Boycott spring cleaning!

Why this organizational expert says there's a much better use of your time.
(Photos: Weheartit)

If there’s one place where wellness piles up, and not in a good way, it’s the closet. All those work outfits, plus piles of yoga pants falling over, and running shoes scattered among boots and heels on the floor, and watch out for those free weights! Basically, if you’re anything like us…mayhem.

But Justin Klosky—founder of the O.C.D. (“Organize & Create Discipline”) Experience, a personal organization company, and author of Organize & Create Disciplinesays the answer is not the traditional spring clean. Really!

“Why pick the most beautiful time of the year to spend indoors on the weekends?” he asks. “People have this idea that spring cleaning is this momentous occasion, but to me it should be happening all year long.”

And he doesn’t mean going ballistic with the soap, scrub brush, and gloves up to the elbows. With just 15 minutes or so every other day, you can tame your closet, your apartment, and help cultivate a greater sense of domestic calm and composure. Isn’t that what true wellness is all about?

Here are Klosky’s top tips for saner spring organization:

Think chronologically. When it comes to organizing your closet or dresser, think about how your day typically unfolds, then pack things in a way that supports that routine. “If the first thing you do every day is exercise, then it would be a great idea to make your exercise clothes the most accessible,” Klosky says. “This could mean hanging them instead of folding them, or moving things around in other drawers.” That way, you’re not spending your first 15 minutes of yoga class recuperating from the mad dash to find your mat.

Justin Klosky
Justin Klosky (Photo: OCDexperience)

Be tough. Can’t remember the last time you wore that sports bra? The one-year rule is a good jumping off point for when it’s time to purge, Klosky says. If that makes you nervous, “you don’t have to let go of everything at once.” Pack some things in a suitcase or out of sight in storage. See if you miss them. Oh, and ditch the shoeboxes. “Put the shoes on display so you remember to wear them.” If you’re not reaching for them, it might be time for them to go.

Prioritize counter space. Maybe you haven’t used your toaster, or that dusty utensil holder in months—so move it, especially if space is tight. And give your Nutribullet or juicer pride of place. “The most important thing in the kitchen is to make room for what you truly need,” Klosky says. That might sound obvious, but it’s a way to clear clutter and keep good habits. (If the Vitamix is out, you’re reminding yourself to use it.)

Don’t forget the freezer. Those frozen bags containing very little fruit and a whole lot of freezer burn are not going to enhance your smoothies. Klosky suggests cleaning out your freezer every two to three months. “Also, make sure that when you’re adding new things to your freezer, you’re pulling the older items forward, so you remember to eat them,” he says.

Remember, your gym bag’s not a crutch. If you’re using your bag as a place to stash lots of odds and ends—old magazines, empty Liquiteria bottles, 324 loose bobby pins—you’re not truly organized. “Don’t use your bag as storage,” Klosky says. “Whatever goes in your tote should immediately go out within a few days.” And preferably into the laundry. —Molly Gallagher

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