It’s spring. I’d like to motivate you to make some simple changes around your home. It’s time to let go of the old. The new will be the peaceful results you achieve by letting go of the old. Let’s get started:
In this post, I’ll lay out a 7-day plan to help you minimize the excess that gathers over time. This post is less about physical cleaning, and more about getting rid of old, unused stuff. I’ll be taking the spring cleaning challenge with you.
We’re simply going to break the task up by space. Some of you may have larger or smaller homes than I do. You can tweak your plan as needed.
The Hip Diggs Spring Cleaning Challenge
Monday – Kitchen: I always start my cleaning and elimination of unnecessary items in the kitchen. See my clutter-free kitchen post. Set aside a few hours to go through each drawer and cupboard. Work quickly. I’ve found that if I deliberate too much over any one item, I’ll usually keep it. It sits another year without being used. So I’ve become ruthless in what I let go. If it’s something I haven’t used since the last time I did a cleaning, it’s going. Make sure to let go of outdated food, too.
Tuesday – Bathrooms: Medicine cabinets get messy. Let go of old medicine and clutter in your medicine cabinet. Do the same with all the drawers and cupboards in your bathrooms. I always do a full cleaning after I declutter. That means I scrub and scour. Pumice is the best tool ever for keeping porcelain surfaces clean.
Wednesday – Living/Family Room: Because I keep my living room and small family room clean all year, this is an easy task. Books, CDs, and DVDs are my biggest issue. Most of my collections are several years old. I’ve downsized from over 1000 CDs to less than 100. I’ve done the same with books. Still, I go through them once or twice a year and find some titles that I’m ready to trade. This reduces the overall size of the collections over time.
You’re Almost Halfway There
Thursday – Bedrooms: We have three bedrooms. On Thursday, I’ll deal with my room and the spare room. Again, these are kept fairly tidy. It’s the closets and drawers that I spend the most time on. I consider clothes that I no longer wear. Again, I’m ruthless. If it’s not been worn since the last cleaning, it goes. I also go through the linen closet and the coat closet to remove unused and unnecessary items.
Friday – Kid’s Rooms: My daughter’s room is my biggest challenge. Annie is nine years old and she doesn’t share my love of minimalism. I’m usually able to work with her to lessen the clutter in her room, but it’s a chore. We create three piles: one for letting go, one for storage, (the stuff that she won’t let go yet), and one to be organized. This is the longest project, so make sure to set aside extra time.
Saturday – Basement and Garage: Our small basement is only used to store the rubbermaid containers of seasonal stuff. There are also a few boxes of keepsakes and memorabilia and about five bins of the things that Annie has not yet let go of. Our garage is mostly used for yard tools and some overflow. A few hours in each of these spaces should suffice. You may need more or less time based on how often this has been done. Go through stored items and boxes. Let go of things you no longer need.
Sunday – Yard: Sunday is the day of rest. This is a good day to leisurely neaten up your yard. You don’t need to do the full seasonal yard prep, just spend an hour or two tidying things up.
This Challenge Is Not Just For Spring
Some of you may have more work to do than others. If you’re new to the minimalist lifestyle, and you have collected many things over the years, you may need to spend more time on this project.
Your 7-Day Spring Cleaning Challenge might become a 7-Week Spring Cleaning Challenge. That’s okay. Just stick with it a little at a time. Get your family and friends involved. Share the tasks and the ideas behind learning to live with less stuff. Reap the rewards of having more time and space for one another. Know that you have done well by giving your unused things away for others to use.
The keys to living a minimalist lifestyle are to do these tasks on a regular basis and to become a more critical consumer over time.
For more help with cleaning, check out The Cleanup Queen on Facebook. Wendy Williams has many valuable cleaning tips that will help with your spring cleaning.
If you’d like to learn more about simple living, I’ve written a book called, The Happiness of Simple. I explain how simple living leads to more happiness and productivity. It’s free. Get yours today.