The first day of spring is March 20 and I don’t know
about you, but I have waited all winter long for it. Mother Nature starts anew
with buds and sprouts and nests galore. Following in the footsteps of Mother
Nature, I’m clearing out the old so the new can spring up! Yeah, I’m cleaning
The best advice I ever got on getting rid of stuff
is this: If you are not using an item, it is taking up space and therefore getting
free rent. When I look at it that way, it makes it easier for me to purge. If
that advice doesn’t help you get moving, perhaps a few of these rewards will kick
you into action.
Money Doesn’t Motivate …
In this economy,
everyone is looking for the least expensive route without giving up quality.
You know you have items in your dressers, closets and attics that you no longer
need or never have needed (tags still on them?) Pull them out and, depending on
their condition, decide to sell them on Craigslist or eBay or at a garage sale.
Money in your pocket and more space in your house – it’s a freeing feeling.
Could Mean Deductions …
Maybe some of the items
you relinquish are in good shape but not worth your time and energy to sell
them. There are plenty of charities and shelters around that would gladly
accept gently used household items. Women’s and homeless shelters have never
turned down any furniture, linens, housewares, even clothes that I’ve donated.
Even though it’s hard to top the high you get when you help someone in need,
having a tax deduction when the tax man cometh is a happy-dance moment too. (FYI
- you need to itemize on your taxes in order to claim those qualified
Save Time Every Day …
Up front, it will
probably take a few days or even a few weekends to clean and clear away all of
the items and dust that have collected over the last year. However, when you’ve
narrowed down items to only those you use and have the space to display those
items, it gives a whole new concept to “grab and go”. I tossed 12 pairs of
shoes last year and all of my shoes stay neatly lined up now. In the dark
morning hours, I can find which pair I want without hesitation or turning on a
light. Any routine will just flow better when there is space to put everything
Also, don’t forget: spring is also a time to “spring
forward” on all clocks. A nice habit to combine with this mandatory time
adjustment is to change the batteries in all of your smoke detectors (do it
again when you set your clocks back in the fall). While you’re up there, dust
each smoke detector off to prevent false alarms. Now would also be the perfect
time to gather the family and review your fire escape plans. Then, slyly hand
them a duster and a broom.