Before You Spring Clean, Get Organized
After a cold winter, you’re ready to open all the windows in your house on the first warm day. Before you start your spring cleaning this year, take some time to get rid of the clutter. You’ll make some extra space in your home and cut down on your cleaning time just by reducing the amount of stuff you have.
Follow these tips to get started:
1. Create a plan.
Decide what area or areas you want to tackle and try to get through a couple each day. Do you need to make space in your garage? Have some boxes of mementoes in your closet that you’ve been meaning to sort through? This is your chance.
2. Make sorting easy.
Gather storage tubs or garbage bags and label them with categories like “Keep,” “Throw Away,” “Recycle,” “Sell” and “Donate.” As you go through your stuff, decide what you want to do with each item.
3. Decide what to donate, recycle and hand down.
Find a new home for your old stuff:
Clothes – Unless you wear it regularly, give it away.
Electronics – Cell phones, laptops and other devices have
batteries that are toxic, so don’t throw them in the trash. If you
can’t give them away, check a local electronics store to see if they
will recycle them for you.
Stuffed animals – Call fire departments, children’s hospitals
and women’s shelters to see if they accept gently used toys.
Towels and blankets – If they’re in good shape, donate them to a
homeless shelter. If they’re worn, give them to an animal rescue
- Furniture and other large items – Post an item on a website like Freecycle or Freeshare. People who want it will email you to arrange a pickup time.
4. Follow through.
Now that you’ve sorted it’s time to take the last step – actually selling, donating, or recycling your stuff. Throw the bags in your car and recycle or donate those items. Make sure you get a receipt for donations since you can write them off on your taxes. Set a date for a garage sale, or list items you want to sell on Craigslist or Ebay.
5. Reward yourself.
After a day spent decluttering, meet a friend for coffee or a movie and congratulate yourself for a job well done.
After you’ve organized your home, make sure you have enough property insurance to protect the stuff in your “Keep” pile. Find out more from Nationwide.