We are lucky to live in one of the few areas in Queensland where we can really witness the change of seasons. We have a relatively short winter but the changes in the garden which herald the return of spring are no less dramatic. This morning as I gazed out of the bedroom window I noticed the first copper-coloured new growth on the previously barren cedar tree. Here is a photo I took before I left for work. I used the zoom to try to capture this for you. Just out of view is the still bare liquidamber tree. Bare, that is, from a distance in the photo. I think I noticed the faintest hint of the bright green of new shoots. I will probably not have an opportunity to check it closely until the weekend. Of course, the dwarf peach tree is now in full flower as well. Spring brings with it the promise of new growth and renewal but what is it that seems to inspire us to ‘spring clean’? Is it the ability the throw open the windows and let the fresh air blow through the house after a winter of being closed up? Spring cleaning is one thing, but I have been consistently sorting, tidying and decluttering our home, regardless of the season, for what seems likes ages now. Despite this constant effort, ‘hotspots’ continue to develop. ‘Hotspots’ are those places (usually horizontal surfaces) where clutter seems to gather. The common ones seem to be the end of the kitchen bench, desk in the study and beside the mirror in the bedroom. I am trying hard to address these places where the clutter lurks by minimising the stuff that is available to collect there and by having a place for everything. Little things make a difference. We get very little snail mail these days as we have tried to get most bills/statements/information sent to us online. We also have a ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker on our mailbox which dramatically reduces the paper which comes into the house. This has made keeping the pile of ‘to do’ paperwork much easier to keep under control. Spring cleaning, a massive purge, constant decluttering or a combination – what is your strategy for stopping the stuff overwhelming you?