By Jan White
I know what you’re thinking…we don’t even have all our Christmas decorations taken down, and you’re already talking about spring cleaning? While that’s definitely one way to look at it, you could adopt the perspective that the new year is the best time for new beginnings – and you can start with your home.
If you’ve decided to take the plunge and declutter your home, here are a few things to keep in mind:
•Don’t just throw away clothing and housewares that you don’t need. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Offer discards to family members or friends first. If you feel the item has value, consider selling it on consignment at a local thrift store. Or call your local church or charitable organization and see if they know someone who could use your castoff housewares or furniture. But remember the golden rule and don’t pass it on to someone else if it’s in bad shape or you wouldn’t continue using it yourself.
•Along that same line, don’t keep holding on to clothing or household furnishings, hoping you might use them in the future. If those items have been sitting in the same place in a closet or cabinet unused for years it’s probably time for them to find a new home.
•Don’t start your decluttering process without a plan. While it’s tempting to just throw everything in a box and sort through it later, organizing piles of items to ‘keep,’ ‘sell,’ or ‘throw away’ is the best method. Then you can bag them up for the trash or box them up for the local donation center.
•The best way to declutter an area is to empty the space first rather than trying to sort and rearrange while the items are still in cabinets or closets.
•If you are decluttering with the thought of having a garage sale, make sure you set a date for that sale. Otherwise, you’re just moving the clutter from one space to the garage or storage room.
•Declutter one space at a time. The idea of decluttering a whole room might feel overwhelming, so break the project into small sections. Make a list of the areas you want to work on - clean out the junk drawer, reorganize your makeup and beauty items, tackle that master-bedroom closet. THEN STICK TO THAT LIST. If you deviate from a set plan, you are more likely to abandon the project altogether. ‘Sticktoittiveness’ is the goal for truly reorganizing your home.
•If your reorganizing involves heavy lifting or moving, keep a bottle of water and a snack handy. You don’t want to lose your momentum by running out of energy or getting dehydrated.
There are many online articles and videos that address the topic of decluttering your home. And they don’t just offer good tips; they can be inspirational. So why wait until March or April to begin that cleaning project? Start now, and you can be outside enjoying the weather when spring comes instead of worrying over that messy closet or junk drawer.