Spring is right around the corner. If you are following along with our schedule in It’s Get Organized Month, you know it’s time for spring cleaning! It can be challenging to go through stuff and make decisions on what to keep, toss, or donate. Before you start, we have a few tips for planning your spring cleaning.
Create a plan…
Start by coming up with a plan and identifying areas of your home that you want to tackle. There are always a couple spaces that can make your home look more cluttered than it actually is. What items can you quickly identify to donate, consign, or toss? Do you have all the organizing products you need? Start making a list. Focus on the larger items like mattresses, furniture, TVs, and collections, or large quantities of items like closets full of linens, or outgrown toys. Here is a great blog post with some spring cleaning reminders of places we tend to forget. Maybe the bathroom is one of those areas for you, or maybe it is the junk drawer? Whatever you choose to focus on this month, you know you are in for a good time!
Set spring cleaning goals…
Review the list you created and clarify your goals. Here is a great blog post with helpful tips on setting goals and staying motivated. Distractions, loss of focus, getting tired, becoming discouraged – and so many more emotions, feelings, and interruptions can stall you from completing your spring cleaning goals. It can be easy to lose momentum while you are decluttering. However, being able to go back to your plan and check-in with your goals will help you to stay on track. Estimating time, managing time, executing the timeline, practicing efficiency, prioritizing the big picture, and playing games with the clock are all important to consider in order to make each second count. Here are some tips on the management of time that will be the key to your success.
Do your research before you start…
One of our tips for planning your spring cleaning is to decide where items will when you start decluttering. Start compiling a list of charitable organizations by doing your research online, making phone calls, and asking people you know for resources. We have a list compiled of Donation Centers and Consignment Stores in Central Virginia for those of you around the Richmond area and a list of Donation Centers and Consignment Stores in Charlottesville for those of you around that area. Once you do your research, you will be surprised at the needs you learn about in your own community and will begin to start thinking of specific charities when you see items in your donate pile that can be reused and recycled. Here are some more ideas to get you started so that you can donate responsibly:
LARGE FURNITURE ITEMS
Salvation Army will pick up items, but they need to know in advance. Goodwill is also another option but there are many organizations that need support. Search for women’s shelters, organizations that support refugees, or organizations that assist in housing homeless families. Not all charities take sheets or large appliances and furniture. With that being said, Caritas is very much in need of furniture and sheets that are in good condition to provide assistance to individuals and families dealing with the crisis of homelessness and/or addiction. If you are in the local RVA area, then check out Caritas!
Those extra worn linens, which may be destined for the dump, are very much appreciated by the SPCA. Towels, pillows, and blankets are usually accepted at animal shelters. Call in advance to ensure there are no restrictions. When you begin cleaning, create a trash bag for the animal shelter and plan to deliver them later in the day. Nothing would motivate us more than an opportunity to visit some adorable pups!
PIANOS AND ORGANS
Unfortunately, pianos tend to be the most difficult item to get rid of. Very few people want or need them. They require a lot of maintenance and moving them is challenging. We recommend calling churches, schools or community centers to see if they have a need for a piano or organ and if they are willing to pick it up.
Do you have piles of books that you would like to organize on your shelves? Or maybe you would like to practically be able to find the books you are looking for on a regular basis? Whatever your goals are, here are some tips for organizing books. If you decide that your books are in need of some spring cleaning, you will definitely find a book or two (or more!) that you are ready to let go. Here are 10 great resources for donating and selling books that you no longer want or need.
Declutter and let some cosmetics go. Believe it or not, cosmetics do go bad! You also know that recycling is important to us. Did you know that you can recycle your cosmetic containers? It doesn’t matter what brand you use. Find a Terracycle bin near you or a Bare Minerals. They both provide recycling in their stores. Here are more tips for spring cleaning your cosmetics.
BATTERIES AND ELECTRONICS
Old batteries and some electronics can be recycled at stores like Batteries Plus or Best Buy. Best Buy also accepts many items for recycling. Go to the website provided for a full list of what they accept. Some items are free to recycle but some are not. Make sure to check out your local store resources before you go. Best Buy also provides information on how to wipe your hard drives before bringing in computers. Click here to find the Best Buy closest to you.
Towns all over the US are probably promoting recycling drop-off days for residents now. Check your local paper or online for event details. These events make it quick and easy to drop items that you may otherwise hold onto because you lack the resources to discard properly. Carefully disposing of chemicals and hazardous waste, and properly using recycling, hauling, and shredding resources are all ways to preserve the environment. Instead of adding to the landfill, or damaging the environment, use the proper channels to recycle and discard items responsibly.
Planning your spring decluttering is a great way to get spring cleaning done efficiently. When you plan, set goals and do your research, you will be tackling spring cleaning like a professional organizer, and will likely find opportunities to purge items you thought you never could. We want to hear about your spring cleaning! Make sure you share in our Abundance Declutter Group on Facebook – we love to hear from you!