As the snow melts and the flowers start to blossom, you may start to realize how much clutter has accumulated throughout your house. Although many things may be difficult to part with, in order to welcome the new season with low stress, a thorough, all-encompassing spring cleaning needs to take place.
Don't know where to start? Here are some great tips and accessible resources to get you on the path to an uncluttered, stress free household:
Get Rid of Expired Medications and Pharmaceuticals
Not only are expired medications extremely unhealthy to ingest, but they also take up a lot of unnecessary counter space and produce clutter. Seek out community drug take back programs that enable individuals to bring their unused or expired drugs to a specific location to ensure proper disposal. You can find this contact information by looking up your city or county government's household trash and recycling service.
Some pharmacies even offer a drug recycling program. Do not throw your medications in the trash unless your pharmacist specifically advises that it is okay to do so - this can be extremely dangerous if done improperly. Also, prescription medications should not be flushed down the toilet or sink. They can add harmful toxins to the water supply.
What's In the Garage?
As a Professional Garage Organizer, I recommend you take a thorough and honest inventory regarding the stuff you can get rid of from your attic and/or garage. Many of us like to store items without any real value indefinitely to collect dust and take up space. Admit to yourself which items need to go - consider donating any items that are in good or fair condition to a local shelter or goodwill and dispose of the rest.
Be clear with yourself about which items actually carry inherent value - if something has not been touched in years, get rid of it without batting an eye. Engage in a thorough cleaning of the attic and garage to avoid any insect or critter accumulation.
Do You Need All of those Catalogs?
Take yourself off of catalog mailing lists. Not only is it doubtful that you actually read through all of the catalogs you receive, but the buildup of paper is not good for a clutter free household or the environment. See if any of the catalogs you are interested in still receiving have e-mail lists instead and sign up for those.
Having less stacks of paper around will automatically guarantee you less stress and keep your home looking well kept.
Organize Your Bookmarks
Remove yourself from all and any school related websites, e-mail lists, and user groups until the fall. It is not the beginning of the school year any more. Having children in school brings with it a whole slew of additional stressors, but you can hold off on addressing these until the start of the new year. Be kind to your e-mail inbox, also making sure to remove yourself from any newsletters or promotional paraphernalia that is no longer relevant to you.
Cleaning up your inbox will significantly clear your head a bit and prevent you from slumping in front of the computer for hours on end to tie up loose ends.
Join a Local Free Cycle Group
Join a local Free Cycle group and give your stuff away completely free of charge. This network is all about reuse and keeping stuff out of landfills and offers community members a free and easy way to move their old stuff along to people who genuinely want and need it more.
The website is extremely simple to navigate and not only will you feel good about diverting your old items from landfills, but your home will be one step closer to shipshape and someone else will benefit from your good will.
End the cleaning process with a spontaneous family get together or dinner and have everyone guess what Mom and Dad have been storing in boxes for tens of years. Give the family a chance to laugh and make a game out of it, while still sticking to your mission of ridding the house of all unnecessary items. Your kids may even want to keep some of your old possessions as keepsakes for their future kids.