Tag Archives: spring cleaning

Cleaning Out Your Garage for Fun and Profit

Use the opportunity of a garage sale to purge your closet

Use the opportunity of a garage sale to purge your closet

Summer is a great time to consider clearing out the debris from your garage and making room!  A garage sale is a great way to make some extra cash and clear out lots of unneeded/unwanted items.

Pros

  • Clear out needed space & make some money!
  • Opportunity to connect and socialize with neighbors and your community
  • Feel good seeing your objects go directly to new owners

Cons

  • Several hours work to gather items, prepare and hang signs, hold the sale, clean up
  • May not make much money
  • Will likely have leftovers that you’ll have to donate or dispose

Preparation

  • Enlist friends and family to help out – they can add their items into the sale to make the sale more varied and appealing to buyers
  • For multi-family sales decide ahead of time how you’ll track who made what
  • Stock a fanny pack or cash box with at least $20 in small bills to make change for early shoppers
  • Make clear, simple signs (with arrows!) and post at major intersections near the sale
  • Post the sale online on www.Craigslist.com, www.WeekendTreasure.com, www.NextDoor.com or other local event listings, 1-2 days ahead of time—include pictures of what you have to sell, if you can.
  • Don’t bother trying to sell worn-out or dirty items, but you could have a “FREE” box for items that aren’t saleable.

Pricing Tips

  • When setting your prices be clear about your goal for the sale – maximize the $$ made or just move out stuff? Price accordingly!
  • Pre-pricing takes time but can save some effort during the sale and make things easier for customers
  • Save big expensive items for craigslist, people shopping garage sales are looking for deals and usually not carrying a lot of cash.

Curb Appeal

  • Place large items out front
  • Group like items together as much as possible
  • Use folding tables to make browsing easier
  • Hang shirts/dresses/jackets if possible
  • Create a container of small $.25 items and label it clearly – this can keep kids busy while parents shop

Deal With The Leftovers

  • Advertise on your local FreeCycle.com or Craigslist that everything past 3 pm on your last day of the sale will be free and sitting in the driveway or at the curb
  • Have some empty grocery bags or boxes ready for clean-up time to immediately create donation bags
  • Pre-schedule a donation pick-up from a local charity for the week following the sale (www.DonationTown.org)
Garage after the sale

Imagine the possibilities!

Does all this overwhelm you?  Hire an organizer or just call 1-800-Got-Junk!

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Filed under Garage, General Organizing, home organizing, Perspective, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, Strategies

Moving Back Home – decluttering the past

What will you  hold on to from your past?

What will you hold on to from your past?

Laurel recently graduated from college and shares her story of refreshing the room in which she grew up.

“Where am I going to fit all this stuff?” I wondered, thinking of the eight packed suitcases that were scattered throughout my parents’ house. When I graduated from college last month, I knew that it signified the end of an era. For all of my memorable years, I had been a student, and for the previous four years, all of my trips home had been temporary.  I’d never brought home more than a couple of suitcases at a time, but suddenly the belongings I had accumulated while I was away at school needed a home in a room still full of remnants of my childhood.

I spent the first days of my last summer vacation cleaning out my bedroom. I donated boxes of clothes I hadn’t recently worn and a dollhouse I’d forgotten I owned. I recycled old papers from high school whose grades no longer carried the weight they once had. When I came across items with sentimental value, I asked myself, “Will I bring this to my first apartment?” If my answer was no, it was put aside to be donated or gotten rid of.  If I wasn’t able to part with something I discovered, I vowed to revisit it when the time came to move out on my own. I saved pictures and other memorabilia, but limited myself to a single box. After two days of purging and cleaning, there was empty space on my shelves and room in my dresser, and the unpacking finally began.

The process of moving back home after living on my own in college was made easier by the reclamation of my space. I revitalized old picture frames with recent photos, parted with stuffed animals no longer in need of my love, and made my bedroom feel like home again. Receiving my diploma was not just the commencement of my life as a college student, it was the start of a transition to a new phase. When I do move out on my own, I will be grateful to be surrounded only by things that I will be glad to have come with me. Nobody dreams of moving in with their parents after college graduation, but at the very least I won’t be living with the past 20 years of my own life as well.

 

What do you own that you are glad to have with you?  What about the rest?

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Filed under Decluttering

Tapping Spring Energy To De-clutter

Saturday Evening Post article: "End Clutter Now"

Does Clutter Have You Feeling Trapped?

Spring is the season of renewal and freshness. We think of spring cleaning, good weather, beautiful flowers blooming. The March/April 2013 issue of the Saturday Evening Post has a great article describing the connection between our state of mind and the state of our homes. Here are 3 key quotes from the article, End Clutter Now, by Iyna Caruso:

  • “‘A systematic pattern of home neglect is really a form of self-neglect,’ says Dr. Holly Parker, a practicing psychologist and faculty member of Harvard University.”
  • “As a nation of affluence, we buy without thinking what we’re going to do with it, how we’re going to use it, and where we’re going to put it. And because we’re busier than ever, we have less time to figure it all out.”
  • “Clutter is an energy sapper that takes its emotional toll and steals domestic joy. If home is where the heap is, it’s a good bet family members are more stressed and less productive.”

Clutter can be a symptom of depression but it can also cause it.

Take advantage of the energy of new growth that comes with spring and tackle the clutter in your home.  Iyna Caruso created a list of seven steps to do this.

7 Steps to Clutter Control

As the author points out, “If the task still seems daunting, or the situation has gotten a bit too out of hand, consider hiring a professional organizer who’ll come to your home to help you prioritize and systematize.”

Got a good spring cleaning story?  Share it with us!

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Filed under General Organizing, Holidays, Perspective, Strategies, Time Management

Joy of Spring Cleaning

There's no room to do anything in here!

Does your garage look like this? Get organized and sell what you don’t want.

Spring is in the air! This time of year is always an inspiration to clean up and clear out. A garage sale is a great way to make some extra cash and clear out lots of unneeded/unwanted items.

Pros

  • Clear out needed space & make some money!
  • Opportunity to connect and socialize with neighbors and your community
  • Feel good seeing your objects go directly to new owners

Cons

  • Several hours work to gather items, prepare and hang signs, hold the sale, clean up
  • May not make much money
  • Will likely have leftovers that you’ll have to donate or dispose

Preparation

  • Enlist friends and family to help out – they can add their items into the sale to make the sale more varied and appealing to buyers
  • For multi-family sales decide ahead of time how you’ll track who made what
  • Stock a fanny pack or cash box with at least $20 in small bills to make change for early shoppers
  • Make clear, simple signs (with arrows!) and post at major intersections near the sale
  • Post the sale online on www.Craigslist.com, www.WeekendTreasure.com or other local event listings, 1-2 days ahead of time—include pictures of what you have to sell, if you can.
  • Don’t bother trying to sell worn-out or dirty items.

Pricing Tips

  • When setting your prices be clear about your goal for the sale – maximize the $$ made or just move out stuff? Price accordingly!
  • Pre-pricing takes time but can save some effort during the sale and make things easier for customers
  • Save big expensive items for craigslist, people shopping garage sales are looking for deals and usually not carrying a lot of cash.

Curb Appeal

  • Place large items out front
  • Group like items together as much as possible
  • Use folding tables to make browsing easier
  • Hang shirts/dresses/jackets if possible
  • Create a container of small $.25 items and label it clearly – this can keep kids busy while parents shop

Deal With The Leftovers

  • Advertise on your local FreeCycle.com or Craigslist that everything past 3 pm on your last day of the sale will be free and sitting in the driveway or at the curb.
  • Pre-schedule a donation pick-up from a local charity for the week following the sale (www.DonationTown.org)
  • Have some empty grocery bags or boxes ready for clean-up time to immediately create donation bags.
Garage after spring cleaning and after the sale.

Garage after spring cleaning and after the sale.

How can YOU benefit from a garage sale?

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Filed under General Organizing, Perspective, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, Strategies, Time Management

What Motivates Us To De-clutter?

Motivation can be generated ... here's some tips!

Where do you find the motivation to do the right thing?

When the overcrowding problem in your home is so overwhelming that you can’t find anything and you can barely open the front door, it may be easy to find the motivation to take action.

Once we “hit bottom,” we are more open to getting help…any help…to make changes in our lives and our living spaces.

But, what can you do to “raise the bottom” and find the energy to tackle the accumulation of unsorted stuff before it causes you too much suffering?

 Motivation can come from the inside or the outside.

–EXTERNAL MOTIVATORS–

Deadlines. Taxes due–April 15th is always a prod that can give you a boost.  It’s a reliable deadline to which most of us adhere to get our paperwork in order. And the deadline comes reliably every year.  A yearly purge of unwanted possessions and paperwork is a good habit. Think of it as “spring cleaning.”

Self-imposed deadlines. How about making a date to have the rugs cleaned?  Or inviting a contractor in to research a kitchen remodeling project?  Sometimes just having a fresh set of eyes looking at your spaces can help you see what we have in stark reality.

Impending house guests. Do you look forward to your family visiting?  Having guests come usually triggers a fresh look at what we have and how we are storing stuff. Even if the guest room isn’t overloaded with stuff that we’ve been putting off making decisions about, the idea of someone coming to stay helps us to see how our home is functioning…or not.

Relocation. The cost of moving stuff you don’t care about is a great motivator.  If knowing that the less the movers have to transport, the less it’s going to cost you, that could be an impetus for making some tough choices.

Family changes. The addition of another family member (sweetheart, parent or child) can provide a level of alarm that requires a fresh look at your living space. The transitions when children grow up provide natural prompts to do space overhauls.  And, when your child moves out (for real) repurposing a room is often what’s called for.

Job transitions. The need for home office space can prompt whole house revamp.

–INTERNAL MOTIVATORS–

Therapeutic insight. A session with a therapist, coach, or professional organizer may remove roadblocks to the organizing process.

Medical diagnosis. An organized space becomes necessary for your health:

  • Allergies – clutter makes it hard to clean dust and pet hair
  • Disability or other medical condition which requires accommodations in your living space
  • Nutritional plan which relies on an efficiently appointed kitchen

Motivation of unknown origin. Some people suddenly just “see the light” and the goal is clear, along with the method.

Since you’ve read this post to the end, you’re probably not one of these “I’ve seen the light” people… So, what can you do?

Light your own fire!  Invite a friend over to stay, meet with a coach, make an appointment with a contractor or architect and take a small step toward a goal.

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Filed under General Organizing, Perspective, Time Management