According to the calendar it is officially SPRING! Even though the weather outside may not be the sunniest, this is still the perfect time for a fresh start! Today I am re-posting one of your favourite Auntie M posts from April of last year: "Spring has Sprung! Auntie M’s Top 5 Spring Cleaning Tips!" Speaking of last year, I'm celebrating my 1 year "blogger-versary"! Thank you so much for following our posts, and sharing your awesome comments on our blog! This first year has been a blast for me and I look forward to all of the FUN we are going to have this year! ☺
It is FINALLY spring! Along with with longer days and warmer temperatures Spring is a time of renewal and fresh starts. A great way to kick start a fresh start is with some SPRING CLEANING! Spring Cleaning doesn't have to be a boring chore, there are some easy ways to reduce clutter and actually have some FUN at the same time. So without further ado I present to you my Top 5 Spring Cleaning Tips!
1 in 1 out!
It can be overwhelming when you are trying to decrease clutter. Especially when it comes to children's toys (or books or clothing for me personally!) it is a challenge to purge what may be no longer needed. Hauling a large quantity of your belongings to be donated or having a garage sale may not be something you have time for. I once saw a "celeb mom" tell a talk show host that whenever her children bring home a new toy they understand that their family has a rule that they must choose 5 of their old toys to give to charity. This is an extreme example of course, we are not all in a similar position. However there is a great idea here that I like to call "1 in 1 out". It's a basic rule of thumb that whenever you make a purchase for a non-consumable product you select at least one to donate. This is an ongoing, clever way to keep your home manageable and a wonderful example for the little ones about supporting those in need while staying tidy at the same time!
DIY Tidy Storage!
A HUGE part of spring cleaning is sorting and putting everything in its place. This can feel tedious, but guess what? There is an easy and inexpensive way to make storing and organizing FUN! From the linen closet to the playroom a simple trick for a quick make-over is storage containers. Here's where the fun comes in: personalize them! You can be practical and print labels for them or give your kids a bunch of stickers and let them go nuts. Basic cardboard boxes are transformed with wrapping paper, ribbons, paint, crayons, any supplies you might have around!
Wrap a shoebox with some wrapping paper or the Sunday comics and voila! Desk clutter has disappeared!
We all have these plastic storage bins somewhere in our home. Check out this cute result after I applied some affordable sticker decals!
Below is a beautiful, personalized jewellery box that my nieces painted for me! Now I have a tidy place to store all of my accessories.
Quick projects like these are a fun activity for the entire family and a way to tidy up with some fun and added personal touches along the way!
Family and Friends Share Party!
One of my favourite ways of clearing out the closets, garage and other catch all storage areas is hosting a "Share Party". This is a fun and casual get together where you set out all of the belongings that your family has outgrown: clothing, toys, furniture, books, anything at all that is in perfectly usable condition but you no longer have a use for. Invite your friends and family to bring what they may have around the house that they no longer need. Put out some snacks and beverages, turn on some music and let the swapping and "shopping" begin! If the "anything goes" approach seems like a bit much, you can try it out with a specific theme like "summer clothes" or "movies and music".
Whatever remains at the end of the night is brought to a local charity donation centre.
To the Highest Bidder!
Online auction and classifieds websites are convenient and free ways to give your unwanted items a new home. This is a great solution for items like the old TV or the scooter your daughter has outgrown. The buyer will come to pick it up or even pay for the shipping! All you need to do is take a picture with you digital camera and upload it with a brief description. Not only will you be reducing clutter around the house but you might even make some money! Getting the kids involved here is great, they can practice their computer skills as well as their writing. You can motivate them by allowing them to put the proceeds towards something they're saving for or donating the money to the charity of the children's choosing. Of course selling the items is not the only option! Online classifieds and many other "free stuff" websites are easy to use and a simple way to advertise that you are giving something away.
A Bit at a Time!
If you set out to spring clean the entire house in one day, (and are anything like me!) you will likely find there is way too much to do. All year round, when cleaning and with other tasks a helpful tip to keep in mind is "a bit at a time"! Start out with a manageable area like a room or closet. If your schedule is too busy for that spring clean a part of a room at a time like the kitchen "junk drawer", your bedside table or the perfect place to begin: your desk!
Here's a quick recap:
1. 1 in 1 out! Keep your household manageable by maintaining a general rule about getting rid of things you don't use, a great reminder to do this is when you buy something new.
2. DIY Tidy Storage! Leave it to me to incorporate crafts into spring cleaning :) Keep things you use at hand, but hidden away in affordable storage boxes you decorate yourself.
3. Family and Friends Share Party! Invite some people over to "shop and swap" outgrown belongings. Whatever is left over is donated to charity.
4. To the highest bidder! Use online auction or classifieds websites to sell or give away those items like the old tv in the basement closet.
5. A Bit at a Time! Break down tasks to manageable chunks. Instead of cleaning the entire house at once, start with a room or a closet. If you're super busy try a mini-project like your car or desk.
I hope my top five spring cleaning tips have given you some helpful ideas to kick off your fresh start projects! Share your best spring cleaning ideas with us in a comment below and on our facebook and twitter pages, we love reading your stories!
- Auntie M