Spring Cleaning Made Simple

Posted by Kia Crawford on April 29th, 2016 in Mind | No Comments

Spring is in the air! Of course, for many of us in the Southeast, it never left. But soon it will be time for gardening, fresh flowers, and spring cleaning.

No one relishes the idea of de-cluttering his or her living space. But once it’s done, we always seem to be happier. There are a few great ways to make spring cleaning less work and more fun.

And since you want to make sure you do a thorough job (so you don’t find yourself doing summer or fall cleaning), here are some easy questions to ask yourself while you are deciding what to toss out and what to keep forever – or at least until next spring.

1) Do I need this?DWFAprilSomedia1

Everyone has a few items in their space that must absolutely stay. Tax documents, birth certificates, and passports: These are great examples of items that might be cluttering up your desk drawer – but you do need hang on to them.

So what about the other things in your desk drawers? Sure, you have every VHS copy of your favorite TV show from the 80s – but do you need every single one of those? What about the drawer that has dozens of pens, or the shoebox full of business cards you’ve collected?

What about the dreaded junk drawer? Everyone has one drawer that winds up being the home to all sorts of lost or miscellaneous items: batteries, used candles, a mystery tool that you don’t want to throw out in case it winds up being important.

Take a look at all of the stuff in your space and figure which things you absolutely cannot live without – and which things you could part with, even if not right away. Try sorting your things into piles so you can easily take stock of what you have.

Once you have chosen the items that you definitely want to keep, find the proper place for them. Keep important documents in a secure location that you can get to if you need them. Consider labeling drawers and other storage spaces so you know exactly what you have and where it is.

Tip: We love these de-cluttering ideas from designer Melissa Weber on Pinterest. 

2) Why do I have this?

Of course, in some cases, you might not need every single item in your space. But you don’t want to get rid of some things for other reasons. Baby clothes that you’re saving for your own grandchildren, photos of you and your family when you were a child, a drawing your son made for you in the first grade: These are the kinds of things that you don’t necessarily need, but you probably want to keep.

DWFAprilSomedia2Is there a way you can consolidate your keepsakes? Consider choosing one memento out of several similar ones to keep on your shelf, and get rid of the rest. It’s hard to pick which things get the boot and which things stay, so ask yourself these questions next: When is the last time I looked at this keepsake? Would I even notice if it was gone?

If you just can’t be sure if you can part with your mementos, try reorganizing them. Put all of those drawings your son gave you into protective sheets and store them in a three-ring binder. Ask someone how you can scan all of your old photos into the computer to access anytime you want, and then put those photos together in a box and send them to a relative who might enjoy looking at them.

And those baby clothes aren’t doing you a lot of good – but maybe your grandkids are ready for them. If not, you can probably fit them into a smaller box or space. Try rolling them up to make more room.

Tip: These quick organization “hacks” can help get you started.

3) What do I want to do with this?

By now, you’ve decided what you need – and you’ve decided what is too important to give up. So, now what? It’s time to decide what you want to do with your keepsakes and how to store them in your space.

First things first: Unfinished projects. So often we leave projects un-started or half-finished. So as you begin to de-clutter, consider which items you can use for the projects you want to accomplish this year. Make a Spring Resolution to finish a few of the tasks you have always wanted to complete. So if you saved a bunch of old t-shirts to make a quilt, go ahead and make it! If you have all of those old photos waiting to make a beautiful collage, start working on it today!

As for the items that you won’t be using for another project, like figurines or books, why not find a nice place to display them? You probably won’t have room for all of your keepsakes to be out all year long, so try rotating some items throughout the year. You can rotate them seasonally, or just make a commitment to rotate them every third month. This way, you get to look at all of the things that mean the most to you, without making your space look too cluttered or crowded.DWFAprilSomedia3

Tip: Use clothespins to clip fabric keepsakes, like potholders, to a string across your wall. [via Pinterest]

The idea of trying to clean your entire space in just a few days can be overwhelming, so try tackling one project a day. You can do a little bit each day and soon your space will be clean, clutter-free, and ready for relaxing.

And don’t forget to take some pictures of your newly cleaned and de-cluttered living space! They will inspire you to keep it up – and you can always toss them out next year.

Happy cleaning!