Use It or Lose It

Time to throw open the windows and let a blast of fresh air flow through the kitchen and down the hall…well, maybe not yet.  However, somewhere underneath the crusty whiteness are bright green shoots, trying with all their might to break through for a peek of light and air.  Even the birds appear to be busy, rearranging and re-feathering their nests.  After a long winter of gathering during the holidays and hibernating, it feels time to get up and do something about the clutter. 

How do you begin your spring cleaning exercise?  William Morris, the poet and decorative artist often associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement, is also well known for his quote,

“Have nothing in your home which you do not know to be useful or perceive as beautiful.”

Simple, right?  Categorizing by useful and beautiful can be very effective.  If your family happens to have a, “keeper,” you will find this task challenging.  Make sure you have good humor at the ready!

A quick glance around our home reveals stacks of school papers, unread magazines and bags containing snow pants, boots, hats and mittens.  We like to begin our de-cluttering with music to keep our spirits up, and then everyone grabs a paper bag and a plastic bag.  Items that can be thrown out go into the paper bag and those treasures which will need to find a home elsewhere go into the plastic bag. 

Normally, this process is not pretty but it is effective; so long as we take a few, short breaks for refreshments and a run to the garbage and recycling containers.  Afterwards, the feeling is that of being lighter, more organized and ready for a new season; one that we hope includes sunshine!

-Holly Bayer, ASID