Sunday, January 17, 2016

Planning a tidying/decluttering day

Marie Kondo gives a lot of good specifics in her book, but there are a few things she didn't mention that I thought would be helpful to anyone planning a big clean up day.

First, before you even get started with the tidying, think of what you want to have for dinner that night. Pull out a frozen lasagna to defrost, pop some goodies in the crock pot, or plan to call the pizza dude, but get it figured out now. You WILL be tired (happy, but tired) at the end of a long day of cleaning, and for some reason the family will still want to be fed! If you have dinner planned (and better yet, already cooking in the crock pot), you'll feel very smart and resourceful!

Second, plan where your donations will go, and load the car as you fill each bag or box. It prevents second thoughts and having to carry huge loads all at once. If you're taking them to a consignment store, call ahead and make sure you can drop off items that day, and what their limits on items are. DON'T get hung up on how much you can sell the items for - their purpose was not to be resold when you bought them, it was to make your life easier and more pleasant. If they serve that purpose by leaving your house, then they've done their job. Any money you get out of that is just a bonus.

Third, if things haven't been moved for a while, get the vacuum out and set up the hose attachments. As you pick up dusty items, suck the dust off of them - it will prevent the dust getting into the air, and by extension, your nose, throat, and lungs. A high quality dust mask is a good idea too. Grab some good dust spray and cloths, or if your allergies act up really badly, splurge and get the throwaway Swiffer dusters. Those things saved my life (or at least my lungs) in my daughters room, since they grabbed the dust so easily and could be thrown away without ever even touching them. Are they a bit decadent for everyday cleaning? Sure! But for this heavy level of dust, they were so helpful. If you have a good air filter, run it before, during, and a while after your clean up session.

Fourth, if you CAN, see about doing big clean up days the day before trash pick up day. That way any actual trash pulled out (and there will be some) doesn't have to sit around most of the week. If you can't schedule it that way, try to find a spot where the trash can sit and not overflow.

Fifth, for large items, get them right onto freecycle or craigslist. If you're selling them, sell them at a low reasonable price to get them gone quickly. You don't want to have to re-list them even once - the idea is to keep only the things that bring joy to your life, so set yourself free from the stuff that no longer serves your purpose.

Hope those practical tips help you with your tidying sessions!

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