De-clutter, Deep Clean and Donate!

Hello Fellow Domestic Divas!

Well, either you have been through this or know someone who has… clothes in the closet that still have the tags on them, expired prescriptions in your drawer, stored boxes that haven’t been opened in years, and old electronics stashed in a corner. In the back of our heads we all know that we will never use or wear them again. We also know that another person’s junk can be another person’s treasure. So why do we hang on to these things that just collect dust? My excuse is that I learned it from my family, we are sentimental pack rats. It’s up to me to change that, so I did, and you can too!

I didn’t know where to start during my deep clean session. In fact, I had to do it in increments, but it’s a start. I still have another round or two, and that is okay. It’s overwhelming when you have so many things to go through. The best way to start your deep clean is to have a method of attack. Prioritize which rooms you need to go through and focus on one room at a time. Remember, you are cleaning from the inside first, so consider all of the things that are in your drawers and closets when you make this list. Then buy a few bins with lids on them (or use trash bags if the bins are too bulky for you). At first, bins can help you separate piles of what to keep, throw away, donate, and sell. (I use Ebay, Craig’s List and Buffalo Exchange to sell.) The bins can be used for storage after you sort everything out.

If you have a hard time letting go of things, put a sticker the tag on the clothes that you haven’t worn in a while, take off the tags when you wear them, then mark your calendar for 3 or 6 months to a year later (so you can give your seasonal items a chance). If you haven’t taken off the tag… its gone!! I use a drawer divider and a label maker to organize my clothes. Here is a picture of a good example. (NOTE: these are not my granny panties! My “unmentionables” are too sexy to share with the world.)

Take caution with items that you decide to sell. Don’t give yourself another reason to hang on to something you aren’t going to use. If it doesn’t sell after the first try, lower your price. If it doesn’t sell after the second to fourth time, give it away. I repeat, don’t hang on to things that cannot sell either. If you take your clothes to Buffalo Exchange (see the site for explanation), remember that they only take seasonal items. So you can’t sell your old down vest in the spring or summer. They are picky. They good news is that you can donate any remaining items that they don’t buy from you.

A great option that I use all the time are the donation trucks that come around in my neighborhood. They leave notes on my door, so I alternate the organizations that I donate to. If you would like to have your donations picked up from you, go to www.donationtown.org to schedule a free pick up. You can use the donation as write off as well, just request a receipt.

When you clean out your bathroom, office, and garage you will probably find a lot of toxic and electronic waste (e-waste). Items like batteries, old electronics, paint, and prescriptions need to be disposed of properly so they don’t end up in landfills. For electronics, go to E-cyclingcentral.com to find the nearest drop off location. To dispose of prescriptions, crush them up and put in a plastic bag with another undesirable substance (like old coffee grounds), this way the medication isn’t ingested by an unintended recipient.

Now that you have de-cluttered your home from the inside, you are ready to clean the outside! Here is are some fantastic and detailed check lists that I found on MarthaStewart.com and About.com.

Spring/ Deep Cleaning check list

Detailed Room-by-Room check list

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