‘Tis the Season for Spring Cleaning. My instant visual of ‘Spring Cleaning’ includes visions of the windows thrown open, shaking out rugs, and beating the dust out of pillows. Which is great, totally do that, AND take a look through the following simple ideas that are easy to overlook.
This is a great activity to get your kids involved in with you. As you clean and purge, remind your children (and yourself) of the gift of simplicity. No one needs all this *stuff*, but it sure is easy to accumulate. Try NOT to replace the items you’re purging with another thing. Let the open space remain.
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. – Hans Hofmann
This one is pretty obvious, and much easier said than done. Try not to do everything at once, but instead take it in phases by category. Start with puzzles and games. You’ll be surprised just how many of them your kids haven’t even touched for years. That floor-sized ABC puzzle? Some toddler would LOVE to play with that, so dust it off, make sure all the pieces are there, and TAPE the box shut so it doesn’t spill out. Don’t forget to go through your outdoor toys, too. Since we live in a warm climate, we have an outdoor bin of toys that includes everything from sports equipment to shovels and buckets. Some of it hasn’t seen the light of day for several seasons. Time to hose those things off and put them aside for another child to enjoy.
2. Books & Movies
Here’s another area that may surprise you with how much you can purge. We had more board books on our shelves out of pure sentimentality than anything else. That super special book you cuddled your baby with every night? SAVE IT! Put it in a baby box and keep it forever. I do! But the other 25 books on first words? Donate them to a preschool or a shelter where they will be loved and read once again.
YUCK. My least favorite place to clean. Just HOW and WHY do the shelves get so sticky and icky? Dedicate a solid half-hour to this task, and TAKE IT ALL OUT. Look at the 7 mustards and 12 fancy jams you have (just me?). Are they fresh? Are they past their expiration? DUMP EM. And remember that the next time you go to the market. LESS PURCHASING MEANS LESS WASTE!
Speaking of Refrigerators (special caps means a special story is coming), with the help of Junkluggers (more to come below on this awesome company below!) we FINALLY parted ways with the extra fridge we kept in our garage. It was left by the previous owners of our Chicago house, and we thought at the time it was such a SCORE. But running a fridge in a Houston garage? NOT eco-friendly. So bye-bye it went!
4. Shower & Sink
85% used up shampoos, cruddy toothpaste tubes, two-year-old eye cream. USE IT OR DUMP IT. And same as the above – STOP BUYING THESE THINGS until you need them. I’m as guilty as anyone with my 17 open eye creams (one of them is sure to be the miracle I’m looking for, right?). Beauty and body products have a shelf life, and it’s likely you’re over it. Also, while you’re at it, get yourself a new toothbrush. Tiny pleasures like a new head on my toothbrush really make my day.
And now, let me introduce you to the company that really helped me along in this journey, Junkluggers. Now, by the name of the company you may think that they are hauling junk, which they certainly will, but their #1 goal is to repurpose or recycle the items they take from your home AND they will provide you with a tax-deductible receipt for any items donated.
You will feel comfortable as you say goodbye to items with memories attached to them knowing that the Junkluggers team will treat your articles with respect and find the best new home for them. I know I did.
Owned by franchisee and nicest guy you’ll meet, Don Robinson, Junkluggers of Texas offers full-service eco-friendly junk removal from the Bellaire, Galleria, Heights, Memorial, River Oaks, Spring Branch and West University neighborhoods.
PHEW, I feel lighter already! It’s amazing what clearing out physical spaces can do for your mental health. I’m super grateful for the opportunity to work with Junkluggers and bring you this post. Thank you to their super friendly and helpful team for coming by my house, backing their truck into the driveway, and making the ease of saying goodbye to these unwanted/unneeded items so easy and friendly. We had several neighbors slow down as they were driving by to get a good look at Junklugger’s bright green truck, and you know they were thinking man, I need to call them.
Hey – that’s a great idea! Organize a block party with some of your neighbors and invite Don and his Junkluggers crew to clear the clutter for your whole block!
Do you have any Spring Cleaning tips that you swear by? Please share if so!
Author: Candace Thomas