Spring Cleaning

You've probably started thinking about spring cleaning, as the weather turns milder and the sun is out more often, we tend to look at our houses and want to make some changes. Some researchers in human development think that it is because we are trying to make the gloom of winter go away. We have probably spent more time inside recently, and have a good idea of how crowded our houses are. Spring cleaning is not only good for your home; it is good for your soul, even though the thought of the ordeal may be overwhelming at first!

Spring cleaning may be something that the woman of the household thinks that she needs to tackle all by herself, but your family collects stuff, too, so get together and come up with one weekend where everyone is available to help. Don't try to clean the entire house in one day- that is truly overwhelming- but plan on getting a good amount of it done, or else by the time you finish part of the house, you'll see that the other parts of the house have collected even more stuff. One weekend every two weeks should be sufficient.

You know which area of your home needs spring cleaning better than I do, so I won't tell you where to begin. Most people start with areas long left untouched, however, such as the attic, the basement, or the garage. Previous articles state how to go about each of these areas, and they always need to be cleaned the same way-three piles. The easiest way to go about this is to start in the morning on a sunny day and move everything out into the yard. Contact your local charity ahead of time for a pick up date and work the spring cleaning date around it. This means two things-that your charity pile will be gone soon and that you can't procrastinate on doing it!

If you take a 33 gallon lined garbage can around with you, it will go much faster, simply throw garbage-anything you never use or is obvious garbage goes into the can as you move through the room. (If you are working on the attic and have a crawl space, place the can at the bottom of the ladder and toss garbage from the attic down into it.)When everything is outside, you want to make three piles. The dump, the charity, and the keeper pile.

Preplanning is important. Buy large translucent bins at your home improvement center for storing the keeper pile, have a pick up truck handy for the dump pile, and make sure you and the local charity are on the same page for pick up. Using this method, you can work on major parts of your home and really feel as though you've accomplished something when you are done. The rule of thumb is that if you haven't used it in six months and it's not a holiday item, donate it or dump it, depending on the condition. If it's broken and you've been meaning to fix it but keep putting it off, donate it or dump it.

Unfortunately, more and more charities do not take items that need to be fixed, so your dump pile may be larger than you originally intended. Once upon a time this was big business for charities and a source of employment for the indigent, but not so much anymore. If you can find a charity that takes faxable items, go with them. You will be providing employment for someone and keeping landfills low. Happy spring (cleaning!)