When spring rolls around, many of us start to feel a bit overwhelmed by all of the “stuff” that has accumulated in our homes over the long winter months. When our home is disorganized and cluttered, it becomes difficult to find what we need. It's harder to put things away because our drawers and rooms are full to overflowing, and sometimes we're even less likely to have friends over because things are such a mess! Spring inspires us to clean up, clear out, and get things in order. The question is – how do you begin? Here are some tips to get you started:
Trash the trash:
Begin by walking through your home with a trash bag and look for anything that's broken, stained, missing pieces or parts, or otherwise no longer useful. You can also throw out cassette tapes, VHS tapes, old video & computer games, threadbare towels (save a few for the ragbag) and mismatched linens. Check in the bathroom for expired medicines and beauty products, and in the laundry room for single socks that have been partner-less for a few months. Recycle any old newspapers, catalogues & magazines from the last few months, too - if you haven’t read them by now, you can enjoy the upcoming issues instead!
Everything needs a home:
When I work with my clients, I love to help them find a home for all of those random items that float around in drawers and cabinets…lightbulbs, batteries, candles, electronics & cords, pet supplies, whatever! Once you begin to gather things together and put them in a labeled container or a designated drawer or cabinet, it becomes much easier to find things when you need them and put them away after you use them.
Consider your closet:
As you begin to switch from wearing winter clothes to spring, think twice about including anything back into your wardrobe that is stained, torn, doesn’t fit you well, or is outdated. Even if it's in good shape, if the color doesn’t suit you or the material is itchy, you probably don’t choose to wear it very often. Statistics show that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time, so all of those extra clothes that you aren’t wearing are clogging up your closet! One idea to see how often you actually wear your clothes is to put them into your closet with the hangers facing backwards. Whenever you choose to wear an item, after you wear it put it back into your closet with the hanger facing forwards. Then you can see which clothes you are actually choosing to wear - the ones that never get turned can be given away or taken to consignment.
Get the family involved:
Especially on big projects like the basement or garage, set aside a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday and put it on the family calendar. The more people that help out, the faster the project will go and the more fun you will have. Also, since everyone enjoys these spaces you want to include your kids to get their help and input on what to keep and where to store it! To get everyone motivated, make sure to have a fun incentive (like a walk to get ice cream or a pizza dinner) planned for a reward when you finish.
Key questions to ask:
As you work on different areas and rooms in your home and begin to make decisions about what to keep, ask yourself these questions: Do I love this? Do I need it? Do I use it regularly? If they answer is “no” to any of those questions, consider getting rid of it. Our interests change over time, but the things connected to them tend to hang around. If you have an old hobby that you no longer enjoy (craft supplies, a bread maker, golf clubs, an old guitar) consider giving the items away so that someone else can enjoy them (and you can have some freed up storage space!)
Cash it in:
Once you decide what you don’t need or use any more, consider these 2 resources for selling your extra stuff:
EBAY - As you clean out your home, take a closer look at your “junk” - there might be some items that would sell on Ebay! If you are like me, it can feel intimidating, overwhelming and time consuming to think about listing and selling them yourself, so consider getting some help! Find a local Ebay seller who will come over to your home, pick up your products, list, sell, and mail the items for a percentage of the selling price. Lynn Katzen, of Baltimore, Maryland says, "the things that sell best are jewelry & watches, sterling silver, Apple products (even broken!), designer handbags, vintage toys. coins. porcelain & crystal collectibles (like Lalique, Tiffany, Herend), athletic clothes (like Lululemon & Under Armour), and recent toys (like American Girl Dolls, Legos and Nintendo products)."
CRAIGSLIST & NEXTDOOR - Consider selling your larger unwanted items on your local Craigslist - it is free and very easy to use. Many neighborhoods have social network sites like Nextdoor, which are a great way to sell (or give away) furniture, sporting goods, kids clothes & gear, and just about anything else you can think of!
Pick an area & get going:
This basement really needed some spring cleaning...
Let’s spend some time this spring clearing the clutter from our homes and “making space for life.” Abell Organizing can help you in this process! Click below to contact me.