cleaningIt’s that time of the year again – after being shut up all winter, the windows can finally be opened and fresh, spring air can flow through the house (for a little while at least…unless you want that lovely yellow pollen dust to coat every surface). Flowers are blooming, trees are getting their leaves, and the feeling of newness is in the air.

Yes folks, spring is here and with that – at our house – comes spring cleaning.

The start of spring, in combination with my third trimester hormones and the fact we’ll soon have four little people to share our space with, has meant a serious round of cleaning at our house. I’m not talking dirt and grim clean up just yet (sorry, honey!). Instead I’ve been purging unused household items, clothes that have long since been outgrown, and toys that haven’t been played with in ages. It feels so nice to be able to store things in our closets again, find what we’re looking for easily, and actually have a space for everything that’s left.

Looking to do some spring cleaning of your own? Many, many people (thousands of them, to be exact) swear by Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” I’ve read the book and appreciate her philosophy and tips, but haven’t quite conformed to all of her standards just yet (sorry, not sorry, but I love books too much to part with them). If you’re looking for motivation, inspiration and helpful steps to getting started, this is a great place to begin!

Now, what do you do with all of the goodies you’re getting rid of? Not everything needs to go straight into the trash can!

  • Re-sell toys, clothes, household items in good or excellent, working condition. Facebook Markets, CraigsList, eBay – there are tons of ways you can sell your things online. ThredUp is an awesome choice for consigning clothing from the comfort of your house. For baby clothes and goodies, there are plenty of local consignment stores like Once Upon a Child who will give you cash upfront for your items.
  • Donate. The Goodwill accepts all sorts of things, from clothing, jewelry, toys, household items, small furniture, even cars. The Salvation Army will send a collection truck to your house to pick up items you can’t bring in yourself, like big appliances or furniture. Doing some remodeling? The Habitat for Humanity ReStore accepts new and gently used appliances, building materials, and more. Crisis Assistance Ministry is in need of clothing, household linens, luggage, pots & pans, and more, while Mira Via accepts all sorts of baby items, including diapers, pack & plays, car seats, and more.
  • Give to Friends or Family. Kids outgrow toys and clothes so quickly, and many of it – particularly baby clothes – are hardly worn before they’re discarded. Check with friends or family to see if they can use them! As the recipient of plenty of gorgeous, barely-worn baby girl clothes from incredibly generous friends, our girl has a wardrobe for the summer that I’m totally envious of.
  • Repurpose. Does the item you’re getting rid of have to leave the house? Not necessarily! Try repurposing a decorative item in a different room of your house, or brainstorm ways to reuse something without having to toss it.
  • Recycle. You can toss aerosol cans, aluminum, bottle caps and lids, cardboard, glass bottles/jars, juice boxes, milk and juice cartons, paper, pizza boxes, plastics 1-5 & 7, spiral paper cans and steel/tin cans straight into your recycling bin. Plastic shopping bags can be recycled at local stores, and dead batteries or lightbulbs can be recycled at home improvement stores around the area. There are full service recycling centers around the city that will accept TONS of goods for free, including electronics, appliances, yard waste, building materials and more.

Has the spring cleaning bug bitten you yet??