Spring Cleaning out the Clutter: Goodwill’s 7 Day Guide

By Anne-Marie Maher

With the rise in temperature, you may also be feeling a rise in motivation to clean your home.  After all, clutter has been shown to have a negative impact on our health and can contribute to depression, decreased focus, confusion and tension. On the other hand, a clean home can benefit health. Several Studies have shown that cleaning and decluttering can impact wellness, improve mood and increase focus.

A clean home simply helps us feel better.

To get this year’s spring cleaning season off to a fresh start, Goodwill has compiled the Seven Days of Spring Cleaning Guide, making it easier than ever to clean out your home and make a difference here in Lincoln by donating used goods.

For each day of the week leading up to the first day of spring (March 20), commit to cleaning out just one part of your house and finding something you can donate. Use the #7DaysofSpringCleaning hashtag to share your spring cleaning adventures with Goodwill and friends.

Before decluttering, set up a simple donation station at home. Add to it as you find things that you no longer need. When full, head to your nearest Goodwill!

March 13: Tidy the Closet.

Sort through your clothing and donate anything that no longer fits or you no longer use. Don’t forget to go through shoes and accessories! Did you know that Goodwill accepts clothing in any condition? Clothing that cannot be resold in our stores will be recycled!

Tip: Determine what items you no longer wear by trying the hanger method. Hang all clothes with the hooks facing out. As you wear items, turn their hooks to face in. After one year, donate all of the clothes on hangers with the hooks still facing out. If you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably won’t miss it!

March 14: Organize the Kitchen.

Clean out any duplicate tools and declutter mugs, glasses, plates, etc. Donate the ones you no longer want, and wash and put away the rest. Purge the cookbooks, cleaning supplies, dish towels, Tupperware, medicine/vitamins any other categories of items that live in the kitchen.

Tip: Once the kitchen is clean, consider using thrifted clear containers to reorganize the shelves and make it easier to identify items. These can also be used for purchasing food in bulk at the grocery store to save on plastic waste.

March 15: Spruce Up the Seasonal Décor.

That Halloween ghost statue you haven’t displayed for five years? It’s time to let it go. Give your once-used Halloween costume a new life by donating it to Goodwill. Treat yourself to an early present for the holidays and take out stress by purging what you don’t use now.

Tip: Group everything by season or holiday, then by type of décor for easy access when needed each season.

March 16: Unjunk the Junk Drawers.

Junk drawers can easily become overwhelming and impractical if they are so full that they can’t even be opened. First, empty out all of the items. Dust and wipe down the empty drawer. Group like items together and consider reorganizing with drawer dividers or reusable bags, both of which you can find at your local Goodwill. Make sure to donate what you don’t need or use.

Tip: If sliding containers and compartments drive you nuts, try using a command strip on the bottom of each compartment, or buy a small rug liner and cut it to size. It’s the perfect solution, and it’s so easy.

March 17: Recycle Technology.

Technology changes fast and many people have tech toys, used computers and computer accessories lying around the house. Also, investigate the entertainment area in your home. How many DVDs do you own that you’ll probably never watch again? CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, video games—they’re all donate-able.

Tip: Currently, only 12% of electronic waste gets recycled in the US. And Although E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, it equals 70% of overall toxic waste. Make the environment better for our generation and future generations. At Goodwill, donated electronics are either sold in our stores or responsibly recycled through our Dell Reconnect partnership.

March 18: Freshen the Home Office.

Recycle old papers, magazines and newspapers, and shred sensitive documents. Sort through books and donate any that aren’t used or needed. Create a filing system with labels to make organizing easier in the future.

Tip: Clutter happens when items don’t have a home, so make sure when reorganizing that every item has its place.

March 19: Purge the Garage.

A common rule when cleaning out your closet is if you haven’t worn it in over a year, it’s time to say goodbye; the same guidelines can be applied to your garage. If no one has touched those rollerblades in over a decade, it’s okay to let them go. If your family didn’t take to Sunday croquet matches as you’d envisioned, don’t beat yourself up about it. Donate your sporting goods and they might end up getting some use instead of gathering dust.

Tip: Depending on how well kept the garage is throughout the year, this clean out may take more than one day. If that’s the case, use this day to create a functional plan. What activities/storage do you need the space for? Work in sections and pull everything out to sort through.

March 20: First day of spring!

Reward your efforts and get outside to enjoy the sunshine.

For more ideas on deep cleaning to benefit your mental and physical health, read The Porch’s Spring Cleaning Home and Maintenance guide.

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