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Spring Cleaning and Clutter Busting

Spring is always a good time to clean up and clean out. Of course, this is no ordinary spring. With the current recommendation for social distancing due to COVID-19, you are likely spending a lot more time at home!

Make the most of this time by de-cluttering and right-sizing your life. This is especially helpful if you are considering a move.

To get rid of the clutter, ask these questions:

  1. Have I used this in the last year? This is especially important for practical items such as clothes and kitchen tools. Consider this tip from Peter Walsh, “Not sure what you use and what you don’t in your kitchen? Here is a tried and true way to find out. Empty the contents of your kitchen utensils drawer into a cardboard box. For one month, put a utensil back into the drawer only if you take it out of the box to use it. If it’s still in the box after four weeks—you don’t need it. Pass it on to charity.”

  2. Do I need this? Often, we have duplicates of items because we think, “maybe I’ll need this someday” or “maybe someone else will need it.” Other times, we buy something that was useful for a season but we no longer need. Your peace of mind is more important than piles of “what ifs.”

  3. Do I truly adore this? That expensive top you wore once but found to be unflattering — donate it to someone who can use it. That wallet your sister gave you and you feel guilty giving away — do it anyway (your sister probably doesn’t even remember the wallet). That t-shirt with your grandchild’s handprints that you don’t know what to do with — take a photo of it and toss it. Andrew Mellen says, “Many people subscribe to the unwritten rule that you’re obligated to keep your great-aunt’s dishes, even if you don’t like them but maybe your great-aunt never liked them either and also felt too guilty to let them go. Things don’t have to become yours simply because they belonged to a relative. You’re not living her life, and you’re not a bad person for giving inherited items away.” Release the guilt and release the clutter.

How to begin

Decluttering can feel overwhelming. Don’t feel like you have to tackle the mountain all at once. Take one step at a time.

Begin with two trash bags and 30 minutes. Put things you’d like to throw away in one bag and things you’d like to give away in another. Set a timer. When 30 minutes is up, put the bags away and resume the next day. Another quick way to get started is to go through your closet and remove 10 items. Do this for a few days until you’re down to the essentials. Or if you’re a person who must finish a task, tackle one small area a day. For example, clean out your medical storage or one kitchen cabinet. You’ll be surprised by all the expired and useless items you may find!

Start today - feel lighter, feel more free, and you’ll be one step closer to being ready for a future move to The Village at Providence Point–A National Lutheran Community.

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