Whether spring or summer, extended breaks from the day-to-day routines are great for making new family memories. They are also great for taking some time to recall previous ones often found in items around the house.
From those old baby clothes and toys to books and dusty tech you haven’t touched in years, these “memories” may be cluttering your home. Spend some time as a family and clear out what you no longer need. For some extra motivation, approach your cleaning with a fresh perspective: donating your gently-used items will help others while freeing up space for new memories.
Get on your way to a cleaner, less cluttered home with these tips:
Take it one room at a time. Whether you live in a modest apartment or a sprawling single-family home, overhauling your entire living space at once is an overwhelming prospect. Instead, focus on one room at a time with a timeframe that makes sense for your schedule.
Don’t save the worst for last. Avoid the temptation to leave your messiest catch-all room for the end. Instead, tackle it first and spend extra time thinking about where you can reassign some of the clutter, so it’s not all accumulating in a single room.
Give items meaning. Take a cue from stylist, author and TV host Emily Henderson and implement a rule that items you keep should be at least two of three things: functional, sentimental and beautiful. If an item is none of these (like an old food storage container without a lid), toss it. Especially if you are low on space, only hang on to those items that serve two or more roles.
Sort your stuff into piles. In every room, you’ll find items you need to keep close at hand, others you’d like to keep but could be stashed away, things that may have value to others and stuff that simply needs to be trashed.
Look for ways to give back. While it sometimes makes sense to resell unwanted items online or through a yard sale, donating is another way you can give these goods a second life and help bring warmth, happiness and smiles to others. Through its Glad to Give program, the Glad Products Company makes donating easy because you can fill a Glad ForceFlex bag, stretch it and stuff it with just about anything you want to donate. Clothing is one of the best things to donate so others can make better use of the gently-loved items you are hoarding, Henderson said. Unless a garment has been worn in the last four seasons, donate it. Other prime candidates for donating: toys, sports equipment, DVDs and home gadgets.
Organize what remains. Once you’ve cleared the clutter and determined which items will stay, find attractive ways to create order and manage the mess. You can choose from a wide range of organizational options – everything from shelves and baskets to storage furniture and closet systems – to help make the most of your space and reveal more inviting rooms that make you feel comfortable at home.
Find resources for giving back, and schedule a free local donation pickup for an organization of your choice, at GladtoGive.com.
Photo courtesy of Rachel Hollis, The Chic Site