Say Hello To Spring and Goodbye To Clutter!

Hello Spring! Goodbye Clutter.

Spring has sprung, and California’s super bloom is truly magnificent! Our much-needed rain this past winter brought an end to the drought (for now), and things are looking sunnier on many fronts.
With the weather warming up and the days getting longer, now’s a great time to spring into action to declutter your home! Once you declutter, organizing what’s left is so much easier to manage, so it’s well worth your time and effort.  Not sure where to begin?  Here are some E-A-S-Y tips to get you started:
Donate it!
Go through your closet today and pick out 5 to10 items you KNOW you won’t wear again and donate it.  I have a “donate” bag in my hall closet and add to it just about each week. Of course, I do weekly drop-offs to The Salvation Army and to Goodwill, so that bag does not linger in my home for long. And that’s the secret…when you opt to donate items, take the next step and get it out of your house and drop them off to a worthy charity.  Doing this routinely keeps me from hanging on to what I don’t use, need or love, and it feels good to let it go to someone who might be in need. 
Toss it!
How old is Worcestershire sauce in your pantry? When’s the last time you looked at the expiration dates on your pantry items and condiments? It can be downright scary to read the expiration dates on some things that have been pushed to the back, but take a moment to go through your canned goods, oils and condiments to make sure they’re still fresh and not rancid. Take note of color and smell, and if something’s not right, or if it’s terribly past the expiration date, toss it out. Keep a running list of what needs to be replaced so that next time you’re at the store, you can pick up fresh replacements.
Recycle it!
Go around your house and recycle junk mail, old newspapers, magazines and catalogues that have been lingering around for too long. Keep it real-if you haven’t read it by now, it’s likely you won’t. And, if you are feeling some separation anxiety about tossing that Crate and Barrel catalogue, you can rest assured that more are on the way! And if you are tired of receiving so much junk mail, take a look at my Eco-Friendly Organizing tips to find out what you can do about it!
E-waste it!
Old batteries, lightbulbs, that old modem from 5 years ago, and miscellaneous cords and cables can really add Tech Clutter in our lives. If you’ve been hanging on to electronic clutter, or E-waste, I’m here to tell you that there is an easy, FREE way to get rid of it responsibly. Retailers like Target and Best Buy offer recycling kiosks at front of their stores, and Goodwill and The Salvation Army will take your old electronics, as well. For items like laptop hard drives and external hard drives that contain sensitive data, it’s best to have these wiped or destroyed before recycling.  If you need help doing this, use a service like Level 6 in SF or ARS in Berkeley, which has nominal fees for the peace of mind that comes with the service. 
For Bay Area folks, if you over-bought at the Back-to-School sale, have moved and have outdated Letterhead, or have excess materials like art/office supplies, paper, buttons, fabric, yarn, beads and other crafty goods that are cluttering up your drawers and shelves but are “too good to throw away”, there’s a wonderful resource that will take these items off your hands! SCRAP is a non-profit based in SF that accepts and sorts quality donations of re-usable materials, and makes them available to teachers, artists and parents at a low cost. Some very creative and crafty clients turned me on to this resource, and I think it’s a wonderful way to “turn trash into  treasure”.
Spend some time spring cleaning and clearing the clutter from your home to make room and to optimize your home’s spaces.  Life Well Organized is happy to help you in this process, so get in touch if you want to work together to clear the clutter in your home!
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