Tidy Up Your Home: Spring Clutter Clean-Up in 10 Simple Steps

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Spring is a perfect time of year to tidy up your home. This way you can relax and enjoy the lazy days of summer ahead. Sometimes the thought of organizing the whole house can seem overwhelming.  If you feel you don’t have the time to organize every nook and cranny, start with these quick and easy steps to tidy up:

1. Do the 5 Things Dash

Walk into each room of your home with a box or garbage bag. Then choose five things you can throw out or donate. Choose duplicates or items that are worn out, outdated or rarely used.

2. Eliminate the Expired

Gather all your medication, vitamins, and over-the counter drugs in a bin.  While listening to music or relaxing in front of the TV, begin looking at each item’s expiry date. Have a bag nearby to toss the outdated items and take them to the drug store for safe disposal. Store current medications in a cool, dark place out of children’s reach.

3. Toss the Toiletries

Before brushing your teeth every night or jumping in the shower in the morning, spend  5 minutes getting rid of bath, skin and hair products that don’t live up to their promises.  By the end of the week, you’ll have more storage space in your bathroom and easier access to the items you use regularly.

4. Clear the Counters

Remove anything you don’t use daily from your kitchen counters. Put out an attractive bowl or basket as a catch-all for items that usually end up cluttering the counters.  When the container is full, spend a few minutes going through it. Either purge items or place them where they belong.  Reward your efforts by displaying a vase of fresh flowers or a pot of spring bulbs on your counters.

5. Eliminate Under-Used Utensils

While waiting for water to boil or the oven to preheat, go through your utensil drawer. Eliminate items you don’t use.  Go through your kitchen ‘junk drawer.’ See what treasures you’ve forgotten about and what trash you can remove.

6. Move it Elsewhere

Each time you leave a room, get into the habit of scanning it to see which items don’t belong in the space. If any of those items go in the room you are heading towards, take them with you.  If something belongs upstairs, place it in a wicker basket you keep at the bottom of the stairs and take it to the proper room next time you go up.

7. Get the Family in Gear

Make a game out of decluttering by getting the whole family involved.  Give everyone a box, put on some up-beat music, set a timer and see who can discard the most items from their room. Take the donations to charity. Then choose a token prize for the winner and a reward for the entire family.

8. Do the Season-Swap

Now is the time to put away the winter coats, boots and wool hats. It is also the time to bring out the sun hats, rain jackets and umbrellas.  Be sure to dry-clean all items before storing, even if they look clean.  Body oils and not-yet-visible food stains attract moths. If you don’t have an extra closet, a rolling garment rack stored in the basement or spare room is ideal for storing winter coats.

9. Cut Clothing Clutter

Put aside a half hour to step into your closet. While it’s still fresh in your mind, pull out any winter items you didn’t wear this year.  If you didn’t wear it this winter, you likely won’t wear it next winter. So let it go now rather than storing it for another year. (Another idea for unworn items is to use the joy filter.)

10. Cut the Cord on Electronics

Attached to your electrical gadgets? Perhaps it’s time to make a clean break. As we acquire the latest and greatest gadgets, we also need to get rid of the old, obsolete ones. This prevents electronic clutter from taking over our space. Gather up all the electronics you no longer use or want. Take them to a nearby recycling depot, where they will be reused or recycled safely. Look up a no-cost drop off locations in your area.

Article submitted by Hellen Buttigieg

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