By: Hanna West
It’s almost mid-summer, and I never got around to Spring Cleaning. In fact, I hardly ever get around to it in the Spring. So instead, I am going to embrace my own Summer Challenge and commit to decluttering and organizing for 3 months.
Why you ask?
Because I want to fully embrace the ‘tiny houses’ lifestyle (HGTV is permanently on in our house), but that means I would have to really declutter. I love our townhouse because it means I don’t have to clean a huge house, but then I open up one of our closets, and I’m basically buried under a pile of once used baseball mitts, rock climbing gear (that we used twice), and other knick-knacks.
So I went down a deep Pinterest black hole of organizing and Spring cleaning tips and tricks. Did you know that according to the internet you are supposed to wash your dish rack? You are probably more in tune with this than I am, but I barely have time to do laundry!
After what seemed like hopeless amount of time researching how to spring clean, I decided to make my own list and try it out and see if it works. So I warn you, this is not a ‘tried and true’ method, but a list of four things I’m promising myself to see if I can start to declutter my life. So, I’ll keep everyone updated to see how successful these methods have been at the end of the summer.
1. I will stop accepting more stuff into my house.
My parents and friends always ask us if we want things as they are decluttering their houses. For example, my dad just gave us a pair of snow chains that didn’t fit on his cars. So now I have two pairs of snow chains in my garage that don’t fit either of our cars. I should have just said no right away, and I would have one less box to deal with.
2. I will start small and move on to bigger things later.
So this kind of feels like procrastination 101, but I think this is the most manageable way to go about decluttering the house without having a panic attack. I’ve decided I am going to start with the kitchen junk drawer. I’m planning on attempting this on Saturday. Once the kitchen junk drawer is under control, I’m going to move onto the guest room closest, and by the end of the summer I will hopefully have tackled our under the stairs storage (this is the HUGE monster of a project). But by starting with a shelf at a time or a drawer at a time – those are things I can master in a spare 30 minutes instead of giving up a whole weekend.
3. I will schedule monthly trips to Goodwill (or charity of your choice)
I work with a Goodwill that is right down the street. I pass it every day as I drive in and out of work. But I still never drop my items off. So I am putting it in my calendar for the 16th of every month for the next three months – I will be making a stop at the Goodwill before work once a month. Now that it’s scheduled, even if I have one pair of shoes to drop off, those shoes will be out of my life forever, and that feels so good.
4. I will create a home for my essential items
This will be the hardest one for me. I am not a Type A personality. I do not go into my closest and think ‘oh – sweaters would fit perfectly here, and jeans would fit better over here’ – No, my closest is in shambles with clothes everywhere, which is why I need decluttering in the first place!
So, I am going to tackle this one like I said in #2 – I am going to start small and build. I think I’m going to start with the laundry closest and make sure everything that I have in there has a home. So instead of tossing it all on top of the washer and dryer (my current MO), I will create a home for those items and will then put them back in their home when I am done with them.
So, these are the four things I’m committing to this summer in order to declutter and get my life just a tad more organized.
Do you want to take this summer challenge with me?
Let me know in the comments.