Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spring Cleaning and Decluttering


I have been thinking about spring cleaning our house for a few weeks now and I have procrastinated about getting started. So my intended method of attack is to declutter and clean out cupboards and draws first and then go through the whole house and wash walls and skirting’s, vacuum, mop and wash the windows. The worst thing is that I often want to clean at the most inopportune times i.e. midnight; rather than at a normal hour.

I wanted to start at one end of the house and go through room by room. I have now nearly finished the kitchen and have managed to fill two banana boxes full of stuff to sell/get rid of and things that do not belong in the kitchen. I have 5 cupboards left in the kitchen and then I just need to wash down all the outside of the cupboards and do the benches. At some stage I need to do the oven, but that might have to wait until the weekend.I have included some before (photos on left) and after (photos on right) to show you my pantry and second draw of shame. The pantry looked like I had just gone shopping and thrown the food onto the shelf.

Then I will move onto the dining area and lounge. There is a bit that could go from the lounge including DVD’s and CD’s we do not want and also some other bits and pieces.  The hall is pretty basic and just needs a painting hung and the walls washed and touched up with paint. Oh blast….and the hall cupboard needs to be cleared out to make more space for storage.

The bathroom is pretty much completed as I did the cupboard and draw a few weeks ago. So all it really needs is the walls and ceiling wiped down.

The bedrooms are a little bit more complex and I think that I might leave them until last as there are quite a few draws and two wardrobes to sort out. The spare room cupboard is completely packed to the gunnels with so much stuff and I am cringing just thinking about it.

The study seems to be the “holding” zone for everything that has been removed from the rest of the house. I need to go through my books one last time, then sort and file our paperwork and finally clear out the cupboards of unnecessary stuff.  

Honestly, I cannot believe how much “stuff” we have accumulated over the years. I do sort things often, but seriously it just keeps creeping back in. I hate taking things to the dump, so I would rather items find a new home where they will be loved and used instead of sitting unused in the back of a cupboard.

Also, there are things that Mark will not let me get rid of that I hate, so I just have to find better places to put them. I do have a process of dealing with this and I will often say to him “do you want to keep item 1 or item 2” knowing full well that he will never, ever part with item 2. It is naughty, but it seems to work.

I think I might have to write a list to keep myself on task. So the plan for the long weekend is:
1. Finish the kitchen
2. Sort out the “stuff” into three piles 1. Give Away. 2. Sell on Trade Me and 3. Throw away.
3. List things on Trade Me
4. Start (and finish) the rest of the house Lounge, Hall, Bedrooms (sigh) and study
5. Mark to wash the walls and ceiling in bathroom and to do all the “touch” up painting
6. Wash windows inside and out

Are you spring cleaning or decluttering?  What is your process?


  1. De cluttering is so good for your soul. Someone taught me how to declutter and I've be asking her advice ever since

  2. I throw out/donate or sell 15 items a week. Every week. It was easy at first, and now it's getting harder and harder. But it's good for your soul.

    Before I moved, my house was full of clutter. I'm a horder by nature, so I have to be careful that I don't collect too much stuff. I started by focussing on a room, giving myself 15 minutes and doing as much as I could in 15 min, then walking away. I could do as many 15min slots as I could fit into an evening, but I had to have a break. It helps you from getting overwhelmed.

    My key tips would be to have 3 boxes and a rubbish bag - 1 for things to sell, one for things to donate and one for things that don't belong in that room. It's also good to have a washing basket nearby, somehow washing ends up ALL over my house.

    At the end of your 15 min, go and put everything that's in your 'wrong room box' away. Not just in the room, but *away*.

    I usually keep my 'donate' and 'sell' boxes until they have 15 things in them, then $1 reserve on TM or give them away/take them down to the salvation army or whatever. I keep my 'donate' box in a cupboard just inside my front door, and once something's in my donate box, it doesn't come out.

    Good luck on your decluttering mission - it's fantastic to do!

    My thing I'm working on tonight is decluttering kitten toys, but I don't think I can bring myself to get rid of their toys!