camcarlson

miscellaneous commentary

Spring cleaning ideas

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Spring cleaning is an ideal time for uncluttering. Wise Bread offers some good suggestions when going through the house –

Bedroom: clothing and shoes you haven’t worn recently or no longer fit properly; old underwear, socks and bras; jewelry, perfumes and colognes; linens, towels and excess/broken coat hangers in the closet.

A tip for purging clothing: rearrange the hangers in your closet so everything faces the same direction. When you wear an item and put it back, turn it so it faces the other way. After 6-12 months, examine the hangers that haven’t been turned. Do you anticipate wearing these items in the near future? If you haven’t worn them in the past 12 months, you probably won’t in the next 12 months.

Bathroom: expired medicines and vitamins, makeup.

Kitchen: excess cups/mugs and dishes, mismatched plastic containers and lids, spices (generally only good for 1-2 years), spoiled/rotten food in the fridge, stale/outdated boxed foods in the cabinets.

Paper items: old receipts, paychecks and bills; unread books and magazines, old greeting cards.

Usually you only need to keep year-end income/bank statements for tax purposes, but if you feel compelled to keep a specific statement or receipt, consider scanning it and then shredding the paper copy. Saves on filing.

As far as books go, consider this: how many books do you have on your shelves that will never be read, or read a second or third time? Chances are, you’ve got plenty. Go through them today and donate them, so that someone else will get enjoyment from them. If you read a book and fell in love with it, but you know you won’t be re-reading it in the near future, donate it so someone else can fall in love with it. Why let that unrealized love collect dust on a bookshelf?

Greeting cards are like postcards — they are supposed to be a fleeting message from a loved one. They are not all keepsakes to be stored or framed. You aren’t throwing away someone’s love by throwing away a Hallmark card that they spent 30 seconds picking out at the store. Unless the card had something particularly sentimental and meaningful written inside, throw it away. “Happy Birthday, Love Mom & Dad” does not count.

Electronics: unused DVDs, VHS and audio tapes, CDs and video games; power cords, old cell phones.

Around the house: old paint, contents of the “junk drawer”, children items (toys, cribs and car seats), “fix it up” projects, rugs.

“Fix it up” projects refers to all those little odds & ends you keep telling yourself to take care of on the weekend but, well, life gets in the way. You know which things I mean: sewing a button back on a shirt, fixing the blender so the cap stays on, replacing the torn screen in a window, staining wood trim around a door…

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Written by camcarlson

March 12, 2012 at 8:32 PM

Posted in Simplicity

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