How to Make the Most of Living with Less :: Spring Cleaning Tips


spring cleaning tipsI always look forward to the warmer weather that springtime brings. The sunshine and near-perfect temperature makes it so refreshing to go outdoors after spending the cold winter days inside. Spring is also synonymous with cleaning and making our spaces more tidy. I believe that we tend to gather and collect more during the cold months to minimize trips to the store. For many of us, we also have extra items on hand that we accumulated for guests and visitors from the previous holiday season. We also tend to buy and receive more during the cold months, so we feel a need to reclaim our space and declutter by the time spring comes back around. So, here are some ways you can live more freely by spring cleaning this year!

Donate to a Special Cause

Most often we look at what we want to get rid of first, but I think it may be best to find where we plan to donate first. There are so many causes in Birmingham that you can probably find at least one that resonates with you. There are even some that will come to your home to pick-up your items, and they’ll even load heavy furniture onto their truck! I believe it is much easier to decide if you can live without something when you know it could really help someone else. We may hold onto some things “just in case, ” but it is much easier to part with those items when we know they will be appreciated by someone less fortunate. Remember when looking at unused items that there is a person or family who likely needs them more.

Decide What Matters

I know how scary it can be to give away things when it seems to be increasingly more difficult to afford them. I know inflation is at an all-time high, and most of our incomes are not keeping up with the pace. We all have to be more mindful about what we buy and try to make the most of what we have right now. If the items you have are things that you would buy again if you couldn’t find them, you should definitely keep them!

Since I have four children, I’ve gotten them involved in the process of determining what their favorite toys are. For the younger ones, I kept the items they played with most often and stored some toys so I could rotate them to keep their interest. I decided to give away and donate anything we didn’t want that was valued at less than $20. Anything worth more than that I list online, sell consignment, or arrange a yard sale. If the items don’t sell by a reasonable date, try lowering the price, or you can simply donate the items. This simplifies the whole process by allowing you to reclaim your space sooner, and you’ll feel better about giving back.

Be More Selective

As you get rid of things and see more space, don’t feel like you need to fill it back up! Really decide what you need, and determine what will make you happy long-term. Purchase items that are higher quality as opposed to getting the cheapest low-quality version.

For clothing and interior decor, try to focus on timeless designs that you will like for years to come. Try and stay away from trendy styles you will want to change often, unless they resonate with your personal style. No one wants to get rid of something they bought recently! (Buying something and regretting the purchase right away makes it feel like an even bigger waste of money.) The goal is to be mindful about what we have, so we can fill our lives with the essentials that we need and items that we love.

Get Organized

The most frustrating part of being unorganized is the amount of time spent searching for things. There’s nothing worse than not being able to find your favorite shirt because it’s hidden under everything else you don’t want to wear. Organizing what we want to keep is just as important as getting rid of what we don’t want. There are so many great options of products to help store items in a tidy and fashionable manner.

Take a look at your areas and determine what types of solutions are available. After taking time to decide what storage options fit your lifestyle, implement the one that will work best for your needs. I started by getting a variety of storage containers based on the rooms in my home. That helped me create a better way to find everything and get rid of the excess. Don’t be afraid to request some help from a friend or pay a professional to assist with the task ahead. Many of us have someone in our lives who would love to help, especially if we provide a meal and a big hug!

Focus on the Goal

The greatest life improvement of having a clear space is the way it will affect your mood. Waking up to a neat home is so energizing and helps you feel like you’re on the right track. The stress in your life will decrease, and this gives you clarity so you can focus on your goals. We tend to focus on our surroundings when they are out of order, and that can hinder us from doing other tasks. We miss out on the things that truly matter, like spending quality time with family, our health goals, starting a project, or spending time on a favorite hobby.

The whole point of making a home is to make your space better serve your needs and help you enhance your life.

Don’t get discouraged if things look worse at first; this process can get a bit messy as you sort through your things. For anything that you are unsure about keeping, put it in a temporary storage box out of its ordinary location. Give yourself a time-frame to keep the items. Notice if you return to get anything from there; now, you can easily keep only what you use.

Be Patient

Imagine what your ideal home and life would look like. You can take small steps each day to make the goal you envision a reality. Think about how you want your space to make you feel. Then, look around you and part ways with items that no longer serve your needs. Instead of buying things right away, try to keep quality existing items that can be repurposed, repaired, or restyled to make them work with new plans.

Don’t rush the process of transforming your space! The last thing you want to do is burn yourself out and regret starting. Take the time you need. You can set a timer for 30 minutes, or start with a small section within your home and make that area look how you want. Play your favorite music or podcast while you work, so you can enjoy the experience of making your home more comfortable and welcoming.

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Alissa was born in California, but was an Army brat so she moved often as a child, but spent much of her childhood in Alabama. She met her husband in high school and after getting married, they lived in Birmingham together as he finished up college. Alissa loves living in Birmingham with her family of 6 because of the great family-oriented activities and beautiful scenery. Alissa spent much of her childhood in Alabama as her father retired from the Army here. After finishing up high school, she followed in her father’s footsteps and went on to serve in the same military branch for several years as well. Once she and her husband began to have children, they decided the military life was no longer ideal for them. Alissa received her Bachelor’s in business administration and marketing and afterward she got excited about building a business to solve a issue she struggled with, so she worked toward creating and patenting a modest breastfeeding product. Alissa also holds an esthetician and real estate license and currently works as a real estate agent while balancing caring for her household . You can often find Alissa spending time with her family, baking a new recipe, or trying to learn a new dance for fun.


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