Getting The Jump on Spring

March 7, 2022

Here in the northern hemisphere, the days are finally growing longer in a way you can actually notice … 

And when that happens, you can’t help but feel your mood elevate … as you get the first glimpses of darkness and that sleepy winter slumber melting away …

As the days grow brighter, things start popping out of the ground … and you know what that means? Spring and spring cleaning are just around the corner!

To make spring cleaning easier this year and every year going forward, there are a few vital steps to take BEFORE actually tackling the tasks of spring cleaning themselves. 

And in an upcoming article, we’ll actually provide you with our Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist.

In the meantime, here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling …

Purge Your Closets

When it’s time to clean, you’re going to want access to every nook and cranny—and the more open space you have, the better. So start with your closets. 

We use our clothes closets every day and over time they can become crowded, cluttered, and chaotic. 

So take this opportunity to home in on your current inventory of clothes, shoes, bags, etc. 

As you go through your closets, evaluate each item to determine if it’s something you still wear and enjoy. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you are tidying up:

Did I wear it this year?

Does it fit me? 

Do I love/like it?

Do I look good in it?

Is it comfortable?

Does it need repair?

Based on your answers, you can decide whether something is a keeper, needs fixing, or should be sold or donated. 

And if an item you don’t use keeps making it back into your closet year after year, ask yourself why? What is the story that garment holds for you? Because holding onto a false promise means NOT freeing up space for something truer to take its place. 

For a deeper dive into organizing your closets, check out our 10 Shortcuts for Organizing Your Bedroom Closet article.

Donate Or Sell Unwanted Stuff

Now that you’ve figured out what stays and what can go, it’s time to find the next home for the stuff that no longer serves you. And remember that the perfect home for this stuff is anywhere that is NOT yours. 

There are a variety of brick-and-mortar stores, along with plenty of websites and apps where you can resell things that you no longer use. For a comprehensive list, check out this post on How to Sell Clothes, Purses, and Accessories

And here are a couple of places you can donate clothes to that will put it to good use. 

In honor of National Women’s History Month, consider donating slightly-used women’s clothing to places like Dress for Success, whose mission “empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.”.

Your donations will help women in need, including victims of domestic violence and people without housing looking for a leg up.

And if you’ve got men’s clothes to donate, there are places like Sharp Dressed Man in Baltimore, MD, whose mission “empowers men to improve their lives - equipping men in the Baltimore and L.A. areas who are preparing for work through job training programs with recycled suits for job interviews.”

Wherever you choose to donate your clothes, know that they’ll have a future life out of the landfill where they will serve someone else just as they once served you. 

The Bottom Line

Spring is the perfect time to begin anew…while also giving others a fresh start, too.

Paring down your belongings in preparation for a good and deep cleaning is a great way to kick off the process. And finding new homes for your unwanted stuff benefits you in multiple ways—you’ll reduce your own stress, you’ll enjoy seeing your items being used out in the world AND you may even be able to deduct your donation from your annual tax bill.

So no matter where you live or how you choose to let go of your stuff, you can find a place to lighten up your closet with our list of 72 killer resources to get rid of stuff.

P.S. – Daylight savings is coming on Sunday, March 13th, so mark your calendar and don’t forget to change your clocks ahead by one hour!

Declutter Your Life Podcast by Andrew Mellen. Available on iTunes!