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Decluttering for Spring

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Spring is the time of year when most of us think about getting our homes in order and getting rid of the excess.  Doing a seasonal inventory will help you make better use of the things you want to keep.

In addition to donating items, there other great options for getting rid of the things you no longer need.   Tag sales, online auctions, and consignment shops are perfect ways to recycle your goods and chances are there's someone who's looking for what you have to unload.  I also love the idea of holding an office or neighborhood swap.   It's a fun idea and great way to get together with friends.

I hope these ideas and tips help you with your spring declutter...

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Clutter accumulates quickly so staying on top of it regularly is a top priority for me both at home and at work.

1 Clutter accumulates quickly so staying on top of it regularly is a top priority for me both at home and at work.

Take an inventory of what you have and sort out items you no longer need.  Set up bins and label them to sort belongings.  Make it a project for the entire family.

2 Take an inventory of what you have and sort out items you no longer need. Set up bins and label them to sort belongings. Make it a project for the entire family.

If you're short on space, designate a tote bag or basket and keep it in a closet so that unwanted items can go right inside.

3 If you're short on space, designate a tote bag or basket and keep it in a closet so that unwanted items can go right inside.

If you have the space in the basement or garage, set up a system for sorting items year round.  Once a bin is full, donate it.

4 If you have the space in the basement or garage, set up a system for sorting items year round. Once a bin is full, donate it.

It's helpful for donation centers if you separate clothing from other household goods.

5 It's helpful for donation centers if you separate clothing from other household goods.

Make donations regularly.  A good rule is when something new comes in, some old goes out.

6 Make donations regularly. A good rule is when something new comes in, some old goes out.

Organizing a tag sale takes a little planning, but it's another great way to declutter.

7 Organizing a tag sale takes a little planning, but it's another great way to declutter.

Online auctions are a fun way to purge.

8 Online auctions are a fun way to purge.

After the  auction, pack up your goods and ship them out to the highest bidder.

9 After the auction, pack up your goods and ship them out to the highest bidder.

Consignment shops are another alternative for getting rid of your unwanted stuff.  Check before you haul though since they often specialize in a narrow range of merchandise.

10 Consignment shops are another alternative for getting rid of your unwanted stuff. Check before you haul though since they often specialize in a narrow range of merchandise.

The entry is one of the areas that can get out of control quickly.  These rolling bins tucked under a bench keep belongings looking neat.

11 The entry is one of the areas that can get out of control quickly. These rolling bins tucked under a bench keep belongings looking neat.

Hooks are another must in an entry.  Great for jackets, keys and pet leashes.  Hang a few baskets on them too for sorting mail.

12 Hooks are another must in an entry. Great for jackets, keys and pet leashes. Hang a few baskets on them too for sorting mail.

A message board in an entry or mudroom keeps everyone organized and in the loop.

13 A message board in an entry or mudroom keeps everyone organized and in the loop.

A roller shade installed above makes a perfect cover.

14 A roller shade installed above makes a perfect cover.

A  tray in an entryway keeps boots and shoes neat and contained.  In the spring, add some river rocks to help the water drain off and evaporate.

15 A tray in an entryway keeps boots and shoes neat and contained. In the spring, add some river rocks to help the water drain off and evaporate.

An entry should always include a landing place for keys, mail and other everyday essentials.  A low console gives a modern look.

16 An entry should always include a landing place for keys, mail and other everyday essentials. A low console gives a modern look.

A marble shelf with carved brackets is the perfect fit for this formal entry.

17 A marble shelf with carved brackets is the perfect fit for this formal entry.

As you change out clothes for the season, be sure to edit out clothing you haven't worn or anything that doesn't fit.

18 As you change out clothes for the season, be sure to edit out clothing you haven't worn or anything that doesn't fit.

Changing out the hangers in your closet to one kind will make it look more orderly.

19 Changing out the hangers in your closet to one kind will make it look more orderly.

Desks are other places that accumulate clutter easily.  A small picture ledge hung above is perfect for keeping accessories in reach and off your work surface.

20 Desks are other places that accumulate clutter easily. A small picture ledge hung above is perfect for keeping accessories in reach and off your work surface.

Replace a desk blotter calendar with a more graphic wall calendar made with chalkboard paint.

21 Replace a desk blotter calendar with a more graphic wall calendar made with chalkboard paint.

Flip front kitchen cabinets work well in a home office to conceal supplies.

22 Flip front kitchen cabinets work well in a home office to conceal supplies.

Accordion folders keep papers ordered and organized so that they can be found easily.  No file cabinet needed.

23 Accordion folders keep papers ordered and organized so that they can be found easily. No file cabinet needed.

The cubbies in this drop-down desk keep small items organized.

24 The cubbies in this drop-down desk keep small items organized.

To keep small papers and notes from getting lost, use a cafe curtain rod and clips to hold them.

25 To keep small papers and notes from getting lost, use a cafe curtain rod and clips to hold them.

A curtain is a great way to close off an office space in from another space in a multipurpose room.

26 A curtain is a great way to close off an office space in from another space in a multipurpose room.

The desk in my bedroom has plenty of drawer space to keep supplies.

27 The desk in my bedroom has plenty of drawer space to keep supplies.

I use caviar tins that I've collected over the years to contain push pins, paper clips, rubber bands, etc.

28 I use caviar tins that I've collected over the years to contain push pins, paper clips, rubber bands, etc.

Martha's office supply drawer in her kitchen stays organized with metal drawer dividers.  Don't even think about removing the label maker.

29 Martha's office supply drawer in her kitchen stays organized with metal drawer dividers. Don't even think about removing the label maker.

These chunky, stacked shelves hold toiletries as an alternative to a medicine cabinet.

30 These chunky, stacked shelves hold toiletries as an alternative to a medicine cabinet.

To maximize space in a traditional medicine cabinet, line the inside back of the cabinet and door with sheet metal, then use magnetic containers and hooks to hold supplies.

31 To maximize space in a traditional medicine cabinet, line the inside back of the cabinet and door with sheet metal, then use magnetic containers and hooks to hold supplies.

I keep my bathroom supplies on a silver tray on a shelf below my sink.

32 I keep my bathroom supplies on a silver tray on a shelf below my sink.

Built-in nooks around tubs and showers are made for holding soaps, shampoo and conditioner.  I like them much better that shower caddies.

33 Built-in nooks around tubs and showers are made for holding soaps, shampoo and conditioner. I like them much better that shower caddies.

Martha's kitchen in Bedford is always the picture of organization.

34 Martha's kitchen in Bedford is always the picture of organization.

Pin-up boards installed in this family's kitchen organize kids' art work and school papers.

35 Pin-up boards installed in this family's kitchen organize kids' art work and school papers.

Wall mounted bins labeled with family members' names keep things from getting misplaced.

36 Wall mounted bins labeled with family members' names keep things from getting misplaced.

Cleaning up as you cook instead of allowing pots and dishes to pile up makes clean-up after a meal much easier.

37 Cleaning up as you cook instead of allowing pots and dishes to pile up makes clean-up after a meal much easier.

Opaque glass in cabinet doors gives the kitchen a light feeling while still concealing cabinet contents.

38 Opaque glass in cabinet doors gives the kitchen a light feeling while still concealing cabinet contents.

The risers in my cabinets keep my dishes and glassware in perfect order.

39 The risers in my cabinets keep my dishes and glassware in perfect order.

A simple cake stand on a kitchen counter can keep everyday essentials neat and within easy reach.

40 A simple cake stand on a kitchen counter can keep everyday essentials neat and within easy reach.

A junk drawer doesn't need to look junky.  Wood organizers separate items to help you find what you need.

41 A junk drawer doesn't need to look junky. Wood organizers separate items to help you find what you need.

Get in the habit of sorting the mail as soon as you bring it inside.  Doing it each day will only take a few minutes.

42 Get in the habit of sorting the mail as soon as you bring it inside. Doing it each day will only take a few minutes.

A made bed makes the entire bedroom seem more orderly.

43 A made bed makes the entire bedroom seem more orderly.

Making your bed everyday will make you less likely to let other things pile up around it.

44 Making your bed everyday will make you less likely to let other things pile up around it.

Sharkey loves to take naps on freshly made beds.

45 Sharkey loves to take naps on freshly made beds.

The slip-on cover for my bed makes it easy for me to make my bed up in no time every morning.

46 The slip-on cover for my bed makes it easy for me to make my bed up in no time every morning.

Wiping up spills while they're fresh makes them easier to remove.

47 Wiping up spills while they're fresh makes them easier to remove.

Bar mop cloths are better than paper towels.  More absorbent and reusable.

48 Bar mop cloths are better than paper towels. More absorbent and reusable.

Sweeping the kitchen floor after dinner each night will keep dirt and grime from building up and make weekly mopping much easier.

49 Sweeping the kitchen floor after dinner each night will keep dirt and grime from building up and make weekly mopping much easier.

Now that you've decluttered and cleaned up your home for spring, open the windows and sit back and enjoy it's sweet smells.

50 Now that you've decluttered and cleaned up your home for spring, open the windows and sit back and enjoy it's sweet smells.

De-cluttering is an ongoing process and there are definitely hot spots where clutter tends to settle in quite easily.  These areas tend to be the ones in the home that get the most use, the entryway, closets, desk, the bathroom and kitchen.

Once you have these areas under control, try getting in the habit of doing these six tasks every day to help keep chaos at bay.

*Make the bed

*Return things to where they belong

*Sort the mail

*Clean up as you cook

*Wipe up spills while they're fresh

*Sweep the kitchen floor


Martha Stewart Clean Giveaway

kevin_sharkey_declutter_ms_clean_giveaway

To help with your spring-cleaning chores and show off  the new product packaging (we redesigned our labels) on our Martha Stewart Clean products,  I'm giving away a set of our cleaning basics (dish and hand soap, all-purpose cleaner, and glass and mirror cleaner) to five readers who submit their biggest decluttering challenge for the spring.

Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. (Read the Official Rules for this giveaway)

I can't wait to read them. Good luck!