Spring has sprung, and that means it's time for spring cleaning! The more clutter you have to deal with, the less time you have to spend on fun activities. Make the most of spring cleaning by paring down your possessions. According to Utah State University Extension, decluttering relieves anxiety and boosts your mood. It also burns calories and makes it easier to focus on other tasks.
With just a little effort, you can renew your living space and prepare for the busy spring ahead. We put together these tips to get you off to a good start and help you figure out what to keep and what to pass on to someone else.
1. Start With a Walk-Through
Before you pick up a single item, take a walk through your space and identify items that you no longer use or bring you joy. Giving away just a few of them can make your home look and feel more spacious.
Perhaps you’re ready to donate a couple of chairs or other furniture pieces to make space in your living areas? Maybe it’s time to let go of some home decor items that are cluttering up a bookshelf or table? You may have family members who could use your furniture, or you can arrange for donation organizations to haul away these items for you.
2. Do One Room at a Time
Tackling every room at the same time is a recipe for burnout, so start small. You don't even need to focus on an entire room. Simply emptying a basket on the kitchen counter or going through one drawer per day can help you make steady progress toward your goals. As you clean, take frequent breaks and be sure to stay hydrated.
Look for new ways to organize the belongings you just can’t part with. For example, under-bed storage boxes keep things contained while keeping counters and other surfaces clear. Over-the-door organizers are another good option, especially if you have many small items that need a home. If you decide to purchase baskets or boxes, stick with square or rectangular ones. They're easy to stack, and they also fit most cabinets and shelves better than their round counterparts.
3. Categorize Items
As you sort through a closet or clean out a cupboard, categorize the items you are ready to let go of into three bins or piles: donate, sell and trash. There are many community organizations that accept donations of clothing, decor and household items, including Goodwill, the Salvation Army and local churches. Consignment stores or estate sale resources are great options to consider as you downsize to put a little cash back in your pocket. For the remaining unwanted items, bag them up and enjoy the boost in your mood when you throw them away.
4. Digitize Memorabilia
It pays to be tech-savvy in today’s world, so why not let technology lend a hand in helping you declutter? Digitizing memorabilia is the perfect way to keep treasured moments, memories and mementos safe while freeing up space in your home.
You can use your smartphone or tablet to take a picture of a newspaper article or capture a snapshot of your grandchildren’s artwork. There are even apps available that act like a scanner, so you can turn keepsake cards and letters into easily accessible digital copies that you can read wherever you are.
5. Get Rid of the Paperwork
Paper clutter can feel overwhelming, since stacks can accumulate on counters and tabletops throughout your home. Think about what you save on a daily basis. Toss junk mail and flyers in the trash or recycling instead of setting it on your table. If you’re accustomed to shopping online, let go of catalogs when they arrive in the mail.
Simply shredding some unnecessary paperwork can free up drawer space and lighten the mental burden of years of stored documents. Start with old bank statements and tax paperwork — shredding papers that contain personal information is the best way to get rid of the excess while protecting your privacy.
By applying just a few of these tips, you can get more enjoyment out of your home.
Take Advantage of Maintenance-Free Living
Spring cleaning can be a great way to feel accomplished and renewed, but an even better feeling is doing whatever you want! You could take an art class, listen to a lecture or participate in one of the many other enrichment activities available at Vinson Hall Retirement Community.
Our expert maintenance professionals handle everything from replacing light bulbs to mowing the lawn, leaving you free to grab lunch in the Penthouse Dining Room, get a few games in on the pickle ball court or take a day trip to one of Fairfax County’s many cultural attractions and historic sites.
We'd be happy to provide more information about Independent Living in McLean, VA. Give us a call at 703-536-4344 to schedule a tour and see what maintenance-free living looks like!