Decluttering, Downsizing, and Spring Cleaning For All Generations

Winter is still holding on, but Spring is very close. Around here that brings a lot of work in the vineyard, sheep shearing, lambs being born, and switching out seasonal items in our house.

Over the years I have got in the habit of using the change of the seasons as a time to declutter and get rid of items that we don’t use anymore.

Moving back to NC from Alaska I learned about getting rid of a lot of stuff living on an island that is isolated meant that people would leave a lot of stuff behind. We had people give us way too many things we didn’t use. We had an apartment that is bigger than the house we built and live in now. It took two truckloads and countless trips to the thrift stores to rid ourselves of the excess. We mailed a few basics back to NC and left with nothing but a carry on bag. It was a fresh start, and it set a standard for not having a bunch of stuff we don’t use.

Now when we change from the colder parts of the year to the warmer and vice versa, I always ask myself if it is worth storing something to use the next time the seasons change. This avoids storing things that you won’t use, and it makes it easier to keep things decluttered every year. Real Life Organizing: ... Cassandra Aarssen Best Price: $5.19 Buy New $10.19 (as of 11:15 EDT - Details)

It is hard to get started and it can seem totally overwhelming!

If you have a lot of stuff then it can seem like you just don’t know where to start. Start with a single room or space and then go from there

Get others involved so it is not just on you.

Kids and teens can help and they will probably like it a lot more if you give them some choice in what items need to go to charity, in the trash, or sold. I know that some of you may have kids that are hard to get to clean their rooms and such and you may have had moments where you considered tossing items yourself. Maybe you have even done this. I am not trying to judge you personally but I do think that cleaning things out will go a lot better and you will avoid nasty after effects and feelings if you try to give older kids and teens some control in the matter. In short, don’t just go in there room and start tossing while they are at school as tempting as it may be.

Have a reward at the end

All work is no fun. A reward helps motivate and get things done sooner. Decluttering may take days or even a week depending on how long the build-up has been going on.

Things that are most commonly hoarded and should go.

These are the items that I have found people hoard up the most. This is not just me. I have helped a lot of relatives get rid of clutter.

Clothing that is too small or large for you

There are so many clothes out there. Second-hand shops are full of them. If you have clothes that you cannot physically wear, then it is time to donate or toss them depending on the condition. If you know someone that may be interested, then you can mention that you have extra clothes if they are interested. If they don’t jump on the deal, don’t bring it up again. People are often too polite to simply say they are not interested in your old clothes.

Clothes from your kid’s childhood

Even if someone is done having kids, there is a tendency for people to hold on to old baby clothes. I realize there are memories attached, but those clothes are better off in the hands of a new mother or a needy one that can actually use them so long as they are in wearable condition. Keeping an item or two is one thing but if you have a ton of kid clothes hoarded, donate them.

Too many knick knacks and memory triggers

Amazon.com Gift Card i... Check Amazon for Pricing. I understand having some family heirlooms and memories but do you need a cup from every theme park you have ever been too? It is very easy to get in the habit of holding on to little things like this and before you know it, you have a lot of space or storage taken up by items of little use and that may not actually mean that much to you when you really start thinking about it.

Athletic and fitness equipment

I wish I had $1 for every old treadmill and exercise bike that is being stored and never used. Even if you bought the latest and greatest fitness machine off TV 5 years ago and it is basically new, there is a good chance you won’t get much for it. Those machines are really big and not in demand so much so donating them is probably the way to go.

Sports equipment that is still useful may be sold or donated to community groups, churches, schools, etc.

Decluttering will make it easier to maintain cleanliness and get started on Spring cleaning for a nicer and more organized summer.

Even if something is just sitting there, it gathers dust and grime that has to be removed, or it gets gross. Having less in your home will make it easier to keep clean and nice during a busy work week.

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