Buy Gardening Goods at the Thrift

While the Organizing Blog never advocates buying more #stuff than you really need, savvy shoppers can often find springtime gardening essentials such as gloves, tools, pots and planters among the castoffs at local thrift stores supplied by your generous donations to ClothingDonations.org. And if you need to get rid of some of your lightly used (but disused) gardening equipment and other household items as you start spring cleaning, now is the time to schedule a #donation pickup!

Declutter Before Deep-Cleaning

The snows of February are melting, and warmer weather is on the way. But before you can enjoy the outdoors in your shirtsleeves again, make time in your schedule to tackle the spring cleaning. To get started on a deep clean, sort out anything that isn’t going to be useful next winter, such as the sweaters nobody wore, the blankets that don’t match and the holiday decorations you didn’t put up. Bag them and schedule a free #donation #pickup from ClothingDonations.org so that a new home can enjoy them next winter.

Valentine’s Romance Without the Clutter

Valentine’s Day inspires gift-giving of a specific kind: jewelry, apparel, greeting cards. These things don’t take up a lot of space on their own, but like anything else, they tend to accumulate even though you and yours may not use them every day. What’s a person, couple or family to do if they already have enough of that stuff laying around?

Get creative! Instead of giving your loved ones things that take up space, Organizing Maniacs says, give the gift of time. Take a hike, play a game, do a puzzle, clean the house or volunteer to wash and vacuum the car.

Make memories rather than more space for material goods. Plan a weekend getaway, take a virtual cooking class together, or schedule a spa day. Set a date night — whatever that might look like in the current pandemic climate.

If you want to get craftsy, you can buy or create a coupon book of actions or favors for your loved ones to cash in at their leisure, Meaningfully Organized says. Depending on your skill set, coupons can be exchanged for anything from a hug to a beach vacation.

There’s nothing wrong with food when it comes to giving, either — it rarely takes up space for long. But while that giant heart-shaped box of maple creams may be the perfect gift for a person who loves maple creams, your significant other may be more into coffee, craft beer, or crackers and cheese.

You can combine food with an experience by making a favorite meal at home together. And flowers may be appropriate, but we at the Organizing Blog think it’s better to give a living plant that rewards its recipient through the seasons than a run-of-the-mill bouquet that turns brown by week’s end.

A rule of thumb? The more thoughtful the gift, the more useful it will be — and the less likely it will one day be considered #clutter.

If you or yours need to #declutter, make that your Valentine’s Day goal, project or gift. Just be sure to contact ClothingDonations.org for a free #donation pickup before you and your loved ones tackle that drawer, closet or room. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Use March to Declutter Like a Lion

March: It comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, or so they say. Whether or not there’s any truth to the old saying weather-wise in your part of the country, you can take a cue from it as you begin #decluttering for the spring season ahead.

Instead of approaching decluttering slowly this season, roar through your house to make the first crucial dent in what needs to be done. Every little bit you can accomplish can help make your home more organized and comfortable, so attack the trouble spots as fast as you can.

Pick a room and “start by tossing the obvious trash,” More Than Organized says. “Look for packaging and the broken bits first. Get them out of the way. Expired coupons, empty used envelopes, bottles and dried-up glue can also go.”

As you get rid of the trash, you’ll reduce the overall volume of stuff and likely uncover lots of other items that are out of place, unnecessary or unwanted. And just as quickly as you trashed the unusable stuff, you can reshelve or remove these things.

Other things you can declutter quickly include duplicate items, decorative items you don’t love enough to display, clothing that doesn’t fit, inactive files and paperwork, and basically any practical item you haven’t used in a year, Home Storage Solutions says.

Deciding what to keep and what to trash or donate isn’t easy, we know. Given enough time, you can probably find some sentimental attachment or dream up some future plan for every little thing that’s cluttering up your space.

That’s why you have attack task fiercely, like a lion. “Be as ruthless as possible with your decluttering decisions,” says the Simple Lionheart Life blog. “The more you get rid of during each decluttering session, the quicker you’ll clear the clutter.”

If you find any still-useful items such as clothing, toys, books and household items that you no longer need or want, bag them up and contact ClothingDonations.org for a free donation pickup. This will get that extra junk out of your sight fast.

Decluttering isn’t really “done” until the clutter has left your home completely. Once it has, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief — and March can go out like a lamb.

Store the Holidays Away Sensibly

Even the most diehard #holiday celebrators will admit that it’s finally time to take down the tree, wind up the lights and box up the tchotchkes for most of the year ahead. They’ve communicated your holiday cheer dutifully for several weeks, and it’s time to give them a rest.

A little ingenuity will help you pack away and preserve those holiday items for next Christmas. And a little judicious weeding out will save you some space so that holiday clutter can’t get the best of you next season.

First, of course, is the weeding out. As you take down the lights, toss any strings that no longer work and can’t be fixed with a simple swap of bulbs. And throw away damaged ornaments and other decorative items — the only place to stores trash is in the circular file.

You’ll want to preserve what you keep to create that winter wonderland again quickly, so take time to sort, organize and store decorations carefully. Good Housekeeping offers a number of clever ways to keep thing safe and organized for the months they’ll spend in the attic, garage or basement.

Wrap string lights around squares of notched cardboard so they can’t tangle when stored, for example, and put fragile ornaments in plastic cups or egg containers to keep them from getting crushed. Bag any artificial wreaths to keep them dust-free, and consider shrink-wrapping the tree.

Remember to label all bins and boxes with their contents, even if you opt for clear-plastic containers. If you really want to streamline 2020 decorating, The Spruce says, you can number your bins to know which ones should be reopened first.

After all, the biggest benefit of getting decorations organized as you put them away for the season is that you’ll be able to locate and use them easily next fall! The holidays are hectic enough without your having to hunt down every item or buy it again.

If there are still-useful items you just don’t want to store or display next year, bag them and contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup. They will be resold to benefit veterans’ initiatives, and other families will be able to use them to create holiday cheer.

It can be bittersweet to take down and shelve your holiday decorations, but that’s what makes the season so special. Get #organized, and this year’s holiday season will be better — and more stress-free — than ever.