How to Spring Clean in 8 Steps

by Barb on March 12, 2013

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I think all homes should be decluttered on a regular basis, unless you can be super strict about bringing new stuff into your home. I like to declutter ours at least once a year.

Spring Cleaning in 8 Steps

I declutter my children’s clothes every time I do a seasonal clothing change. I have a basic list of clothing needs for my kids which I keep in mind when decluttering the clothing boxes. My children, especially my daughter, receive clothes as gifts from relatives.

While I try to help with making sure the clothes fit my children in size, I can’t always guarantee my kids will actually wear the clothes. After 6 years, I finally gave up on buying my daughter dresses, even the ones that can be worn with leggings, her pants of choice. She simply won’t wear the dresses.

I like to do a room by room purge twice a year. While I try to get rid of stuff when new stuff comes into our home, things do get by me and take up needed space. We’re a family of 7 which means every ounce of space in my home needs to be used. I also recognize when we’re moving out of a season like baby/toddlerhood into school-aged children.

I am not a minimalist when it comes to keeping stuff; nor am I hoarder. My goal is to keep what we need now, and what I anticipate us needing in the future. This is where it gets tricky – future needs. Some future needs are obvious, like clothes, shoes, socks, and underwear. Others not so clear, like how long do I hold onto football equipment used by my oldest which cost us a lot of money, but…the other boys may not use. If I had spent less money on the equipment, I would have an easier time letting it go.


Get Organized with List Plan It

How to Purge a Room

  1. Decide if you’re going to tackle the room 20 minutes at a time or use a block of time. Schedule your time. If it’s important to declutter, then it’s important enough to be on your schedule. I like to spend a week on a room because I need time to make decisions about some of the items.
  2. Try not to purge a room while the kids are around, especially if it’s their room. Yes, you can set aside items to discuss with your kids. However, it’s easier on you if you can work without a barrage of questions and comments. I have much experience in these matters.
  3. Before you start, put on some fun music. It’s all about the environment. Trick yourself into thinking this is a fun thing to do, and snap, the job’s done.
  4. Decide if you need containers for sorting items or not. Personally, I don’t need containers since I don’t have a lot to sort through. If you do, containerizing according to Keep, Toss, and Donate may help you make decisions more easily.
  5. Keep a piece of paper handy as you’re working. You may realize the light in the room needs repair, or you need to get another pair of shoes for your son because the daylight is showing in his shoes. Write it down, get it out of your brain, and review the notes later.
  6. If you think of someone who could use whatever you’re getting rid of, write that down, too. Keep your phone handy to take a picture of the item and text it to the person later.
  7. Don’t do anything else in the room during your decluttering time. Stay focused on the task. This is where setting the timer for 20 minutes keeps you focused on the task rather than jumping off into cleaning things. If something needs cleaning, write it down on the list, and move on.
  8. If you run across something that you can’t make a decision about, like old letters from your best friend, put them in a box. Mark the box and put it away. Make a note on your calendar in 30 days to look at the contents of the box and decide what to do. You may need time to process the decision. Give yourself that time.

Resources

Home Management Binder: Spring Cleaning

Meet Barb

Barb Hoyer has written 3829 posts.

After working in the fundraising world for over ten years, Barb is an avid runner, writer, photographer, parent volunteer, and lover of dictionaries and thesauruses. Wife to an engineer and mom to 5 kids, Barb lives in the suburbs of Philly. Her idea of relaxation is an afternoon on the couch with a stack of books.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacy Uncorked March 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

Such awesome advice, Barb! I like the 20-minute ‘focus’, since I tend to get distracted quite easily. ;)
Stacy Uncorked recently posted..Daylight Saving Time, Cat-Scratch Fever, Toothpaste Shortage: RTT Rebel

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Barb March 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm

The timer has helped me so many times! If I don’t have it going, I have a tendency to follow rabbit trails and not stay on task.

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Estelle March 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

The only way I can get rid of my daughter’s (preschool age) toys is when she’s in preschool. I do ask her to go through her books from time to time to get rid of the “babyish” ones, and she does a good job with that.
Estelle
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Lauryn March 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Great tips Barb! I am storing all of these posts on a Pinterest board so that I can make my own Home Management Binder:)
Lauryn recently posted..Cradle & Thread {Review and Giveaway}

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Sheila March 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Thanks for the tips I will be doing this once my part-time job ends the first week of April.
Sheila recently posted..Aerobic exercise is more efficient at weight loss than resistance training

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Melanie March 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I love these tips! It seems like there is always something that I need to organize around the house. Right now it is our coffee table drawer. It is full of my kids artwork since this school year began!
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Barb March 20, 2013 at 5:05 am

Thank you!

A few years ago, I photographed my children’s artwork and turned it into a book for the school year. We kept the really special pieces in their memory box. I’ve continued to take pictures of their artwork though I haven’t gotten around to making more books. I think I made my book through Winkflash.

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Sherri March 29, 2014 at 8:49 pm

There is nothing better than cleaning to music in my book. I need to learn to set the timer more though. Great tips! Thanks for sharing at The Mommy Club Link Party!
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