Spring and fall, being the mildest of the four seasons, are the perfect times for cleaning. When done in the spring, it allows you to avoid the profuse sweating that comes with trying to keep house in the summer. When done in the fall, it allows you to go into hibernation for the coming cold. They both offer preparation for the extreme seasons, as well as the peace of mind that goes with having a spotless and organized space free from clutter.
Let’s go through a couple of handfuls of steps you can take to de-clutter your home, and make it presentable in both seasons and beyond.
- Curbside Pickups for Clothing
Do you have bunches of extra clothing that you no longer wear? In most neighborhoods, organizations will do curbside pickups. Check deep in your closet and garage for clothes you haven’t worn in years; you can box them up and place them on the curbside. Similarly, you can go the extra step and schedule a pickup by the Salvation Army or do an internet search for a local organization in your city/town.
- Trash Pickups Can Be Scheduled
Whether you’re doing spring or fall cleaning, one thing’s for certain: there will be a lot of garbage. By this, we don’t necessarily mean trash (although there will be that, too), but things for which you no longer have any reasonable use. Do you have a 20-year-old deep-freezer that’s on its last leg? It may be time to chuck it. Call a garbage pick-up service; many will do it for free 2-3 times a year.
- Check for Nearby Resale Stores
If you’ve got clothing that you no longer wear, but they’re still in very good shape, don’t put it out on the curb or throw it away – check for a resale store. You’d be surprised how much gas money you can walk away with by selling them trendy clothing in good condition. It’s a better deal than keeping them tucked deep into your closet space, anyway.
- “Freecycle” Your Stuff
Freecycle is an eBay-like site – sans the bidding – on which you can put useful items that you no longer use. During your spring or fall cleaning, you may come across some Sterilite storage containers gathering dust, or a bike for which you have no more use. Similar websites for these kinds of things are Let It Go and OfferUp. Set your low price, and watch it get scooped up.
- Gather Your Home Goods
For this one, we mean, specifically, appliances, furniture and other mainstays of the average house – for which you have no use. Try to only consider gently-used stuff in this case, otherwise they go in the garbage pick-up heap (think 10-year-old couches; nobody wants those). An excellent option for donation is Habitat for Humanity – find one of their Restores and make an inquisition.
- eBay – Of Course
The King of auction sites has been around for decades; now, things are easier than ever to sell with the eBay app on your mobile device. You can list things quickly and efficiently even as you clean; no need to make a list and sit down later at your workstation to painstakingly list every attribute. Alternatively, you can go through the eBay Giving Works program if you want to make a contribution to a charity even as you’re selling.
- Shred, Shred, Shred – Communities Do It Together
If you have a Housing Association, then you may already be familiar with this relatively new development: the community shredding event. People in the neighborhood get together at these free events to shred their credit cards, bank statements, etc – any document that could be used to perpetrate identity theft.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, you will an announcement for a shredding event tends to come out around tax time – April or roundabouts. It’s a good way to significantly reduce the probability that you become a victim of identity theft as a result of improperly-disposed of statements.
- Electronics Disposal
We’ve all seen them: warnings on the back of a compact disc player or battery that it must be disposed of properly. Contribute to the wellbeing of the environment by recycling your old electronics that you find during spring or fall cleaning. In fact, you can do it for free at Best Buy, Staples, or other participating store – all you have to do is drive there and drop off your electronics. If they’re in pretty good working shape, you might even be able to trade the stuff in for stuff in the store, or for store credit.
Spring and fall cleaning can be as cathartic an exercise as it useful. Hopefully the above gets you off to a good start – good luck this season.
This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.