The great spring clean

Whilst you can absolutely perform a ‘spring clean’ at any time of the year, tackling it during the spring helps you maintain focus and clarity on your plans.

I once heard the phrase ‘clutter is unmade decisions’ (Shira Gill, professional organiser). I’d never looked at it from that perspective before. I personally have the tendency to squirrel things away for when it will come in handy in the future! (Perhaps something I want to read or an idea I want to explore later, when I have ‘more time’).

However, ‘things’ can soon mount up, both physically and digitally, and if you’re surrounded by these ‘unmade decisions’ that can start to ground your springtime sense of optimism and prevent the creative space that you need, both physically and mentally, for new things/ ideas/ opportunities to germinate.

Ways to have a digital spring clean:

  • inboxes – have a sweep through to check what needs to be kept, contacts that need to be updated, and identify any items that are no longer needed and can be cleared out. Unread items soon become clutter; left sat there they can begin to crowd your inbox, making it hard to see the important messages when they arrive.
  • social media – update your social feeds to follow people/ organisations/ movements/ community groups aligned with your brand values and aspirations.
  • filing system – is it easy to find the documents you need? Are there files and documents that can now be archived? Remember to clear out your downloads folder and empty your digital trash bin (which can use up valuable space and slow your computer down).
  • notifications – are you only being alerted to important notifications? Or are some distracting your attention during your working time and your personal time? Establish boundaries for screen time and email checking to help you focus, switch off and enjoy being in the moment.

By having a digital spring clean you’ll also help avoid surplus digital information being sent and stored, which still consumes energy by being sat there. Unsubscribing from unwanted emails also helps reduce the carbon impact for you and the sender.

It can also help you save time, money and reduce stress; reducing the amount of information vying for your attention and impending ‘last chance’ emails. Allowing you to savour the information you want to read, and an uncluttered welcome!

I’ve intentionally designed Brand Seasoning to be a quarterly inspirational newsletter to help prevent inbox overwhelm, and make it a resource that you hopefully look forward to receiving. I’m always open to feedback and would love to hear from you.

Ways to have a physical spring clean

  • your workspace/desk – is everything you need on a daily basis within easy reach?

    Have things that inspire you and bring a bit of the season in to enjoy during your work hours too, perhaps a brightly coloured mug for your morning coffee, note book to plan your actions, seasonal photographs or plants. (One thing I love to bring into the studio is a pot of springtime bulbs that are just starting to bud, especially sunshine yellow daffodils!)

  • bookshelf/cupboards – what items do you no longer need that could have a new life or provide inspiration elsewhere?

    Is there a book you’ve read that you’d recommend or pass onto someone else? You might need to think creatively to find a solution for some things you no longer need, but most things can be repurposed and could be a great asset locally to you. For instance, I’ve recently donated surplus printed paperstock to a local playgroup for their creative play (which will hopefully inspire the imaginations and creators of the next generation!)

  • resources/equipment – is it performing at its optimum for what you need?

    Can it be fixed, upgraded, donated? Is it time to invest in an upgrade? There are also services who can help you recycle and redistribute your old tech and help the community, like Green Machine Computers.

  • paper filing system – from important paperwork, accounts (end of year paperwork to be completed and stored away) through to testimonials.

    How about creating an album of your brand’s good news stories to date, marketing materials and client testimonials ready to add to as others come in this year – a good reminder and way to lift your spirits when you need it.

  • vision board – have some creative time getting your ideas down onto paper (or a digital board)

    Place your creation in a prominent place in your working space (or desktop) to inspire your thoughts and actions each day; from your favourite inspirational quote, photos, magazine cuttings, headlines, how it will feel when you achieve your ultimate brand vision (what success looks and feels like to you), right on through to your brand focus word or goal for the year…

The same again can apply for your home. Is there anything broken that can be mended? Anything in that you no longer use that can be donated and given a new lease of life.

It’s time to make space for new and exciting things

Yet, it can be so hard to let go of things

An integral part of my creative approach combines illustration and storytelling to create rich brands for my purpose-led clients. Every element is intentional. It has a meaning and purpose. An important value or feeling to communicate.

It’s also similar with me for a lot of items that are around me in my workspace and home. Some hold memories of people, places or events. Items that have been with me through significant moments.

You might also have research and materials for projects or ideas still sitting around, that a lot of love, time, and energy has gone into, which never quite got off the ground or has run its course.

Even when we store things away in cupboards, out of sight, they are never fully out of mind. Simply knowing that it’s sat there acts as a constant reminder of that something that perhaps didn’t work, wasn’t the right time or still holding onto for the perfect occasion… ‘decisions left unmade’.

Be gentle with yourself, and identify how each item makes you feel, and what needs to be kept or repurposed, donated or sold. Any item you’re not sure about, you could try boxing it up and leaving for a few months, if afterwards you didn’t need it or miss it then you know its good to go. Good luck 🙂

The aim is to make space, physically and mentally, for your new and exciting projects. It will also soon be time to have the windows wide open and let the fresh spring air fill our homes and work spaces!

As you tackle your spring clean, here’s one of my favourite quotes to help inspire you:

“What matters is keeping those things that bring you joy.” (Marie Kondo)


Illustration by Becks Neale

Becks Neale is a Dorset Designer & Brand Consultant, working alongside charities, community initiatives and purpose-led organisations to achieve a brand they love and live, by distilling their brand story.

Design to tell your story.

© inkshed design studio