labeled boxes or bags, (see Vicki’s cleaning products suggestions at When you run across things you are not sure about, ask yourself these two questions: “Do I truly love this?” and “Is this item useful to me in my current life?”

2. Organize What’s Left. Purging is the 1st part of my formula. Organizing what’s left is the other half. There are 3 key elements in maintaining your newly organized spaces:

■Store your kept items where they will be used.

■ Label the container and/or the space so others know where to return the used items.

■ Adopt the Something In/Something Out philosophy.

3. Now we can Deep Clean once the purging and organizing are completed. Professional Organizers are not professional housecleaners; however, I have learned some cleaning tricks in my years of working side by side with my clients. Here are a few cleaning suggestions:

■ Use the North to South approach or you will sabotage your efforts. Start at the top and work down to the floor.

■ Schedule blocks of time to clean and honor those appointments with yourself.

■ Get others involved in the project. At my home we understand the “If you live here, you work here” philosophy. Those large projects become very doable when others join in and help.

4. Some of my Favorite Cleaning Products can be found on my website. Visit to view all the products I have found to of greatest help.

Both Spring Cleaning and Clearing Clutter are about being conscious of your surroundings. Because most of us lead complicated and pressure filled lives, clutter and grime build up. Grab that notebook today and begin your week of decluttering. It will make your spring cleaning a breeze. When our surroundings are organized and newly cleaned, our life feels at peace. Now that’s refreshing!

Vicki Winterton is a professional organizer and an online organizing expert who co-hosts The Organized Woman Show.
To listen to her shows, visit:
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Vicki’s professional organizing business is found at:

***Special thanks to my online show co-host Laura Lawrence and my clients Janet & Dave for helping to clear out, organize and clean up the room we demonstrated.

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