Let’s talk about spring cleaning. I know – you might not be quite ready, but my approach is a slower go and one with way more intention. Sustainable Spring Cleaning, as I like to call it, is gonna feel SOOOO good!
Why we only think of organizing and cleaning out once per year is kind of bonkers to me. For us, it’s more of a constant thing, but there is something about opening up your home and cleaning out your closets this time of year, right?
We’ve largely shifted our approach, however. The thing is, I don’t want to clean and reorganize just for the upcoming season; I want to do a more sustainable spring cleaning (i.e. something that I can sustain for seasons and years to come). One that becomes more streamlined and simple season to season or year to year.
Since we moved to Sacramento and I kind of drastically cut back on things (namely in my closet and kitchen), I have loved the simplicity of the spaces in our home. Things have a place and I don’t feel as though I’m constantly moving things to get to something else! And when it’s time to pick up, everything quickly and easily has a destination.
Instead of focusing just on things that need organizing this season, I’m trying to identify items we don’t need anymore. What can we donate or repurpose?
One of my biggest struggles is liking a piece and feeling as though I haven’t worn it enough.
Instead I’m trying to be honest with myself about how much I actually wear something. And if someone else could wear it more than I do, then I can pass it on! I now even have a checklist for how to decide to donate something!
Sustainable Spring Cleaning
We often think of spring cleaning as something to get us through the spring and summer. Instead, try shifting your mentality to spring cleaning for the long-haul (i.e. years, not just a season or two)
If you feel overwhelmed by all the places/rooms to organize or pare down, I’d suggest just starting with one room or category this season. Maybe it’s your closet. Or your kitchen. The garage? Makeup and beauty items? Or, GASP, your purse! No matter what it is, just do that one well!
Here is a room-by-room rundown of some ideas for organizing, paring down, and getting spring clean!
Cleaning Out Your Purse
Why is our purse the catchall and then the bottomless pit? I firmly believe that however big your purse is, you will fill it. So instead of getting a bigger wallet, a bigger tote, etc – think about paring down on what you always have on hand.
So, first things first – make sure your wallet and bag aren’t too big. Besides the ridiculous of filling it (and we always do), it’s also probably not good for your back or neck!
Next, follow these steps for cleaning out your purse. For your wallet – go through it all. Many membership cards and stores have apps that eliminate the need for cards – even our insurance card is on my app now.
You can also try to combine gift cards at stores. And then any gift cards you’re more likely to spend from the comfort of your home – keep them by your desk or somewhere logical!
And then it’s time to organize how you store purses in the closet!
Kitchen Spring Cleaning
You know those mini appliances you thought you’d love but never use? Yeah, let’s let one of those go, more if you’re up for it.
When we moved last year, I said goodbye to things like an ice cream maker, a pressure cooker, a yogurt machine, and lord knows what else that I’d never or almost never used. Reclaim some kitchen space and say goodbye.
And, yes, there’s a kitchen appliance organization post to help!
You also want to make sure you’re recycling household goods properly! There are one-top shops to easily donate items so they don’t end up in landfills!
You should also clean out your spice cabinet. Get rid of spices that you’ve had for years. My mom will disagree with this, but honestly, those spices don’t really have flavor anymore… A general guideline via Still Tasty:
Whole Spices = 4 Years
Ground Spices = 2-3 Years
Dried Herbs = 1-3 Years
Tackle that fridge. Just get rid of containers of things you don’t use. And don’t forget that you should dispose of the food separately from the container. Make sure you rinse and dry recyclable containers before putting them in the bin! Here are some recycling basics no matter your local rules.
And when it comes to the actually cleaning, behold the cleaning magic of baking soda and vinegar (and some essential oils too). It sounds cliche, but it really does wonders!
You can see my whole (small) arsenal of clean home cleaning products.
Closet Spring Cleaning
This can be a tricky one – that honestly deserves its own post. I’d highly encourage you to make a list of each type of item first and then pick a number of how many of each you think you’ll need.
When you start pulling out EVERYTHING, you’ll realize just how many things you have. If you haven’t worn it more than once (or at all) in the last wearable season, give it away so someone else can love it properly!
And because this can be super overwhelming, try downloading this ultimate closet detox guide from two Sacramento bloggers that’s super helpful and real!
Bathroom Spring Cleaning
There are a few things to tackle in your bathroom. Obviously the general cleaning to be done, but also tackling your medicine cabinet and cleaning out your beauty items.
You’ll want to make sure you’re recycling makeup properly as well. It’s simple, but your makeup just doesn’t belong down the drain and many containers aren’t curbside recyclable.
And take the time to clean your makeup brushes because they’re disgusting, trust me!
And then comes everything in the cupboards or under the sink. I hate to tell you this, but pull it all out and figure out what needs to stay, where necessary items should go, what can find a new home, and what you need to properly get rid of!
Car Spring Cleaning
I don’t usually think about my car, but isn’t it great to get in a clean, clutter-free car? So let’s think about our cars because we do a lot of things in there.
Tidy Mom has a great list of items to clean and organize in your car to help get you started!
A few easy things to organize… We store reusable bags in the trunk. I have a designated spot and even a larger bin or bag depending on the car to keep them together.
And of course our kiddo has oodles of items in the backseat. I’m thinking of repurposing one of our smaller storage tubs to the backseat to hold his books, etc. Since we drive long distances weekly, we do need entertainment back there, but some organization would be a dream!
Office Spring Cleaning
If you work from home and you’re like me, you’re organized but there is stuff all over your desk. Devote some time to organizing your desktop, rethinking your drawers, and figuring out your mail system.
And don’t forget to declutter your mailbox (the one in front of your home and in your email).