Spring cleaning tips, tricks and where to take all that ‘stuff’ – Daily Press
Spring is in full swing, bringing back warm weather and the sometimes dreaded task of spring cleaning.
Mary Francis Ballard, a local professional organizer and owner of Orderly Places, said cleaning space to make room for new items, or just to have more room, has great value during the spring.
She credits the warm weather, which prompts more people to get outdoors, and the change in season, which allows people to let go of winter clothes or other cold-weather items.
People looking to dive into spring cleaning should first plan out when they are going to tackle the specific cleaning project and start with the room they’ve “been procrastinating on the most,” said Ballard.
According to Ballard, cleaning takes discipline and decision-making, especially for those looking to do a deep clean of their home or outdoor spaces, in order to create a new environment leading into the summer.
She said the main reasons people are hesitant to clean are fear, worry or guilt. She said those struggling to begin spring cleaning should start by sorting through items they use and what is functioning and dividing things up from there.
Ballard said she suggests starting with a sorting process and as “you go through the items in that space, you have to decide whether they are trash, could be donated, something you could sell, something that belongs somewhere else, or something you want to keep. …
“If you have room for more things, then you can keep more things. Your space determines what you can actually keep. If your space is full or cluttered and you can’t put everything away because there’s not enough room to put everything away, then you know you’re going to have to move some things along,” Ballard said.
On choosing what to do with items: “You have to look at what you’re actually using and what is actually functioning for you and keep that, and what is not, you have to get rid of. The things you should move along first are the things that you don’t use or the things that, for whatever reason, have not been useful to you.”
On the toughest rooms/items to tackle: “Papers is No. 1. Dealing with papers, be it magazines, newspapers, financial documents that they don’t know what to keeps and what not to keep and photographs and little sentimental projects like what the kids brought home from school. …
“The next one is usually clothing and personal items, and that can be cosmetics or other things that have to do with your personal care.”
On how to deal with outside areas: “The garage and attic become temporary storage areas for things we don’t know what to do with inside, usually, or things that really do belong outside like gardening equipment or other types of hobby things.
“My No. 1 rule for this is try to get as much off of the floor as you can because as things stack up on the floor, the space gets smaller and smaller and very few people actually put their car in their garage. Racks, shelving, it’s easier to get access to things and get around.”
You’ve cleaned; now what?
Ballard presented many options to get rid of stuff after cleaning, such as donating, consigning, reselling or hosting a yard sale.
Goodwill is just one of the many places those looking remove used items during spring cleaning.
With 16 retail stores locally, Goodwill is a nonprofit that resells and recycles gently used items. Proceeds from sales at Goodwill go to funding free job training programs and career services.
Goodwill community relations manager Danielle Cronin said that the nonprofit sees a boost in donations in spring. She said stores are always look for clothing but will take any other gently used items, except large household appliances.
“As soon as people start to feel the warm sunshine and they are ready to break the cabin fever, we see an uptick in donations during warm weather days,” Cronin said.
If Goodwill cannot sell an item, Cronin said they will look to other places to recycle it, such as Habitat for Humanity ReStores, which take large and small household appliances and goods.
For those looking to make some extra cash off of their spring cleaning items, they can try consignment.
Aladdin Consignment Shop in Williamsburg is known for taking high-end, unique and new pieces of furniture, accessories and clothes.
Store owner Lori Detwiler said the value of consigning items after spring cleaning is getting the closest value of the piece to the original sales price.
“What do you do? Where do you put these items? That’s where we come in,” Detwiler said.
“During the spring I usually see a little bit of a pick up especially with accessories and decor because the sun is shining and people want to change a few things, they’re excited to change a color or were stuck in the house for a few months.”
Top 5 spring cleaning tips
Mary Francis Ballard had five suggestions for those tackling spring cleaning.
1. Set a schedule. If you don’t put it on your calendar, you won’t do it.
2. Get other people involved. Get your family to help or barter with your friends.
3. Get whatever supplies you need to help you along the way. If you’re going to paint your living room as your big spring project, get the paint, the tools, put it on your schedule and get some help.
4. Plan where things are going to go. If you are going to get rid of things, know where they are going to go whether it’s a yard sale or donations. Make a plan for whatever it is you’re going to move out.
5. Set a plan to maintain the clean space. Decide how you are going to make sure it stays the way you want it.
Joseph can be reached by phone at 757-374-3134.
Where to donate
Goodwill: goodwillvirginia.org or 757-248-9405.
Habitat for Humanity Peninsula & Greater Williamsburg ReStore: habitatpgw.org or 757-246-4955.
Salvation Army Virginia Peninsula Corps: salvationarmyusa.org or 757-838-4875.
Dress for Success Hampton Roads: hamptonroads.dressforsuccess.org or 757-961-7148.
Aladdin Consignment Shop: aladdinconsignment.com or 757-206-1665. 7131 Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg.