Does warm weather give you a new energy to “let go”, declutter, clean, rearrange and reconfigure your spaces inside and out? It certainly does for me, and I see it in my clients too. We all seem to enjoy the change of seasons with longer, brighter days seen with our eyes and senses in our hearts.
I thought I’d list my favorite “Urge to Purge” tools for when organizing a home or home office. April is a natural month to “prune” our possessions, paper and time. These are the items I have on hand as an organizer, wife, mother or friend, when I help people edit their belongings and information…
- Garbage bags) – I like to use heavy duty black bags for garbage. I always ask if there is a bulk trash day in someone’s town to take advantage of, and if not, I always know the phone number of a green trash company when there will be a lot of waste that one person’s community can’t pick up.
- Recycling box(es) or brown bag(s) – Knowing the city’s recycling schedule/policies is helpful and even being able to drive to the city’s recycling center after the purge to get non-guardians out of the newly rearranged spaces right away.
- Donation bag(s) or box(es) – I like to use white kitchen bags and/or small boxes for donations. One can easily write the name of the charity on the outside of a white plastic liner or box with a black marker. Schedule a pickup or drop-off around the dates of your “spring adventure.”
- Sell bag(s) or box(es) or just write a list – One of the most difficult categories I find to follow in cleaning a house is when a client wants to sell something. Right now, I’d say that social media platforms like Facebook Marketplace are a great way to sell individual items that you no longer want, but feel like you could get a dollar or two for them.
- “It belongs somewhere else” box or even an area on the floor – As you go deeper into your “urge to purge,” there will always be items you decide to keep but that belong in another part of the house, not the space that is currently being decluttered. I advise you to put all the things away once you are done organizing. Don’t stop while you’re sorting to put the items away because you could do what I call “zig-zag arranging”…
Pruning “Papers and Information”
- Recycling box(es) or brown bag(s) – Like the urge to purge with our stuff above, knowing the city’s recycling schedule/policies is a help and even being able to drive to the city’s recycling center after the purge to get it out of the immediate is advantageous. .
- Shredding box(es) – If there are piles of papers with identifying information that need to be taken, I recommend shredding them. One can do this with a heavy duty shredder, take the shredding to a citywide shredding opportunity, an office supply store that uses this service, or sometimes I have a shredder truck that comes to the house.
- scan – By scanning your documents to digital documentation, it will help you go paperless. I like to set up my file hierarchy in advance so that once I scan something, I know exactly where to send it.
- Specific email – Use the options: delete key, unsubscribe button, block this sender or mark as Spam, are excellent ways to make information disappear.
- Delegate – If you can delegate your role and information tracking to someone else, like a virtual assistant or family member, I also consider that a pruning tool.