There is a little something called Spring Cleaning…
In a culture where we have lots of stuff, we tend to need to do a lot of cleaning to upkeep our… well stuff.
So, first easy “Before Summer Starts” thing to do? Clear the clutter. That means those piles under your bed, in your closet, and in your (ahem, my) garage.
The fact that we have entertainment shows about people hoarding items boggles my mind. Don’t let that be you! Get rid of things you don’t use. Set a realistic idea for your circumstances. (Say, if your kids are older, get rid of things for *this age* and under. Or if you haven’t use an item in *this amount of time* donate it.) Make a clear cut point where things can be kept or given away. For instance, in the clothing department I donate anything I can’t fit into comfortably anymore (I’ve had two babies in two years, so I don’t think I want that little-pocket-tee-shirt from when I was 17…), anything I have not worn in the last three months, and if it is seasonal something that I wore less than twice last season.
If you have to, write down your guidelines and go room by room. Don’t let it overwhelm you- it is your stuff and you can give it to someone who could really need it! If you have lots of piles, start with one at a time and only think about that pile. Set a goal for one pile a day/week and finish that project first. Sort your items, bag or box up what you are giving away, and then donate it to GoodWill, a church pantry, etc if it is in good condition. And here is the big kicker. If it isn’t in good condition or too personal (say, that 7th place bowling trophy from 1988) throw it away.
So: Clearing the clutter. Pick a clutter spot. Set your goal. Sort, bag, then dump or donate. Get the kids involved. Turn on some upbeat music and sing while you work. Enjoy the memories with your items, and then let them go! The key for those with many piles (or very busy lifestyles) is to go one spot at a time, only think about that one spot, and complete your goal for that one spot. That way, if something comes up and you have to slow down on your de-cluttering, you at least got that spot completely done.
My personal clutter spots: Our garage. The goal: Clear garage of boxes from move, buy shelving for regular storage boxes. Anything that I can live without (we obviously have lived without it for 5 months!) goes to the local pantry.
Here is a post I did about cleaning out your clothing closet last year.
Before Summer Starts..
Clear The Clutter
Make The Practical Pretty
Clean Those Hard-To-Reach Places
Set Goals For Summer