After a tough winter, you may find yourself tossing your windows open and pulling back your shades with vigor the minute we hit 60 degrees. If you are anything like me your idea of spring cleaning is basically swatting few cobwebs away. However, few moms want to get down and dirty with cleaning chores when warm weather hits [kudos to you moms who do!].
Spring cleaning looks a bit different in our house. We focus on slimming down the number of household items, toys or clothes instead. “Things” carry energy and weigh us all down. Let’s be honest when you have small children, lowering household energy is appealing. What better way to rid ourselves of the winter blues and start fresh? It is also an act of kindness if done right, in my opinion. By that I mean to kindness towards ourselves, those who receive it and our mother earth. Let me further explain.
When I peruse my clients homes, I can quickly cherry pick many things the owner doesn’t use or like, that I could easily re-home to someone who would love it. But without someone facilitating it, it’s a missed opportunity. I am grateful to utilize my resourcefulness to help others in this way, but you can do this too.
Whether you find simplifying and decluttering completely overwhelming or a natural tendency, let’s talk about how you can do it with a bit more purpose and thoughtfulness.
Maybe you don’t know this, but many donation company - though fabulous option and many reputable - they get backlogged in certain items like household goods, dishware and decor, clothing or toys. For someone who is constantly donating client items, it feels like a black hole. Where did it all go? Hopefully a good home, but we don’t know!
It’s my experience the best way to “donate” is to rehome your items. By eliminating the middleman, you save the time it takes to be processed through the bulk donation center. Rehoming gets your items used sooner and with better purpose.
Depending on how it’s done, when we rehome our items, we get satisfaction because we: 1) knowing where it went, 2) may get a little cash, 3) experience all the feels for helping someone and 4) lower our footprint on earth.
Let’s talk a bit about what I mean by re-homing and some ways to do it.
GIFTING: For duplicate & no longer needed items, consider people in your life who are starting off building a home or may have a new need that you no longer have (new baby, new house, recently graduated). Label and set aside these items for the next time you see them or message them and ask where you can send ‘em.
SELLING: Often times, the key to truly simplifying is to sell your items for low prices, but enough to justify your time. Places like LetGo and Facebook Marketplace make it SO easy to sell items. Once again, when you know someone is specifically seeking your items, it does to a good and loving home. By charging low fees, you get rid of it faster and the buyer gets a “bargain”. Once again, helping mother earth - sorry it’s the crunchy mom in me. But really, why not?
CONSIGNMENT: Similar to selling and popular for clothing, in comes consignment. Consignment is for you organized fashionistas. There are several North Andover/Andover consignment drop locations for kids or adults, just look out for dates and seasons. Bonus, it’s great way to clear out and justify some new purchases.
DONATIONS: I know you are thinking we just talked about avoiding bulk donations! What I mean here is focusing on specialty donation centers that will take books (library) and clothing (women’s shelters) for very specific purposes. If you’re heavy on books, clothing or toys, find these specific donation centers!
If you still have bulk donation items after your rehoming effort go ahead and schedule a drop off or pick up. Then consider sorting out your items into bins, boxes or bags. If you are a real do-gooder, you may label them. This will help your cause and theirs. Rule of thumb is don’t donate stained, ripped clothing or broken and missing pieces of household goods and toys. Those should go curbside.
I personally have a monthly bulk donation pick up from a reputable place. I try selling or rehoming before my pick up and if it doesn’t sell I let it go. When the donation pick up is smaller, it’s easy to organize into the right piles too.
Of course, many of us are overwhelmed at the idea of having to sort, sell and coordinate getting rid of our items. Most of my clients really just need a coach and accountability partner. Not to mention, as busy moms who wants to spend the little time you have trying to do all that? Trust me, in many cases it is completely worth your efforts and time.
I can say with certainty that every single client of mine finds a new found energy they never knew was missing after we clear out. There are many benefits to decluttering your home. That includes freeing up your time and energy, helping others and making your daily life simpler.
Consider any creative hobbies or projects you have let go by the wayside? Chances are the condition of the space is keeping you from the joy of creation! We are wired to experience creation to feel whole and it is so undervalued by too much consumption.
If you find yourself interested in doing this, but overwhelmed by the idea, consider hiring a professional to come to your home. This is particularly important if you are in a transition phase of your life where you truly need to let go in order to move on to the next stage.
So, this spring be kind to yourself and others by simplifying and rehoming items that no longer bring you joy or serve a real purpose. You will likely awaken your creative soul and find your demeanor is lighter and happier. Imagine the impact this will have on everyone else in your home.