Do you guys take part in “spring cleaning”? I do for sure. There’s something about the warmer, longer days that make me want to clean and purge everything. I do both those things year round but this time of year is when I really evaluate what we use, what we don’t, what stays and what goes. Not just your normal, oh I don’t like the top any more, sort of purging.
Here are five simple tips for kick-starting your spring cleaning that can really make a dent in simplifying your home.
- Consign Clothing Online. If your just going to donate them anyway it’s worth sending them in to see if you can get some money for them. Sites like Twice & ThredUp will both send shipping bags directly to your home at no cost to you. Leave it out for your mail carrier or drop off at a post office. It’s that simple. In a few weeks you’ll receive a note of what they took and how much you’re getting paid.
- Check Your Freezer & Pantry (and cook or bake if needed). Take a quick swipe through your pantry and freezer for any items that are nearing expiration. Cook or bake it up so it doesn’t go to waste and frees up space! I made paleo banana bread and paleo blueberry banana muffins this week because I didn’t want to waste the frozen fruit. I’ve also been having soup for lunch to use up what we have since I can imagine after this month we probably won’t be eating too much soup until fall.
- Donate & Sell. My method for donating versus selling is simple. If I can sell for $20 or more than I’ll take the time to post and deal with Craigslist. If I can’t make at least $20 it’s not worth dealing with Craigslist people who promise to show and don’t, therefore the items get donated.
- Go Through EVERY Room. That’s right. I actually find it more efficient to just go through every room, closets, drawers, etc. than trying to think about what I want to purge. It actually doesn’t take that long and once I get in a groove it’s pretty easy. I usually just pull things out and separate into immediate donate or sell piles. What I learned this time around is that I have a box hoarding problem? I seem to hoard boxes that could be good for organizing small things. I’ll have to work on that.
- Don’t Make Up Reasons to Save Things. It’s as simple as that. No, “oh but I might use it some day” or “but it’s good to have” or “but it was expensive.” If you don’t use it don’t keep it! I was cleaning out the kitchen last weekend and I found six or seven of those OXO pop top storage containers that were in a drawer of the built-in. I didn’t even know I had them and clearly I haven’t had a need for them since they haven’t been used, or missed for that matter, in nearly nine months. Same with our mandolin slicer. That thing moved cross-country with us. I think we’ve used it once in the five years that we’ve owned it. Done, donated.
I got a jump-start last week and weekend on purging and will continue into this weekend. I want to go into the new season feeling lighter, with fewer “things.” We can become so bogged down with our belongings and most of them are items we can live without or find something else to serve the same purpose. For instance, the mandolin slicer example, my food processor has attachments that serve the same purpose (and I use that regularly) so why keep the damn mandolin slicer for five years?!