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Spring Has Sprung!

The air is warmer, the snow is nearly gone, birds and frogs are singing… time for spring cleaning! Everything is renewing, restarting, refreshing, which is why this time of year is perfect for going through the last year (or more) of stuff that’s managed to accumulate. There are plenty of books and articles covering methods and mentalities for cleaning up, so this will be brief. Start with something manageable – the junk drawer, that box of random things in the corner, even a closet if you feel up to it.

One good way to get through it is to have a space where you can put everything you take out of the area to be cleaned, so that you can see every single item. Definite keepers in one pile, definite non-keepers in another, and maybes in a third pile. To sort the maybes, ask yourself a few questions: did you use it last year? Can you see yourself using it this year? Can you think (quickly) of it’s “new home in your house”? Then, double-check the definite keepers pile.Once you have your whole load of stuff you are not keeping, don’t just head straight to the garbage bags. The vast majority of things can be sent somewhere much more useful. Decent clothing can be handed down, donated to shelters, goodwill, Value Village, and similar places. The same is true for many other items that aren’t at the end of their useful life. For clothing too far along to be passed on, H&M has a textile reclamation program. Many stores will take plastic shopping bags. Books can go to your local library. Libraries, nursery and elementary schools, and day care centres might be thrilled to take arts and crafts supplies in decent condition. If you put everything in bins by drop-off destination, you can make one good-will trip – and feel good about it when you get home!

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