In Praise of Spring Cleaning
There is something of a thrill in spring cleaning — I don’t mean the everyday tasks of straightening papers, doing dishes, and wiping down counters, but rather the big projects like assembling piles to donate and selling furniture on craigslist. A newly-organized closet somehow gives the feeling of turning a new leaf (even if a certain toddler will come along and pull everything on to the floor any minute!). Especially in a small space, keeping possessions on the minimal side makes things feel so much calmer. Here are a few ideas that I’ve liked:
Give unused things a second life. I used to find it so hard to get rid of things that were still perfectly good, but when space is at a premium, if it’s not being used it’s got to go! For example, I had some button-up shirts at the back of the closet from my temp law office job in college, not worn in years, and now thankfully passed along. Lately, I’ve sold items that haven’t been getting used enough on Craigslist, GardenMoms (a great place to sell and buy used baby items for locals), and ThredUp. ThredUp used to offer better payouts and the bags were free to send — alas, no more! However if you are sending in a fair number of things and have low expectations for the payment, then this could be a great way to make a little extra money and entice yourself to pass things along. I have also heard great things about PoshMark, some area consignment stores, and others, but haven’t tried myself — have you? Goodwill is of course always a great place to bring items that they may be able to sell! Room to Grow is a perfect spot to donate any like-new baby items. I have seen neighborhood “Buy Nothing” groups popping up, where neighbors pass on things they no longer need and others can use — what a great idea!
Clear the surfaces. No matter what kind of chaos awaits inside the drawers, the look of a cleared countertop is very soothing. I have been trying to be more conscientious about putting things away and out of sight rather than stacking things on tables and counters. There was a tip from Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project book that I really liked: if it takes less than a minute to put it away, do it now rather than later (easier said than done!).
Go through papers. We definitely don’t do this very often, but it feels so great to get rid of any unnecessary papers. We have a cute little file cabinet that, as it turned out, was half full with no-longer-needed receipts and material from when we were house hunting — so satisfying to get rid of all that!
Add greenery. Plants make everything feel fresher, and bring some of the spring indoors!
What are your favorite spring cleaning ideas? We would love to hear!
Image Credit: Annie Spratt