Clean Sweep – Living with Less Mess

Clean Sweep – Living with Less Mess

Draw the curtains and let the sun shine in because it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Wondering where to start or what to do with those household items you can’t wait to move on from?  We will be sharing some helpful tips on how and what to clean; along with getting the most out of your spring cleaning endeavors.

Science Behind Spring Cleaning  

Do you sometimes wonder why so many of us have the urge to tidy up or do our most detailed cleaning this time of year? You can thank biology for that. HowStuffWorks’ blog post Why Do We Traditionally Clean Our Homes At the Beginning of Spring explains that due to lack of sunlight exposure our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin that causes sleepiness in humans. Research shows that as the days grow longer and we are exposed to more sunlight we have more energy. Hence the reason we become more active in the warmer sun drenched months. With your replenished energy supply, you are free to tackle all of those cleaning and organizing tasks that have been pushed aside over the winter months.

Clean Slate

Cleaning SuppliesMost of us know that during winter months dust tends to settle and allergens can be trapped indoors due to lack of air movement and fresh air entering our homes. A great place to start your cleaning is dusting every nook and cranny. If you are a new homeowner or renter, try finding guidelines for your spring cleaning while tailoring them to your living space. HGTV has provided what seems like a fool-proof cleaning list to help guide you and ensure your home is left spotless. Click here to view their easy to follow cleaning checklist. We suggest keeping lists like this on hand year round. Consistently cleaning your home throughout the year will significantly lessen the amount of work you have to do come next spring.

Let’s Talk Minimalism.

Minimalism is growing in popularity. Some consider it just another bandwagon fad, yet others consider it a lifestyle choice. Those who have chosen to live with a more minimal mindset claim to be freed from the control of material items. In the end those individuals find they have less to clean and take care of. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus expand upon minimalism and give helpful advice on how to live minimally on their website The Minimalists. Maybe you have thought about living a minimal lifestyle, your wardrobe could be a great place to start. If you decide to make a switch towards minimalism, you can donate your unwanted items to your local Goodwill.

At Goodwill Omaha the items you donate are either sold in our retail stores, or recycled. Keeping thousand of pounds of goods from going into the landfills. The sales from your donations directly support the employment services and programs we provide. In 2017 our employment services and mission programs served 1,797 people.

Declutter and Donate

A large part of spring cleaning is decluttering your space. Naturally, some areas of our home tend to become more cluttered than others. Trying to tackle clutter can be quite overwhelming for some of us. You’ll probably want to set up quick, efficient tasks similar to these tasks that Good Housekeeping has listed. Doing so will help guide you toward the end results you are seeking. We suggest going through the areas listed below and setting aside all of the items you no longer need, use, or want.

Spring Clean

  • Closets (clothing, linen, etc.)
  • Junk Drawers
  • Office Space
  • Pantries
  • Storage Rooms
  • Garage

 

Click here to view Goodwill Omaha’s acceptable donations guideline. You can donate those items at any of our conveniently located donation pods or donation centers. To find the location nearest you, click here.


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Getting Organized: The 3 Biggest Maintenance Mistakes

 

Getting organized is one thing, but staying organized is quite another! Here are three of the biggest mistakes I see people making as they organize any space, whether it is a closet, kitchen, laundry room, garage or bedroom.

  1. NO STRATEGY: Approaching a project with a “hurry up, clean it up” mentality, you are not thinking through the systems needed to keep the space running smoothly. You can “clean up” a laundry room by just throwing everything in cabinets to get it off the floor, and it looks better. But to keep it organized and be able to find what you need, you must think through who is using the space and what functions are happening there. A laundry room needs to have clothes put through cycles of sorting, pre-treating, washing, drying, folding and ironing. You may need to manage recycling or pet care duties in this space as well. Set up zones for each function, and think through the tasks required to maintain each zone.
  2. NO OWNERSHIP: Even if you’ve identified the maintenance tasks, they still may not get done if you don’t know who is supposed to do them. We often hear, “I thought you were going to do that!” and “No, I thought you were supposed to do it.” When there isn’t clarity on ownership, everyone thinks someone else is going to do it, and the task simply doesn’t get done.
  3. NO OUTBOX: Your office desk and your email apps have inboxes and outboxes. Does your house have an outbox? In my house, we call it a Donation Station. A good Donation Station is located in a closet, a spot in the garage or an out-of-the-way corner — whatever works for you and your family so you can set aside items you’ve decided you no longer need. The purpose is to have a place to corral all of those decisions as soon as you make them, giving them less chance of getting mixed back into your stuff again. Keep some containers you don’t mind giving away there, like paper grocery or shopping bags or boxes. When the containers are full, put them in your car for your next trip to Goodwill®!

Establishing habits is key to maintaining your organized spaces. Systems and routines — like keeping the laundry, dishes, and cooking operations going on a daily basis — are the foundation of home organization. Create a strategy for having solid morning and evening routines each day and other specific jobs done weekly to give you the long-term results you want from your efforts!

Finally, don’t forget to revisit the systems you’ve created. Few things are perfect the first time. Most systems and spaces need a little tweaking here and there, particularly because life goes on and things do change. When your life changes, your systems must change with it. When that happens, it’s a great time to donate to Goodwill.

Kids growing up and leaving home, changing careers, moving to another house, divorces, breakups or weddings — all of these life changes mean new stuff, new priorities and new perspectives. When your old stuff no longer reflects your life, donating it to Goodwill means you are helping someone in your community receive services and opportunities like job training, job placement, financial literacy classes or résumé writing assistance so they can build a lifelong connection to work.

Blog shared from Goodwill Industries International
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9 Spring Cleaning Tips

The birds are starting to chirp, the snow is gone, and spring is just around the corner. With warm weather on the way, it’s time to start thinking about organizing your house and doing some spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a topic that many people dread because, let’s face it, no one really likes to clean. Even though cleaning may be a drag, there are definitely ways to make it fun. Here are some tips on how to effectively complete your spring cleaning tasks while still having a good time!

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Turn Up the Music

Before you even think about cleaning, make a motivational cleaning playlist with a lot of upbeat songs. Make the playlist as long as possible so you never have a song repeat. This will help you keep your spirits high and stay motivated to keep going. Plus, if you make the playlist efficiently, you’ll be singing and dancing while you’re cleaning, which will just make it a lot more fun.

Take it one room at a time

You may live in a huge house or a one bedroom apartment; but no matter the size of your home, it seems like all of your stuff piles up. Start in one room of your house and work your way around, one room at a time. When you focus in one room, it’s much easier to remain determined and not get overwhelmed by the amount of items you have piling up.

Work your way down

When in every room, start by getting rid of items you no longer use or need. After these items are out of the room, dust anything that is not on the floor (i.e. frames, ceiling fans, shelves). Work your way down from the ceiling and wipe everything down. Once everything is wiped down, finish up by vacuuming so all of the dust that has fallen will officially be history.

Delete the repeats

Everyone has repeats in their house. Maybe you have three sets of measuring cups or four of the same exact t-shirt. Spring cleaning is the perfect time to really look at everything you own and get rid of any multiples. This will open up your home and open up space for when you start accumulating more items.

One in, one out

When going through your house, follow the Goodwill Golden Rule- one in, one out. Whenever you get a new item, you need to get rid of an item you already own. Did you get new stuff for the holidays? For every new item you’ve gotten in the past six months, remove an item from your house. You will be amazed at how de-cluttered your house feels once you begin following this rule every day.

Everything needs a place

If you’re anything like me, you tend to pile things up so it looks like it’s clean. This is a bad habit because it really doesn’t clean your house and just makes it look cluttered. If you see a pile forming on your desk or night stand, get rid of it. The easiest way to make sure you don’t have piles is to make sure everything has a place that is on a surface and not placed on top of another similar item (i.e. books, movies, boxes). Once everything has a place, make sure to keep it there and get rid of anything that doesn’t.

Love it or lose it

Take a look in your closet and around your house, do you have clothes or décor that you like but don’t love? If there are items in your house that you wouldn’t go to the store and buy today, it’s time to say goodbye and let someone else enjoy them.

Be strong and don’t give in

I am guilty of being one of those people who keeps something around because I think I might end up needing it or wanting to wear/use it in the future even if I haven’t touched it in the past six months. When spring cleaning, you need to be strong and be rational. If it hasn’t been worn in a year or you forgot that you owned it, it’s time to part ways.

Donate it, don’t trash it

Goodwill loves this time of year because everyone is getting rid of items they no longer want in their house. Instead of throwing it to the curb to be taken to the dump, drive it over to your local Goodwill and donate it. Your items will brighten someone’s day and go to good use once they’re donated.Donate Clothes Isolated On White

See, spring cleaning isn’t bad at all! Now that you’ve de-cluttered your house, you can finally feel at ease knowing your house is clean and you didn’t spend weeks on end feeling overwhelmed by the process. Now that you have all your used items boxed up and ready to go, take a drive to your local Goodwill and we’ll take care of the rest!

 

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