Happy Spring Cleaning Friends!
I know the “official” start of spring was weeks ago but here in Minnesota it still feels like a
winter wonderland blizzard outside, but inside I’m in spring cleaning mode! This time of year always inspires me to clean, organize, and refresh my routines and what better way to pass the time away while I wait for warm weather and sprouting tulips.
As a busy mom of 3 boys who works part-time keeping up with everything that keeps my home running, my kids clothed, bathed, fed, toys put away, errands ran, groceries purchased (continue endless list), is a challenge! I couldn’t keep up without sprinting full speed, every day, ALL day! As I began to organize my home and routines, part ways with unnecessary stuff, I realized less stuff was allowing me to accomplish more throughout my day.
My journey began as I opened my linen closet, staring at the full shelves of towels, bedding, curtains, that hadn’t been touched in
months years. Let me start by saying I’m generally an organized person. My home is fairly tidy. I’m not a neat freak but found that I feel less stress and anxiety when things are put away. The daily tasks of making meals, laundry, cleaning, are all easier when I am not wading through rooms, closets and counters of clutter.
My linen closet was the first step in a commitment to have less stuff. Less stuff = less to pick up, less to clean, less to trip over!!! After shedding half the items in the closet, I looked at the empty shelves and felt a sense of calm and relief. Each item left had a place and a purpose.
I enjoy entertaining, being crafty, and can be a bit of a collector. All characteristics that can definitely get in the way of living with less. (I had enough scrapbook paper to paper mache the outside of my house, no joke). A glass cake stand collection in my dining room, ahem, and a few in storage. (Can you believe I have 3 boys and only one cake stand has crashed to its death!) I reduced my craft supplies down to a manageable selection of items I will actually use and gave away the rest. I parted ways with the cake stands in storage and kept my favorite ones on display in my dining room.
I’m not an expert in decluttering or organization, but along my journey I have learned a few things that have worked for me and wanted to share:
It’s okay to shed stuff in layers.
I have now gone through my kitchen pantry THREE times. Each time, I part with a few more items I wasn’t ready to let go of before.
Tip: Place a small sticky note with a date on items, take it off when you use them. After a few months see what items have been untouched and maybe need a new home.
It’s easier to get rid of stuff if its going to a good home.
Do you have a favorite charity that accepts donations? Or maybe a local pre-school or church? I gave away a few items that I was on the fence about but because they were going to someone who was so excited to receive them, it was easier to part ways.
Tackle in manageable chunks.
Those people who purge their entire house in a weekend are amazing. I am not one of those people. I have about 2 hours during nap time to make a dent in something. I tackle one closet or dresser at a time.
If a closet, pantry, or room drives you crazy: It’s time to organize and purge.
My pantry was a big culprit of this, and my laundry room closet still fits into this category. I have a nice sized walk-in pantry, but even the biggest pantry can feel cramped and crowded when unorganized. I was guilty of collecting pasta, cereal, and snacks. We don’t need 5 varieties of cereal, and 6 different types of pasta, the basics are enough. In my bedroom closet I purged anything I hadn’t worn in two years. We have seasons here, so some items naturally are not worn year round, I took that into consideration.
Tip: After my initial closet clear-out I turned all my hangers backwards. When I wear a piece of clothing, I put it back with the hanger the right way. Anything not worn after a season, will find a new home.
Be intentional with what you bring into your home.
I have a new awareness when I purchase something new. Is it replacing something? Do I really need it? Will it add to clutter? Will I use it? Do I love it? Home décor and clothing are my biggest challenge. Especially when I stumble upon that pair of clearance shoes at Target. Instead of buying several cheap pairs that won’t last long, and aren’t very comfortable, I’m trying to buy staple wardrobe pieces that are good quality and will last several years.
Tip: If your a sucker for a good clearance deal (like me), try a grocery pickup service. It helps me stick to just whats on my list! I’ve used the Walmart grocery pickup several times and am always pleased! Who likes toting three kids through the grocery store anyway? Use my link and we each get $10 off our order! (Shameless plug).
It gets easier the more you purge.
The first closets I tackled in my home took forever and I didn’t toss much. I had to go back several times to shed the unnecessary items I wasn’t ready to part with. The more stuff I remove from my home, the more ease I feel, the less stress I have, the more I want to get rid of things.
Don’t forget the seasonal holiday storage.
As we approach each holiday, I’ve been going through my decorations and getting rid of the items I don’t use. I keep my seasonal decorations in plastic totes, labeled by holiday. After decorating, I look at the items I didn’t put up and decide if they should be donated. I’ve been able to reduce several tubs of decorations.
Tip: Take a picture of your home after you decorate. It makes remembering where everything went a year later so easy!
Are you ready to organize and declutter!! Grab a bouquet of fresh flowers, a potted herb, or the help of an organized friend and take the first step! Less stuff = less to clean = happy mamas!
What area in your home needs some spring cleaning?