There are lots of sayings that get shared around the new year, some having to do with change or resolutions, but the one I want to talk about today is starting fresh, or more precisely, starting the year with a clean slate. It’s a little early to get spring fever and get the cleaning bug, but for those of us who had people over, or the winter clouds have hidden the dirt spots and the sun this past weekend revealed them, or we’re just read to put everything away and tidy everything up after the busy holiday season while we’re stuck indoors, it’s a great time to do some cleaning and organizing.
In most cases, it’s best to start with organizing and picking through what you have, buying containers to better store things, and investing in storage that’s right for your space and needs. Organizing is time to go through what you’ve got, especially those boxes and places that you haven’t touched in years and decide if you really need to keep any or all of it any longer. Especially with all of the new items you’ve purchased or received over the holidays, it’s better to get rid of anything you want to get rid of before trying to find space for the new stuff. Don’t forget to donate as much as possible, and not just throw stuff out. Many towns do bulk pick-up and you can put your stuff out the day or night before and much of it will get picked up by neighbors and people who pass by, especially if it’s good stuff.
After you’ve done organizing and before you finalize where everything is going, it’s a great time to do some cleaning too. Often disorganized homes become dirty homes because you can’t do anything around or under or over the piles of stuff, so it’s important to make time for cleaning while you’re doing the organizing too. I was thinking as I did my laundry the other day how much better I felt about living and working in my space when it was more organized and clean, even just the little I had time for that day, and the same will be true for you as well.
So you can start with the most obvious, or go front to back, or go top to bottom, or do what frustrates you the most, or do what will free you up the most first. Seeing the result of that cleaned and organized space will likely motivate others in your household to step up and clean their spaces or help you with the rest too, because they’ll be jealous of the good work you’ve done. And if the spring cleaning bug hasn’t hit you yet, those cold winter nights are a great time to make a list of what you do need to get to and will do when the spring arrives.