Ten Places to Declutter Before You Spring Clean

I like having clean spaces, but I do not enjoy the process of actually cleaning. Some people do, really! This week we have already cleaned out the van and underneath the kitchen sink, but my main focus is to declutter. It is a lot easier to complete seasonal cleaning chores if you aren’t spending half your time moving things around. Here are ten places to think about decluttering before you Spring Clean.

  1. The Pantry/Freezer -I was actually surprised that I was able to plan normal meals for this week just from what we had on hand. Sometimes eating from the pantry and freezer makes for a lot more interesting fare.
  2. Bathroom Cabinet – We tend to have makeup we should toss, prescriptions we no longer need, and towels that are more bare than thread.
  3. Kids Shoes – While our teenagers don’t outgrow their shoes at the rate they did as toddlers, they still seem to keep them in their closet long past their usefulness. Do a quick check to see what fits or what’s beyond repair and recycle or donate as needed.
  4. Linen Closet – We keep two sets of sheets per bed plus a set of flannel sheets for wintertime. We also stock our small stockpile of sale items like toothpaste and deodorant here. If anything needs to be replaced, add it to your shopping list.
  5. Coat Closet – Right now it’s Spring time, so it’s a great time to ask yourself if you really need all the coats in your closet. This is an area I definitely need to purge. Think about what is appropriate for where you live. While it’s nice to have options in my wardrobe, there are a lot of people who would be grateful to have even one good coat. This helps me let go a little easier.
  6. Vehicle – I routinely empty my vehicle as part of my daily life. If there is trash in the van and I’m walking into a store with trash cans out front, I empty it then. I don’t even wait til I get home!  I have a small tote in between the front seats since there is no console, but everything else normally comes inside when I get home. This is a habit carried over from FlyLady. However, I rarely sit behind the front seat, so I found lots of interesting things when I emptied all the storage cubbies yesterday – including a sock that belongs to my friend’s daughter.
  7. Files – It’s easier to keep track of paperwork year round for tax purposes, but at this time of year it’s a must-do item. This week I will be tackling my inbox and purging old documents from the drawers for both our family and my business.
  8. Flat Surfaces – It seems that no matter what the surface is made of, clutter is attracted to the flat surfaces like a magnet. {My desk included} Again, FlyLady tricks work here: after you declutter a surface put something useful or pretty there to help encourage everyone to maintain it. I put out place settings on our kitchen bar this week to help fend off the keys, mail, and projects we all were piling there.
  9. Schedules – As we are in the final stretch of the school year, I am asking myself what worked well and what did not. Do any of us have commitments we need to reconsider before next fall? Are there graduations, weddings, or recitals we plan to attend? Many organizations are selecting leadership now for the next school year. Do not blindly say yes, but pray and discuss with your spouse what is best for your marriage and family.
  10. Craft and Office Supplies – After reorganizing my office last year, I have begun using a lot more of the supplies I have on hand. However, these supplies seem to be the kind that multiply by themselves! If you have smaller children, get out a stack of misprinted computer paper along with their markers and let them toss the ones that no longer work. Is there a local MOPS group that could use the scrapbook supplies collecting dust on your shelves? If you don’t have much to donate or toss, maybe you need to schedule time each week or month to use what you have on hand.

Tackling these areas is not about a complete reorganization, but a quick check. Is anything obviously trash? Is there anything not in use in your home that you could donate instead of letting it live rent free? You can tackle all ten on a Saturday, especially if you have your family pitch in, or you could tackle one per week for the next couple months. If you work from home, pick two per day and you’ll be done in a week.

What areas of your home will you be decluttering for Spring Cleaning?