By Lorie Ham
The first official day of spring this year is March 20. However, I think most of us tend to think of the beginning of spring as whenever the weather starts to warm up and flowers and blossoms begin to bloom. If you happen to live in the Central Valley of California, blossoms are already everywhere! There is even a Blossom Trail. For many, spring is the time for spring-cleaning. As the weather begins to get warmer, it is a perfect time to open up the windows to let some fresh air in and do a deep cleaning, open up our closets, and get rid of some things we no longer need.
If you are looking for some tips to jump-start your cleaning and decluttering projects this year, The Spruce.com has some good ones to offer. It can be hard to get going if you think of the whole project at once, so they suggest doing it room by room. Creating checklists for each room can help you get organized, and remind you of areas that might need special attention. The article recommends taking a systematic four-step approach—identify problem areas, analyze the reasons for the clutter, determine solutions, and implement them. Sorting belongings into four categories of trash, give away, store, and things you want to keep, can also help. The task will be much easier if you can get the whole family involved, offering rewards and incentives to encourage each member to get their projects done. It can also be a perfect time to establish new cleaning habits to prevent the build up of clutter and make next year’s spring-cleaning much easier. Martha Stewart offers a great spring-cleaning checklist on her website.
In 2014, Maria Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing became a huge sensation. People all over the world were reading her book, watching her videos, and following her guidelines on how to declutter and have a simpler and happier life. It even inspired a Netflix series called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. You can find several tips for your spring-cleaning on her website, and find her book at your local bookstore, or library. One now famous suggestion of hers is to take each item and see if it sparks joy, if it doesn’t, then get rid of it.
Spring-cleaning is also a perfect time to take a new inventory of your home for insurance purposes. An inventory is a list of the items you keep in your home and how much each item costs. This type of inventory can be a huge help should something happen and you need to file a homeowner’s insurance claim to recover what you’ve lost. Even a series of photos can be helpful. Of course, none of us wants this to happen, but it pays to be prepared just in case.
Jerry Linscheid, general manager of Mennonite Insurance Services, states in a past article on the Mennonite Insurance website that they process about 100 homeowner’s insurance and church insurance claims a year. He recommends that people update their inventories at the start of each year so the lists reflect any expensive gifts that may have come in over the holidays. The more details you have in your inventory the easier it will be to settle your claim. You can also find a helpful video about home inventories on the website.
So this spring be inspired to take part in spring-cleaning, decluttering, and organizing your home, and don’t forget to take inventory as well. According to the website Get Organized Wizard, cleaning and decluttering can even make you happier. If you have any spring-cleaning and decluttering tips that you have found helpful, we would love if you would share them with us on our Facebook page.