As winter draws to a close and we finally move towards warmer weather, it’s time to purge the excess clutter that accumulated over the winter so we can feel more light, fresh, and free. Although spring cleaning is a chore that many dread, it can be easier than you imagine. In fact, if you follow these simple tips, the summer sun will be shining through your clean home in no time.
1. Make a List
Sentimental value is our biggest enemy when it comes to discarding clutter. For that reason, your first step should be making a list of the essential items you truly need to keep. This could include things such as your favorite clothes, important appliances, and useful utensils. As you begin the cleaning process, use this list to remind yourself of what’s truly important when your emotions try to prevent you from donating the pair of pants you haven’t worn in ten years.
For everything that’s not on your list that tugs at your heartstrings, force yourself to come up with a concrete way that you’ll use that item. If you can’t think of something, toss it.
2. Get the Family Together
A little teamwork can make anything easier. For that reason, it’s a great idea to gather your roommates, significant other, or children and assign them each an area of the house to clean. It’s best if you create some kind of fun reward for your group to motivate everyone to finish, like going out for dinner or dessert.
3. Save Space by Converting to Digital
If you’re still holding on to CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, or even film photographs, I’m sorry to break it to you: technology isn’t coming back. If you want your memories to stand the test of time, or even be accessible in the future at all, you’re better off moving them out of the closet and onto a hard drive.
4. Start with Simple Things
Items that can be quickly identified are best to start with. Look for old electronics such as remote controls, cellphones, or CD players that you can donate or recycle. Go through the kitchen and discard unused utensils, expired items such as spices, condiments, or food times, and old cookware. In your bedroom, living room, or office, look for old magazines or out-of-date reference books, such as encyclopedias, that you can easily do without.
5. Clean out Your Closet
Made popular by Oprah, one efficient way of getting rid of clothes is by putting them all on hangers facing the same direction. Every time you wear something, hang it back up but turn it to face the opposite direction. After six months, you’ll be able to easily identify the clothes you never wear, giving you the confidence to discard them.
Although this process can be difficult to start, once you begin you’ll gradually feel a weight lifting off your shoulders that will create a lightness that will carry you to the finish line. As you get started, be sure to donate, repurpose, or recycle whatever you can before you reach for the garbage can. This way, you’ll be helping others while helping yourself! If you’re cleaning to prepare for a move, use this cleaning checklist.