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Three Steps to Clean Clutter

Do you have to dig through piles of old papers to find past due bills? Are your receipts buried under out-of-date magazines, coupons and fliers? Is your kitchen table stacked with CDs, DVDs and books? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be a pack rat. Even if you are relatively organized, spring is the perfect time to clear clutter from hearth and home. But where do you start?

Here are three ideas brought to you by the housecleaning professionals at My Cleaning Lady:

1. Make piles for sorting: “keep,” “toss,” “donate” and “sell.” Be brutal. If you haven’t used an item in six months, you probably won’t use it in the next six months. Stuff can weigh you down.

  • KEEP: Put away everything that you have decided to keep. You’ve heard the saying, “Everything has a place and everything in its place.” The neater your surroundings, the more in control you will feel. And the easier it will be for you to maintain a neat environment. A tidy house is a healthy house. And a healthy house is a happy home.
  • TOSS: Items that are stained, broken, or irreparably damaged belong here, along with unwanted mementos that are meaningful to no one but you. After you’ve cleared the decks, take the “toss” bags to the trash before you have time to rethink things. But be mindful of the environment when disposing of electronics.  Freecycle.org is a good resource. Also, local communities often host free e-waste disposal days.
  • DONATE: Drive to a thrift store to donate unneeded items as soon as possible. When you are trying to decide whether to sell or donate, consider the tax software “It’s Deductible,” which provides detailed guidelines for the market value of everything from socks to skis. And you might be surprised how much each item is worth. So if you decide to donate instead of give, itemize everything to use at tax time.
  • SELL: Plan to host a yard sale. Furniture, power tools, lawn mowers, toys, sports equipment, and bicycles move briskly—but they won’t bring in big bucks. Clothing goes for a pittance. In his book, It’s All Too Much, Professional Organizer Peter Walsh suggests: “Think of a yard sale as a way to have neighbors pay you modestly for the favor of hauling away your stuff rather than as a moneymaking venture.”

2. Tackle one room at a time. This way, if you run out of time in the middle of the process, you will know where to start when you have time. If you try to tackle everything all at once, you might get discouraged and bail out. To keep things relatively even, you can divide the house into five areas—bedrooms, dining room, living room, bathrooms, kitchen.

3. Deep clean as you go. As soon as you are finished clearing unnecessary items, thoroughly clean the room before moving to the next step. Seeing a clean space should keep you motivated to move on to another room. The housekeeping professionals at My Cleaning Lady can help you with this all-important step.

If your commitment to keeping a clean home extends beyond clearing clutter, you could benefit from professional housecleaning services. My Cleaning Lady is a domestic referral agency.  The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit http://www.mycleaninglady.com/or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.