Everyone is going through the same thing as they try to reduce the amount of stuff that seemed to accumulate all winter long. That infamous spring cleaning time creeps up on us before we are ready so don’t feel alone, we all need to sift through our things periodically and I hope a few of these tips will help you keep the clutter down all year long.
Try to limit the number of keepsakes you collect from everywhere…going to look at yard sales soon? Keep in mind before you buy where that cute knick-knack is going to end up in your home. Do you try to keep every school project the kids bring home or running out of room on the refrigerator to store it all? Snap a picture and add it to a digital scrapbook so you can remember it as it was freshly done, you don’t have to keep it forever.
Take the decluttering one day at a time, one room at a time, this isn’t something you want to overwhelm you even more. Taking your time will let you really think about if you need to hold onto the things you are tossing out. Give yourself a day to go through a room, or if you are just bored waiting on the pasta water to boil for dinner clean out a junk drawer in the kitchen. Odds are most of the pens building up in that drawer don’t work anyway. Don’t try to tackle the largest room in the house when you have guests right around the corner planning a visit. Pace yourself!
Set aside a small area in your basement, garage, attic space or just the bottom of a closet and reserve it for a few small boxes or storage bins that you can easily close or tote around when ready. These bins can serve as a “dumping ground” for those clothes and shoes the kids just no longer fit all of a sudden, knick-knacks you are no longer wanting or just any little thing that you want to part with. Reserve one bin for things you know need to go and one bin for things you are still not-so-sure about but may need to think about. Every month or maybe just when the bins are full, take a trip to your local charity store and donate these items for someone else to enjoy. That “not-so-sure” bin will likely be full of things you really can do without but double check before heading out the door to the donation center so you don’t regret your good intentions later. Don’t forget to ask for your receipt so you can benefit when tax season comes up too. Another option is to try and make a little money from your gently used items by listing them on various Facebook online yard sale type pages or Craigslist…either way you get a tax or monetary benefit and a bit more room in your home.
All of these tips should help lessen the stress of that spring cleaning, but remember you don’t make the mess alone or accumulate everything by yourself so call in your reinforcements and train the kids and significant other, roommates (anyone that might be adding to the “stuff”) to help you out and stay on top of these things with you. The kids might even get some fun out of a little spring cleaning game to help you out and if they know the more room they have in their toy bins might result in new toys you may just create a little cleaning monster.
Anyway you decide to tackle the clutter is great! Taking a few of these steps and getting your home refreshed for the new season will help you feel accomplished too! Once you have a plan the execution should be a bit easier to handle and I wish you the best of luck! Happy Spring!