Perhaps it’s the 75 degree temperature we enjoyed yesterday, or maybe it is the bright yellow group of crocus blooms dancing in my garden, but I am in the mood for some serious Spring Cleaning. And that means some heavy-duty decluttering, too.
I’m all for simplicity, and I believe: Less Stuff = Less Stress.
Doubt it? Try it!
Enjoy these quick tips to help you whip your home into shape this season.
I. First, create FOUR categories:
- Keep (in a new-and-improved organized manner)
2. Then, start with one room, and begin in one corner of that room. DO NOT skip a single drawer, closet, shelf, or cabinet. Tackle it all (even those underneath/hard to reach areas). If you are short on time or tend to get overwhelmed by the BIG job, set a timer and work in ten minute segments. You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish in those short spurts.
3. Books: Keep only the ones that trigger specific feelings/memories. For books you enjoyed but don’t need to keep, pass them along to a friend with a note: “Thought you might enjoy these stories.” The rest can be donated to a local Literacy Council, Boys & Girls Club, or public library. (For cookbooks, nearly any recipe can be found online, so unless it’s an heirloom from your grandmother or a favorite family stand-by, consider letting this collection go.)
4. Bedroom Closets: Sort all clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and accessories. Trash anything that is damaged or stained, and donate all that are the wrong size. If it’s something that absolutely cannot be replaced (wedding dress, your favorite vintage coat, your child’s first shoes, etc.), keep it. Otherwise, if it’s out of style or hasn’t been used in the last year, donate it. If you’re having trouble deciding, ask yourself: “Would I buy this today?” If no, donate. Then, organize by the following categories (and color-code):
- Sleeveless Shirts
- Short-sleeved Shirts
- Three-quarter-sleeved Shirts
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Jackets/Coats (if not in a separate coat closet)
5. Linen Closet: Toss any damaged linens. Then, fold each sheet set neatly inside one of the pillowcases for that set. Organize by color, size, and room of use. (One extra set per bed is plenty). Donate any items that are not needed.
6. Medicine: Dispose all expired medication. Then, arrange using the following categories:
- First Aid (Band-aids, antiseptic, Epi-pen, etc.)
7. Magazines: If desired, keep a few current issues for your guest room. Otherwise, most great ideas can be found online. Recycle or donate to a local retirement home.
8. Pantry: Discard all expired items from pantry, refrigerator, and spice cabinet. Organize in the following categories:
- Canned Goods
- Cereals/Oatmeal/Breakfast Goods
- Beans/Legumes/Protein Bars
- Dessert Mixes and Other Boxed Goods
- Sauces and Jar Goods (Honey, Molasses, Preserves, etc.)
9. Dishes/Pots/Pans: Have you used that salad spinner this year? Are all 27 vases necessary? Do you have a stash of mismatched plastic storage containers? Remember, USE it or LOSE it. That’s the golden rule.
10. Restroom/Dressing Room: Again, use it or lose it. Then, organize and keep NOTHING on the countertop except hand soap.
Now photos are another issue entirely, and with years of family snapshots stuck in an intimidating cyber-backlog, I’d love to know your tips on how to tackle this stockpile.
Please share your favorite organizing ideas. Do you sell your items online? Host a yard sale? Sell or bartar in local resale groups? Tell us your tips and let’s all enjoy living the simple life.
Learn more about Julie’s award-winning, bestselling novels Into the Free and When Mountains Move by visiting: http://juliecantrell.com
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