Spring Cleaning Clutter Clearing Kick-Off

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Sorry, my oldest son has been playing football for twelve years. Sports references now slip in whether I want them to or not. It’s been one heck of a year, and we are not quite done with everything COVID has to throw at us, but that light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter every day.

Don’t tell anyone, this I’m even starting to get very hopeful that it’s not a train.

We just hit a milestone this week with over 100 million doses delivered in the US. We still have a long, long way to go, but this is a big…shot in the arm, so to speak.

So, as the days are getting longer, let’s begin to shake off the winter blues and dig out from under the weight of all the things. We may not be ready to start celebrating, but we can start getting ready. Eventually, we can have company again, won’t that be nice?

Today is the first day of Spring making it perfect for our launch. Today we’re going to hit the ground running with a hard-and-fast, take-no-prisoners tear-through-the-house and get rid of clutter removal spree.

I want you to start this project with a big win, so…

I’m going to link to a bunch of previous organizational challenge posts to help you , but what I really want you to do is go room to room and get rid of everything:

  • you don’t like
  • you don’t need
  • or is just garbage that hasn’t been managed because of well, everything.

Speaking as someone who has just had to coach a constipated toddler through potty training, I promise, you are going to feel so much better when this is all over.

Why are we starting our spring cleaning with clutter clearing?

Because today—gestures upward at the chore sticky note—is Saturday, which means it’s project day.

Or did you not mean it like my teenagers—why do we have to at all— and want to know why we’re starting with getting rid of things instead of digging in and just cleaning the dirt?

Well, I’ve talked about the difference between organized, sanitary, and sterile before. It’s a lot more work to clean around your excess stuff than it is to get rid of it before you start to clean. So this kick-off clutter clearing is to make the next projects so much easier. The more you can get rid of, the easier your job will be.

You can Marie Kondo this if you would like, but I personally find it much easier to just clear the decks with ruthless abandon. I don’t get sentimentally attached to very many objects though. I have a couple of things from each kid when they were babies, but I’m more of a take a picture and move on kind of person. The kids get to keep (to a point) what matters to them. You may need to take a more measured approach. Know yourself before you start, so you don’t regret your strategy later.

What do you need for this clutter purge?

  • Large trash bags, large plastic bins/totes, or heck even cardboard boxes to separate items bound for different destinations.
  • A timer.
  • A little get up and go.

How long will this clutter clearing project take?

How much stuff do you have, how big is your home, and are you the type to carefully consider each item or toss and move on?

I’m not psychic, I can’t answer that. You may not finish today, that’s ok, I am going to set this Spring Cleaning Series up as a get my act together (I’m still working on the name) email series that you can sign up for and repeat as many times as you need to. So, if you don’t get it done in the maximum of two hours I recommend you spend on it today? Don’t fret, you can come back to it.

Your stuff isn’t going anywhere, and frankly, neither am I.

Getting started.

This is where the timer comes in. You have one right there on your phone. Work on today’s project in 10 – 20 minute chunks of time, depending on your attention span/patience. Take a break between each session—to be clear, that’s a restroom break, a drink of water, find a new podcast/playlist, break up kids bickering over why they have to help, not a sit-down and binge the entirety of Law and Order SVU break.

Where to Start?

It doesn’t matter.

Here are some ideas from a previous organization challenge we did. Don’t try to do them all today. Just pick one as a starting point, grab your bags/bins and begin.

The entryway or dining room table is a great place. A lot of unnecessary trash piles up in both places. Get rid of junk mail immediately.

How about that shoe closet or coat closet? Do you really need that many pairs of shoes saved for yard work? Do you even do the yard work?

Head to your kitchen, can you see your counters? Open your pantry, how much of that is way past its expiration date? Dare you open your storage container cupboard? Will an avalanche happen?

Your closet? What clothes are you honestly never going to wear again?

The laundry room? The linen closet?

And then, if you have them. . . the kids’ rooms those are a treasure trove of clutter. The catch here is you need to engage their help. It’s unkind to just get rid of their stuff without their consent, unless they are very, very young. If they are so young that they are still in the out of sight, out of mind phase, involving them is crueler than not.

If your kid has been having a hard time due to the shutdowns, it would not be surprising if they are overwhelmed and their rooms likely show an effect of that overwhelm. Help them and be patient. I know it’s hard. Hang in there, I know exactly how hard it is.

If you share your home with others, get them involved, make it a challenge. No one likes looking at other people’s junk. Bribe the kids if you have to, it’ll be worth a trip to the Sonic drive-in or ordering a pizza for a treat if that is their currency. Maybe some extra screen time or a trip to the park. You know what will work. Use it.

Remember, today is not about finishing anything.

Today is only about getting rid of as much of your home’s excess as you can in two hours. The linked articles above are just for brainstorming.

Donate what you can, recycle* what you can’t, and take the rest straight to your county’s convenience site if you have one or set them aside for trash day.

*Best Buy usually has some boxes near the front of the store where you can take all those cords that you have no idea why you still have them.




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7 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning Clutter Clearing Kick-Off”

  1. Take all that old stuff to Goodwill!! Not the broken, roached out, trashy stuff. But the still decent stuff goes to Goodwill. Everything else goes in the trash. Or, if it is something really weird, go hide it in a friend’s house and just wait to see if they find it.

    Purge, purge, purge!

    That gives room to buy new stuff. Because I love buying new stuff. 🙂

  2. Hello Heather.

    Long time reader. Your posts are timely and I’m happy to see you’re back at it.

    My wife, son, and I have been decluttering the house since late winter and it has been rewarding. However, one thing I want to add to this discussion is the possibility of selling unwanted/unneeded items.

    My wife and I have been at home for over a year now due to our employer shutting down all the offices in California.

    We took this opportunity to take stock in EVERYTHING we owned, wanted, needed, etc. To say the least we cleared a bunch of stuff. Some went to our local donation center but a lot of the stuff that we have been moving from one side of the room to the other (figuratively and literally) we ended up posting on resale websites and have had great success.

    The reward?

    Freedom from the stress of owning this stuff and a bit of money to offset the cost of these things when we first purchased, but also an instant reward for getting rid of this stuff.

    Selling things online is quite easy when you have the camera on the phone and can upload right then and there. We’re not getting rich of the sale of these things, but we are weeding it out, people haul it away for us, and we make a few extra dollars. A win all around.

  3. Your local thrift stores are also a great place to take no longer needed items. We have several in our area that support a variety of charities. 🙂


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