Spring Decluttering

It’s springtime and that means it’s Spring Cleaning Time! Yay! But I’m not talking about cleaning, I’m talking about Spring “Decluttering.” Most people don’t enjoy it, but just think about how great if feels when it’s done. Now you don’t have to throw away or donate everything in your house, garage and attic – no, no, no – let’s just take on some simple issues that stack up and clutter your life. Look at your counters in the kitchen, that closet you only open to put more stuff in, or even that junk drawer that is so full you’ve started a second drawer!

Tackling just a little can make you feel less stressed and very accomplished. For me, it’s that junk drawer that drives me nuts! So, let’s start there, it’s a small task that can take less than 30 minutes. What you’ll need: a garbage bag, cleaning wipes, a space to do the work, my favorite storage saver – baskets, and the drawer, of course!

Clear a space on a table or the floor and if you can remove the drawer take it out and to your work space. Now, take everything out. Next, clean the bottom of the drawer with a cleaning wipe. A fresh clean start is the best for decluttering. Throw away anything that is clearly trash: expired coupons, anything broken, fast food packets (seriously why do I save these!) and all unidentified objects. Start making piles of like items. Office supplies – pens, pencils, paper clips, random cords – if you don’t know what it belongs to, toss it. Personal necessities – hair ties, band-aids, nail clippers.

I was lucky to find some super glue with the lid off and it’s now stuck to my thumb and things are sticking to my fingers – but by golly we are going to get through this! Now, get those baskets I mentioned. I get them at the dollar store and they come in sets of 2 or 3 and surprisingly cost $1! Place the baskets in the drawer, it’s like a puzzle but fit them in the best you can.

Designate baskets to your categorized piles and fill the baskets!

Put the drawer back and you’re done! Whew, that was exhausting, I mean exhilarating! Wow, doesn’t that feel great!

That was a step-by-step process as an example to follow, so let’s talk about some simple tips to keep you going:

  • Expired items – medicine, coupons, make up, even food in your pantry
  • Anything torn, stained, with holes in it or strings hanging off them – towels, rags, sheets, blankets (you can donate some of these things to the pet shelters so look into that option before tossing)
  • Magazines, newspapers, kids school papers and their artwork – it’s been on the fridge long enough and there’s more where that came from
    Empty – or close to getting there – containers of soap, lotions, and you probably can’t squeeze anymore toothpaste out of that toothpaste tube
  • Dead batteries
  • Pens and markers that don’t work
  • Junk mail – pretty sure you didn’t read it anyway
  • Broken anything – toys, coffee mugs, plates, that treadmill you thought you’d use but it doesn’t work and now it’s a clothes rack
  • Clothes – if it doesn’t fit, it’s stained or you haven’t worn it through 4 seasons – it goes
           – Socks – no matches – out
           – Gloves and mittens – no mate – out
           – Purses, ties, belts, shoes – don’t need ‘em – donate ‘em
           – Unmentionables – old and worn – City Mission takes old items and can recycle them
  • Plastic Containers without matching lids – I still have no clue how this happens
  • VHS, Cassette tapes, CD’s and DVD’s (missing the CD or DVD or it’s scratched toss it and the case)
  • Burned down candles
  • Phone books
  • Old Tax papers, receipts, statements (you can shred these)
  • Non-working or broken electronics – check local area for recycling drop off spots

This is just a small sample of things that can ease the burden of the clutter. I will cover some more fun decluttering, downsizing and cleaning topics in upcoming blogs.

Check Pinterest for more ideas, I even started a board to help you. Check it out here:

https://www.pinterest.com/amytruell/decluttering/

If you don’t have a Pinterest account, I highly recommend getting one! It’s great for ideas on life, your house, recipes and so much more.

The large picture can be daunting, but small steps will get you there. If you need help or some hands on help, give us a call! We’ll be happy to provide some consultation and even get our hands dirty!