Clearing up the home clutter this spring

Spring sure is reluctant to arrive this year!

I think the changing of the seasons is one change that everyone gladly makes especially when we are emerging from a long dark winter. I like to think of myself as receptive to change, especially when it comes to design and colour yet when faced with change I think I can be just as reluctant as most of my clients.

When spring is taunting us in its early days some of us get the urge to spring clean, others move stuff from place to place while others simply leave well enough alone.

I have never been a big spring cleaner but this year I am taking stock and truly paring down my stuff, the need for purging is extremely pressing right now! Decisions will be made and a lot of stuff will be sacrificed — it’s time.

Now, please don’t think that my house is cluttered but there does come a time when it is necessary to purge ourselves of things that we carry along with us that may no longer be useful.

Clutter can drain our energy, our time and our finances if we are not careful to keep it under control. When we are disorganized we end up spending more time searching for things or tend to give up altogether when faced with an overwhelming task.

I find organizing my receipts for taxes overwhelming this year yet if I had implemented a Kaizan rule to my receipts I would have an easier time locating all of my bills!

The Kaizan philosophy is a Japanese concept using incremental and gradual changes to improve our way of living. Instead of consuming the entire bicycle, we consume it one bolt at a time and it can be done!

If I took just 15 minutes a week to file my tax receipts then April would be organized and no stress at all. This philosophy applies to exercise, eating well and just about everything we can do to improve our lives, but I want to apply it specifically to our homes.

If you face every Saturday with dread because that is housecleaning day, try using small spaces in your week to clean up areas of your home.

Just 15 minutes a day will keep one room perfectly clean and that will take that task off of your list for the weekend. The Kaizan philosophy would further break that 15 minutes down into three five-minute cleaning sessions a day, you can further fragment that into two minutes (the length of a TV commercial) which would fill the 15 minutes during a one hour program.

Quickly pick up clutter, load the dishwasher or dust.

A goal in our house is to always try to have the main floor company presentable, if people drop by I have very little to do to be able to welcome them in and that brings me a great deal of joy.

Clutter adds stress and takes away from the enjoyment of one of the main functions of your home – entertaining friends and family. Try to implement a small change today and see what the results are by the end of next week, pack one box for charity per week and see your clutter disappear in just a few short months.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at

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