Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring cleaning!

Spring in finally in the air... and after a long and cold winter, I’m sure we are all welcoming spring back into our lives with open arms. But along with all the wonderful things that come with spring (fresh, clean air, the ability to leave the house with only a light jacket, not having to hunt down those missing gloves your kids managed to lose for the hundredth time) comes the need to... well... spring clean! And this is no easy task, my friends.

When starting to think about taking on the task of spring cleaning, you must be prepared! Plan ahead! And most importantly, get rid of all that clutter! You know you want to get rid of it. The first and most important step is coming to terms with the fact that all that ‘clutter’ should be tossed!

What is all this clutter you have accumulated over the long winter months? Well... clutter is anything that doesn’t really have a place. So don’t delay any longer - get rid of the junk and give yourself some room to breath. Things to get rid off:

Clothes that don’t fit. I know sometimes it’s hard to come to terms with this fact, but we all have a few pieces in our closet that have been gathering dust! The rule of thumb is, if you haven’t worn it in the last 6 months? You’re likely never going to wear it again. And the good news is - these clothes can find a better home at a consignment shop or at the Salvation Army. So, by getting rid of your clothes clutter, you can also do your good deed too, by donating your items to others. (And the best part of getting rid of those old clothes? You get to go shopping for new clothes! What could be better then that, I ask you?)

Things you don’t like. These items are in everyone’s house. Maybe they were given to you as a gift, maybe you have a shelf of wedding favours you can’t bring yourself to toss - whatever it may be, they are just taking up space in your house. So, do a clean sweep and toss those items. Holding on to things you don’t like is a waste of space!

Outdated newspapers and magazines. If you have a pile of old newspapers somewhere in your house - ask yourself why that pile is still there! Take some time to skim through the papers. If there is an article of particular interest to you, cut it out and save it in a file folder. If not - toss it out! Same goes for magazines. If you can’t bear to part with your magazines, leave a couple upstairs and box the rest and put them into storage. At least that way they’re ‘out of sight’ but still close enough so if the urge came up to see who was on the cover of People’s Sexiest in 1998, you know where to find it! Also - wedding invitations and thank you cards - if they are special to you and you want to hold onto them, get a nice box from a specialty store and keep them there. Don’t keep them on or above your fridge!

Other things to get rid of include items (other then clothes) that you don’t use or that are damaged beyond repair. Make it a family affair and clean out the children's playroom and bedroom together - go through books and toys and make a ‘keep’ ‘give away’ and ‘toss’ pile. Do the same with clothes they have outgrown. I know my son is excited to have a garage sale this summer and he's already picking up things he doesn't 'like' anymore to add to our 'give away' pile!

Some other useful tips in helping you with your spring cleaning: store things where you use them. For instance, pots and pans should be stored near the stove. Group similar items together - bakeware in one drawer, wooden spoons together, etc. (Seems simple, right?) Keep a pen or pencil with a writing pad near the phone, and have an orderly sorting and filing system for your mail. If you know where everything is and where everything is suppose to go, it will make living in a clutter-free house more easy.

Now that all the hard work is done - and your home looks like it is ready to be featured on the cover of Style and Home - go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather! Today is especially going to be great in Ottawa! And leave the garage and shed cleaning for another day - you’re a pro now, so you’ll be able to tackle that job in no time!

7 comments:

Rebecca said...

Great Tips! I think we've decided this is the weekend to do all that.

I need to let go of some more clothes but have to see what will fit down the road (I'll give it some more time!)

For those looking to get rid of clothes and small items, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation comes every couple of months and does a pick up - Diabetes Association does the same. It forces us to have everything ready on a specific day and our laziness doesn't get in the way!

Rebecca said...

Great tips!! I think we're going to tackle some of those things this weekend.

Also, every few months we have the Cerebral Palsy foundation come and pick up stuff (household items and clothes) right at our door, so we always have to review stuff to get rid of, have a specific date to do it by and since they pick it up, our laziness can't be an excuse!

I think if you go to the Value Village website, there is a list of charities you can contact. Once you're on their list once, they'll often call and remind you of future pick ups. Handy!

BeachMama said...

Good for you for getting a head start on Spring Cleaning. We need to do a little bit of one too. I have a few boxes of clothes to sort and get rid of and some toys that need new homes too.

Chantal said...

it is such a huge job (in my house anyhow) but I am doing it. bit by bit.

Loukia said...

Rebecca - thanks for the great suggestion about contacting Value Village for the list of charities!

twinmomplusone said...

Story of my life: I am constantly reorganizing, sorting, discarding, purging. I hate clutter. I'm becoming more and more radical as the years go by. With 3 kids and a hubby who all have way too many clothes and toys, who are all packrats, keeping them organized and the house tidy is a full time job in itself.

I give things away in several ways. Good friends get the best clothes, toys, books. Monthly trips to the salvation army to drop off things. Diabetes Association every 2 years or so for a big pick up. Play it Again Sports to sell outgrown sports items and Posh Kids to sell nice items. The latter two gives me some extra cash to buy new things!

andrea from the fishbowl said...

*sigh*
I need to do more of this.

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