In the last blog, we took a quick overview of how an in-depth spring cleaning and decluttering works. It is interesting to note that in most homes the job of spring cleaning gets done, but the job of decluttering and organizing often goes by the wayside. So. Let’s take a better look at how to achieve successful decluttering as part of spring cleaning or for that matter, cleaning in any season of the year.
To begin with, why should a person be concerned with decluttering. What is the problem with just keeping everything and stuffing it under the bed or in the hall closet when there is no other place? For most people, having a lot of clutter around or even stuck out of sight will, in time, begin to wear on nerves. When a person spends time, sometimes hours, looking for a particular item or keeps tripping over items left lying around, it generally causes inner grief and sometimes even anger. There is lost time and sometimes cuts and bruises. The trick here is to learn to declutter as you go and at least twice a year do a thorough decluttering. But what does this mean?
Take a look around and see if there are any item such as old newspapers and magazines or socks with holes in them stuck under the couch, or even empty containers in the kitchen not being used. This type of clutter can be thrown away. It is helpful to take two large garbage bags through each room of the house, one for garbage and the other for recyclables. Children’s rooms often have the most clutter no longer needed in the form of broken toys, crumpled papers, and broken crayons.
The next type of clutter comes in the form of items still usable but no longer needed or wanted. This can include books that have been read, CDs and DVDs that have been listened to and watched, clothes and shoes that no longer fit, sports equipment no longer used, toys that are no longer played with, nick nacks no longer needed, and pots, pans, and dishes no longer used. There is an old say, “someone’s junk is someone else’s treasure” so perhaps a yard sale would be a good idea. Or, another way to make good use of still usable items is to donate them to a charitable organization. In most cases, a phone call is all it takes to have these items picked up.
Finally, there is the clutter of furniture, drapes bedspreads, appliances and other household items that, while still usable are no longer needed or wanted by their owners. In many ways, these items are just cluttering up their home and can even cause a feeling of annoyance as they are encountered each day. When possible think about replacing or getting rid of these items in exchange for something new or for providing a space for rearranging items you still enjoy. If money for replacement is an issue, yard sales and thrift shops are great places to replace items needing changed.
It is amazing the difference in a home’s appearance and the attitude of those who live there when clutter is removed. Spring cleaning provides an excellent excuse to declutter and hopefully begin a plan where family members help clutter from building up in the future by picking up and setting aside things no longer needed, wanted, or repairable. Having a box or bin in an out-of-the-way place such as the garage or a closet to put such items in as they accumulate can help make the job of decluttering ongoing. Our homes are our castles and we should enjoy living there.