Tips for cleaning up

What to do when you have an unplanned amount of time. How about mucking it out? Two cleanup experts will give you tips:

Where do I start?

In the living room, order coach Sabine Haag advises. “This is usually a manageable workload, where you don’t immediately get the feeling that you can’t do it anyway. Here you’ll find electronics, books and games. And here you can also connect directly to the spring cleaning and “do everything that usually falls under the table, like washing the curtains”.

“Look at which remote controls are still lying around, but the devices are long gone. Label the cables and muck out any that are no longer in use. And look which parlour games you still play, which puzzles still have all the pieces – the rest will go.”

According to a cleanup coach advise you to focus on the focal point in an apartment or house first – the place where too much-accumulated stuff is already disturbing. Many might have a corner, a room, the untidy hallway with all the jackets and coats, or when the packed kitchen, which leaves hardly any room to cook, has long been a thorn in the side,” says the coach.

“This is the perfect place to start cleaning out and tidying up. This is where we are most motivated, and this is where we will see the results of the mucking out and sorting right away,” the expert explains her approach. “This, in turn, motivates us to move on.”

All in a day or canapés – how do you divide it up?

“In any case, it’s advisable to choose a time frame in which results can be seen quickly, for example, three hours, on the one hand, and a period for which our strength is sufficient, on the other,” says the coach.

Otherwise, there is a risk of overdoing it. “Then you might not even start. If the period is manageable and I can then enjoy the friendly, cleared hallway or the free workspace in the kitchen, then my motivation to continue increases.

“Ideally, you should reckon with one week for each room,” says Haag. During this week you can do a little bit of work every day, such as making a drawer or a cupboard – and only more if you feel like it. “In the bathroom, for example, you can clean out the old cosmetics in one day, or you can concentrate thematically only on the hair accessories,” Experts gives examples.

“It’s also important that you approach it playfully,” the order coach continues. For example, one could pull the respective place of the day out of a glass filled with notes to clean it out.

Experts think it is “vital” to reward yourself after the work is finish. Even if it’s just “a cup of coffee on the balcony at the first warm rays of sunshine”. “Or dance through the tidy living room with my current favourite music.”

Are breaks within the units necessary, too?

Precisely because mucking out and tidying up has a lot to do with making decisions. It’s essential to take a short breather now and then, to step back a little and perhaps enjoy what you’ve already achieved. Such as the first tidy drawer in the chest of drawers,” explains coach. “Then we don’t tire so quickly and are more motivated for the rest of the route.”

Should we involve the children?

“It depends on the age,” Haag thinks. It also depends on whether, for example, you clean out their playrooms together with smaller children or whether the older children take over tasks in the house independently. “By the way, I would advise that only motivated adults participate in cleaning up,” says the tidying up trainer.

What is the necessary procedure – for example in a basement room?

“The first step is always -, and this applies to all rooms, by the way – to clear the floor,” recommends Schilke. “That way, freedom of movement restored and the field becomes somewhat lighter. When mucking out, each part checked individually to see what has to do with it.”

Should it be kept and repaired if it’s still in use? Should the piece be given as a gift or donated? What has to dispose of?

“For things we’re not quite sure about, we can still form a ‘don’t know’ pile and take it up again at the end,” advises the coach.

You can’t sell what you’ve cleared out in a hurry – or you might think that now that everyone is at home, we can use the old games again. How do you avoid new hoarding?

“Thematically, we sort the things into boxes, label them and store them temporarily in the cellar – for example, all the parlour games in one box, the garden things in another,” Haag explains. Then you can quickly retrieve the things that you feel like doing again in a short time. “And if you don’t use them now, you’ll certainly never need them again.”

Anything you want to throw away should throw away.

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