“In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”
— Mark Twain
Spring is in the air! Can you feel it? I sure can. Right about this time each winter, I start to long for spring. And that is despite the fact that we have already had a couple of false springs, weather-wise, this winter. Today we have the windows cracked for some fresh air, even though the breeze is chilly.
Traditionally, spring is the time for cleaning out the old and bringing in the new and fresh. While I have never been much of a whole-house spring cleaner, I am often in the mood for a whole-house spring declutter.
Want to get in the spirit of the coming spring? Consider tackling these projects with me over the next few weeks.
If you’ve been hunkered down all winter, it can be challenging to get motivated to declutter and clean. In those cases, it is wise to start with a relatively easy project like your kitchen drawers. I like to tackle them one at a time, which prevents a huge mess in the kitchen if I tried to declutter all of them at once.
Choose a drawer and lay all of its contents out on your counter or table. Wipe the drawer clean. Examine the items from that drawer and determine if there are duplicates in other drawers. If so, set those aside until you get to the similar items in the next drawer.
Now assess the remaining items. Are there things there that you haven’t used in six months to a year? Unless it is a seasonal item, consider purging it. What about duplicates within this drawer? Do you really need five wooden spoons? Keep what you need and like best and move the unneeded or unloved items into a bag or a box.
Proceed this way through all your kitchen drawers. When you have completed the work, donate or sell your bag or box of goodies.
This is my favorite springtime decluttering project, even though I do not do it every spring. It’s more like every three or four years that I work on the linen closet ever since my major purge of it several years ago. We rotate out a heavy comforter with a lighter weight quilt each fall and spring. This gives me the opportunity to pull some other things out of the linen closet for inspection.
Spring is when I might replace old, flattened pillows, perma-stained pillowcases, and worn out sheets and towels. A quick inspection is all that it takes to decide what stays and what goes, but every few years I will reorganize everything that has accumulated and purge accordingly.
Almost every spring I consider replacing our light-weight quilt, and so far, I always decide not to. I love the colors and pattern of the quilt, and while it has some tears and worn spots, it’s perfectly serviceable and greatly loved.
Now is the time to set aside the winter clothes that have seen their last season at your house. Too many people hurriedly pack away (or rotate out in some way) their winter clothes, thinking it makes the best sense to sort and declutter them before NEXT winter. I disagree.
Right now, while it is fresh on your mind, start pulling out the clothes that remained unworn all winter. Unless there was some compelling reason for ignoring them (for example, snow pants during a snowless winter), put them right in the bag or box to sell or donate.
Repeat the process with your kids’ clothing, too. In all probability, some items won’t fit by next winter.
Why keep items in your home for six more months, only to purge them this fall?
Likewise, tackle your winter gear now, too. Didn’t go ice skating this season? Or last? Are you done risking your life on your skis or snowboard? Do you have gloves, hats, scarves, and other winter gear that didn’t see the light of day this winter? Pull all your gear out, sort it, and ruthlessly purge what needs to be purged.
Books are always a hard category for me, regardless of the season. I like to purge books after winter, however, because I frequently read more during the cold, dark winter months. I’ll accumulate the books I’ve read and don’t plan to keep, since schlepping them to the used bookstore in the cold is not my idea of a fun time.
In addition, I tend to use this time as spring approaches to reorganize books on my shelves. I’m a lazy filer of paper and I’m a lazy organizer of books, if I’m honest. New ones tend to get placed on top of others in a full bookcase until I get around to rearranging them. This tends to get me to purge others on my shelves that have escaped my critical eye in the past. All in all, this movement of the books is an ideal time for intensive shelf dusting, so that is exactly what I do next.
There you have it, five reasonably low-stress decluttering projects for you as you await the happy moment of spring’s arrival. Get busy!
How about you? What items do you like to declutter as spring approaches? Share below! Or if you want to start a discussion with some like-minded friends, join the free SimpleMoney Community on Facebook to share your thoughts!
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