Fall Cleaning: Just as Important as Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning always gets the spotlight. Why? Because people feel like they need to make a fresh start after a long and grueling winter. But fall cleaning is just as important; after all, you’ll be indoors for three months or more, why not spend it a clean place?

The first and most obvious thing to do is get your furnace inspected if you own your own home, and change the filter even if you don’t. You’ll want to enjoy consistent heat throughout the winter, as well as clean air coming out of the vents.

Then, you’ll want to initiate a thorough cleaning. The first step — as always — is to purge some of the things you don’t need. The holidays are coming, and you can make space for new stuff — or all of the guests you’ll be hosting at your Thanksgiving, Christmas and Super Bowl parties.

Town & Country magazine has a list of 50 things that you probably don’t need to keep: condiment packets, outdated reference books, canvas totes, unworn costume jewelry, extra mugs, leftover paint and old phones. They’re just taking up space.

Bag up any lightly used clothing and household goods that might be of use to someone else and contact ClothingDonations.org for a contactless #donation pickup. A truck will visit your house on the appointed day to take that #junk away for good.

Then, start a targeted, room-by-room dusting and cleaning. Take as many hours or days as you need, but concentrate your efforts to make sure everything gets organized, dusted, wiped, mopped and sanitized.

Dust, pollen and insects such as moths probably blew into your home over the summer. Don’t let pests set up shop and overwinter in your basement or rafters. “See who’s hiding where and giving them a squish or kick to the curb before they start snacking on you or your clothes,” Apartment Therapy says.

Think of fall cleaning as a fresh start on a new season — one in which you’llbe spending a lot of time indoors. Don’t you want to live in a clean, sparkling and healthy home? Get started while you can still can!

Have a Labor Day Weekend Garage Sale

Are you stuck for something to do over Labor Day weekend because you’re surrounded by stuff? Have a #garage or #yard sale! While the holiday weekend is ordinarily a poor time to hold a garage sale, #COVID-19 is keeping many bargain-hunters close to home, and you’ll have an extra day to relax. Just be sure to observe proper #pandemic precautions such as masking, social distancing and offering hand sanitizer as you sell off some of that extra stuff, says AARP. And if you have junk left over after the sale, be sure to schedule a ClothingDonations.org pickup for the stuff that doesn’t sell.

Lend Mom A Hand — Help Her Declutter

Sunday is Mother’s Day, and given the fact that the pandemic isn’t over, you may be planning to send a card or schedule a Zoom call. If you’re able to meet in person, you may have made brunch reservations or purchased a special bouquet to give her.

Whether or not you’ve made those arrangements, there’s one more thing you should consider giving your mother, and it’s a gift she’ll never forget: a day of your time. Volunteer to help her #declutter and #clean her home.

This blog’s author can tell you from experience how much a mother appreciates such a gift. Not only will she enjoy having a newly organized and spotless kitchen, garage or living room, but she will also appreciate the fact that you took the time to do it.

Many moms have a room in their home that they wish was a little more organized. It could just be a shelf or drawer that needs rearranging and dusting, but the chore is on her mental list and she hasn’t had the time to do it herself.

If you already know where her home’s #clutter trouble spots are, suggest that you take care of one during a visit. If you don’t, ask! Chances are that there is an overflowing junk drawer or overstuffed kitchen cabinet you can clean out.

Decluttering is just one of the chores you can take off Mom’s hands; she may need a wall repainted or a shelf fixed. There’s probably a light bulb to replace or a picture to hang. If you really want to show you care, give her a framed family picture and hang it on the wall immediately.

Many moms may be looking to downsize in retirement, but may not know where to begin. You can help her prepare for that next phase by sorting through some of the extra stuff that has accumulated over the years.

If you happen to find anything that she doesn’t want or need as you help Mom declutter and clean — and you will — schedule a #donation #pickup with ClothingDonations.org. That way, she’ll know that her extra #junk is going toward a good cause.

In addition to giving Mom a newly #organized, neat and #clean space, you’ll also get a few hours to catch up after a long year in lockdown. Make a day of it! It’s quality time, well-spent. And she will remember that day long after the flowers have wilted.

The Difference Between Decluttering and Storage

#Decluttering isn’t easy. Even when you find the time to do it and prepare yourself to keep, donate or trash all of the clothes that don’t fit, tchotchkes and other #junk, you can quickly get bogged down in the decision-making.

Many of your possessions will carry memories that make you linger over the decision or leave it for another day. After a few of these quandaries, you may just throw in the towel, shove a bunch of random items in a box and “store” it out of sight.

That is not decluttering — nor is it storage. It’s simply putting off the inevitable.

Storage is for things you use. You may use such things infrequently but regularly, like holiday decorations. You can keep these things from adding to #clutter by sorting it into dedicated, labeled bins and putting the bins in a predictable out-of-the way location.

You also have things you use frequently that need to be stored. Think of your kitchen cabinets and closets; they already hold any number of items that you’ll usse this week, maybe multiple times.

When you have #stuff that doesn’t have a “home,” however (meaning its own drawer, shelf, bin, box or display), you have #clutter. And as a result, any serious decluttering is going to involve a lot of #organizing.

So your goal in decluttering is really twofold: to weed out anything that you don’t use, and to make sure that anything you do use has a place. This is a tall order, the Organizing Blog is well aware.

Start small with a single closet, kitchen cabinet or desk drawer. Figure out what kinds of things should “live” there, and separate out anything that’s broken, disused or just in the wrong place. You can toss, donate, and relocate or store these items, respectively.

Leave only what you know you use frequently in immediate-access locations — and if you don’t use something frequently in its current location, find a place where it can stay until you need it. Otherwise, it will just get in the way.

Once you’ve organized and/or stored the #stuff you use, contact ClothingDonations.org for a free, contactless #donation #pickup if — er, when — you want to get rid of the lightly used clothing and household items you don’t. We’ll help find them new homes, and help veterans at the same time.