Spring is a great time for cleaning and organizing. As the trees show their leaves and flowers bloom, it feels good to refresh your home by working on decluttering, organizing and cleaning. Because spring is also a time when people are starting to think about putting their home on the market, now is the perfect opportunity to start downsizing. 

Let’s get started!  

WayForth is your trusted, professional move management experts. Contact our team today for a consultation on moving, downsizing, storage, and more! 

Plan ahead 

This job isn’t something for a spontaneous weekend. Planning your cleaning and organizing takes a little bit of work to make it worthwhile.  

First, decide what your goal is. Do you want to clear clutter from every room? Are you trying to downsize for a smaller home or get the basement organized? Do you want to deep clean your entire home? Whatever your goal is, make sure you’ve considered all options. Clutter-busting in your bedroom is very different from cleaning out your garage.  

Second, pick your process. While some people like to concentrate on a room or section of the house, others like to sort “like with like.” For example, some people gather all the books in the house in one central place and start from there. Others like to start with the messiest place in the house. Use whatever works best for you.  

Third, decide where unwanted items will go. Can you sell a collection or gift it to a friend? Will you donate to a favorite organization? If you need to trash some things, do you know your city’s pick-up dates and rules? It helps to know this in advance so you can work effectively.  

Finally, gather any supplies you might need. If you are cleaning, make sure to have enough rags, paper towels, cleaning solutions, furniture spray, etc. If you are downsizing, you will want to stock up on boxes, tape and markers.  

You can also ask for some help from family or friends. To make sure you stick to your goal, take breaks and reward yourself when you get a big chore done.  

Tackle one area at a time 

If you’ve decided to take on one room or area of your house at a time, choose the one that is the most in need of help. Getting the biggest chore off your plate and finished will spur you on to keep moving to other rooms.  

One method is to start in one corner and move around the room. This gives your cleaning and organizing a focus so you don’t get overwhelmed. You can pay attention to each section of the room, whether you’re cleaning, organizing or downsizing.  

Another method is to actually take everything out of the room and then sort, purge and clean as you put things back. This forces you to see how much is in the room and touch almost every single item.  

Try sorting by categories  

You can tackle this seasonal chore by item as well. Choose a category and go through it thoroughly and toss, sell or donate what you don’t need. This can include things such as: 

  • Clothing you haven’t worn in the last two years
  • Paperwork that isn’t needed any longer 
  • Office or school items such as empty folders or old notebooks
  • Unused electronics that no longer work or are not used
  • Mismatched items including  single socks, storage bins without a lid, etc. 
  • Kitchen supplies such as expired spices or long-forgotten freezer items 
  • Books that have already been read 
  • Old make-up, nail polish or creams that are dated or dried out

Use the 4-pile method  

The professionals at WayForth often recommend four separate piles to help you sort and organize. These include: KEEP, SELL, DONATE and TRASH and what they like to refer to as “The 4-Pile Method”. 

The KEEP pile includes things that you are currently using, are going to take with you in a move or give to a family member or friend.   

The SELL pile can be items that are designated for a yard sale or through an Internet sale site such as Ebay. Think about consignment shops or even online auction houses if you have a lot of items.  

The DONATE group includes things that will go to charity organizations. Make sure you are realistic about what you are donating; items that are broken or stained will eventually be thrown away by the group.  

TRASH is just what the name implies. This is the pile that is going to be thrown out. If you are disposing of electronics, old paint or other household materials that may include chemicals, be sure to know what guidelines you must follow in your area.  

Helpful resources for donations 

If you have a list of organizations that take donations, it can be a lot easier to move things out. Make a list of places in your city that will be happy to make use of your donations. We’ve gathered a few national organizations and other ideas to get you started.  

  • Habitat For Humanity – Appreciates donations of gently used furniture, appliances, housewares, building materials and more. 
  • Global Literacy Project – Accepts donated books in order to foster community-based literacy initiatives throughout the world. 
  • Project Smile – Donated baby and children’s items are provided to emergency responders to help ease the pain and fear of children in their care. 
  • For those who are giving away items for free in their own towns and neighborhoods, Freecycleis all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Or try your local Buy Nothing group on Facebook.  
  • Dress for Success – Provides interview suits, confidence boosts, and career development to low-income women in over 75 cities worldwide. 
  • Lions Clubs Eyeglass Recycling – Recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in low- and middle-income communities. 
  • Cell Phones for Soldiers – This non-profit helps connect our troops around the world with their families. 
  • Browse the internet for your local animal shelter. They are always in need of blankets, towels, sheets, and soft bedding to provide their rescues with warmth and a comfortable place to sleep during their stay. 

If you or a loved one is downsizing to move to a new home, WayForth can help with our comprehensive moving solutions. They include downsizing, clear-out, storage and moving. For more information, contact our moving professionals today at 1.844.WAYFORTH.  

About the Author: WayForth

WayForth is the definitive provider of comprehensive and personalized moving solutions for life and business. Since 2016, WayForth has led the way in move management, providing solutions to over 15,000 individuals and families. How you move matters and no matter the destination, WayForth serves as a guide making life’s transitions easier to navigate. Call 1.844.WAYFORTH today to learn how we can help with your next move!
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