02 April 2014
Spring Cleaning By De-Cluttering

It’s spring cleaning time – time to “de-clutter” your home and your life. But where to start? And how can you save time on de-cluttering chores? Create a well-planned attack on that muddle of clutter.

Set some simple guidelines to simplify de-cluttering.  Throwing it out isn’t always easy, so set some simple guidelines: If you haven’t used it, looked at it, needed or wanted it in the past 12 months, consider tossing it.

You might be tempted to keep dust collectors and boxes of old kids’ toys, but now may be the time to drag unused items to the curb, or donate them to a worthy charity.

Focus on small areas. You don’t have to get the house shipshape in a single day. Spread out de-cluttering chores by dividing your efforts in different sections of the house: the living room today. Dining room tomorrow. Each day, choose an area of the house where you’ll look for things that you don’t use, need, or even want.

Toss the clutter one room at a time and enjoy the satisfaction as you see real progress. Your place will be looking better and better as you go along.

Don’t forget the basement, the attic, the garage, or the storage shed. Do it right to get the entire homestead clutter-free. These are the places we tend to store clutter – out-of-the-way spots that aren’t visible daily. So, even though the attic is packed with long-forgotten knick-knacks, you don’t see it. Out of sight, out of mind. But it’s still clutter.

If it’s been in the attic for a few years, and you still can’t find a use for it, sell it, donate it, give it to a friend or relative, or toss it. That computer you bought in 1998 stored in the damp basement? It’s clutter.

Little things make a big impact. Don’t be afraid to try a new, cleaner, simpler look to your living space.

  • Store kitchen appliances in a cabinet to clear up countertop workspace.
  • Tossing the clutter in the garage delivers more usable space – and a lot fewer boxes.
  • Teach kids to put away toys. Keep a couple of toy chests in play areas to make it simple for kids to hide the toy mess.
  • Turn the basement into living space by tossing out the old and building a new family room that delivers benefits every day, and can add value to your home.
  • Improve the curb appeal of your home by cleaning up lawn and porch clutter, including Mother Nature’s messes. Leaves, debris, the old bird’s nest – clean up the view of your home from the road to make a big impact.

Don’t move junk around, from the basement to the garage to a storage shed. Instead, if you aren’t going to use it, find someone who will. Or, toss it in the dumpster to simplify your life.

Toss one big thing a day. The old air conditioner. A box of clothing for donation. The dead dryer in the garage. Each day during spring cleaning season toss one big item a day until all that clutter is gone.

Buy storage bins. For items that really need to be kept, store them in those large plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes. Plastic storage bins seal out moisture and bugs to protect your prized possessions. They also stack neatly so you can keep seasonal clothes and holiday decorations in storage bins and swap them out as the seasons change.

If you buy something toss something. To keep clutter under control all year ‘round, adopt the “One In-One Out” rule. If you bring a new item into your house, toss an item of equal size.

New chair? Toss the beat-up recliner. New area rug? Why keep the old one in the basement? Toss or donate unused items each time you add something new to your space.

Box it. Using sorting boxes simplifies the process of de-cluttering. Get some large boxes and label them: Donations, Recycling, Storage, Sell Online, etc. As you go through the homestead, put things in the appropriate box. Everything else goes into the dumpster.

Take out the computer clutter. Don’t forget your digital debris when doing spring cleaning. First, clean out your cookies file and the temporary Internet files that have been downloaded and stored on your system. In fact, this step should be taken regularly to keep the clutter off your digital devices.

Next, delete all applications you no longer use – that game you downloaded three years ago and never play, the trial offer you never signed up for – all this clutter takes up space on your computer.

Finally, go through your files – text files, picture files, free music downloads, video downloads, emails from 2008 – it’s easy to collect clutter on a computer because it’s not always visible.

Be smart his year. Start your de-cluttering now with a single closet. Then, each weekend, set aside a few hours to de-clutter one section of your home. In no time, your place will look a lot bigger, neater, and more pleasing to the eye.

 

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.

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