Spring Decluttering

Spring Decluttering

Hello, friends! Brace yourself. It’s been a little crazy around my place. But come on in anyway. :) I haven’t had much time for slowing down and just enjoying my home lately. The past few months have been pretty busy. Fun stuff, but still, I miss puttering around the house just to tidy things up for ME. The truth is, I’m DYING to just do normal things like spring cleaning. I know you probably have times like that, too, when you are so busy that even having an afternoon to clean sounds like a good time. Or maybe that’s just me.

When I emerged from my office the other day after hours and hours of hard work and noticed that after neglecting our house for awhile (with good reason, of course, but still…) it was looking a little crazy up in here, I knew it was time for a spring cleaning intervention. My husband is great about helping me and keeping up with our dishes and laundry when I’m facing a lot of deadlines, but when it comes to STUFF, a lot of times it’s mine and I need to just deal with it.

I mean, the truth was, as I looked around EVERY surface had things on it that didn’t belong, whether it was my stuff or not. I’m gonna show you all, so you can see what I mean. Ha! Sometimes I just have to put blinders on and ignore it, but I can’t just keep it that way forever or I start losing my sanity.

Just a few weeks ago I was feeling pretty accomplished because I had put away the last bits of the Christmas. Or so I thought. Until I found some stragglers that are now sitting on my dining room table. Yay me. Crunchy small trees, anyone? Christmas is over. Winter is over (at least here in the Pacific NW, it’s been sunny!). Bring on spring!

It always feels so great to say goodbye to winter and start focusing on spring cleaning and decluttering, so I’m definitely on a mission to get the house freshened up. It does wonders for my well-being. When my house gets out of control and I just can’t even deal with it, it’s time to reset the house back to order.

Spring Decluttering

I mean, honestly. I don’t want to have to ask myself random questions like why is there a bookmark made out of my daughter’s 3rd grade school picture sitting in a bowl on my counter right now. She graduated from college and I haven’t seen that 3rd grade bookmark for years. That bookmark should be neatly tucked into a memory album or in a book, but instead it is just sitting in a random bowl next to our kitchen knives. Why? We may never know.

Our kitchen also looks like we went to Costco, unloaded our purchases onto the counter and moved on to something else.

Oh and then there are pinecones. Jumbo pinecones.

Spring Decluttering

It just keeps going. There’s a paint brush that we used a few weeks ago to touch up our railing. And Doc Martens shoelaces. Those are my husband’s, I don’t take responsibility for them nor do I know why they are sitting there. A random little drawer thingy. A plastic wrapper from….? I got some Clorox spray disinfectant bottles in the mail a week ago, I heard they will disinfect the flu germs that are going around. So, we’re prepared. You know, right by the front door. Just in case.

Spring Decluttering

Even my office has some stray items on the floor. I have hooks for bags and yet, they are on the floor. But as you can see, I am using my oils in here to cope. That’s how I survived writing three books in a year. Inhaling oils. People always ask me how I keep up the house and write the books and the blog and help at the church and keep my sanity. Well, now you know.

The truth is, I can let parts of my house go to shambles for a little while in busy seasons. But then, it has to be restored to at least some sense of order in a reasonable period of time or I WILL LOSE MY MIND. And nobody enjoys that. I actually wrote quite a bit in my book about my lessons learned in housekeeping, my crazy methods and the whys of how I feel the way I do about the state of my home, but suffice it to say here in this post, putting my home back to order when it starts to get out of control is really important to my overall sense of well-being and balance.

There will always be times when things will get a little crazy with my schedule. There are times when I have to do unusual things like take 1,000 photos all over my house (does anyone know how many dust bunnies come out when you are trying to take house photos for a book? A LOT), but then when I get a breather I have to take the time to restore my life back to less crazy. The truth is, it’s SO much easier to consistently maintain and enjoy a clean room than it is to deal with all this STUFF and ask yourself where it all belongs.

So here is my spring decluttering ritual.

I will be going around each room, clearing the surfaces, wiping them down with a dust rag, and then only put back what is meaningful, pretty, or necessary. It’s amazing how much stuff just ends up everywhere but when I take the time to put it back, I’m a happier camper! There can be so much random stuff, you know, clothes laying over railings and chairs and ALL THE THINGS you wonder about. It doesn’t even have to be garbage or clutter, just every day things that were set down and not returned to their proper home! Y’all. We have closets. We have drawers. We have systems for organization. But we still end up with random stuff laying around because we get too busy. But mostly, we just get out of the habit of keeping up.

But the good news is, with regular times to reset your home, you’ll never be far from restoring most of it back to a relatively tidy or at least somewhat manageable house. And that makes mama happy.

So, that’s my goal this week. I’m clearing the surfaces and restoring back my sanity.

What’s your spring mission?

Spring Decluttering

PS. My book, Love the Home You Have is 50% off at Barnes & Noble today only! And you guys, it reached the #1 best selling book OF ALL BOOKS yesterday on Barnes & Noble. I know! Isn’t that craziness? I seriously just can’t even. THANK YOU. Right now I’m just so excited for March 31 when you all can see it and we can talk about it. And while being the #1 book yesterday is of course a great thing, my biggest hope of all is that this book will be encouraging, inspiring or helpful even in some small way to you or someone you know. Thanks for all of your help in getting the word out, I so appreciate it!

Spring Decluttering

Comments

  1. Caroline says:

    I noticed you have some copper mugs in your first picture above and were curious where you go them. My husband and I *LOVE* a Moscow Mule- especially with the warmer weather coming our way here in the Southeast and would love to purchase a couple for the house. They add just a touch of personality, texture and color to not just the drink itself (who wouldn’t want to drink out of one of those?!) but also to the area where they are displayed or used for decoration! Thanks for motivating me to get started on my own spring cleaning! You’re blog is always so inspiring and provides great ideas for all things that make a house, a home. Thank you!

    • I have seen these recently at TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods. They are also available on Amazon. Got my eye on some too! Copper is so warm and classy.

    • Thank you so much!

      Yes, aren’t they pretty? I ordered them from Overstock. I’ll see if I can post a link in awhile. They are REALLY lovely and I can’t wait to have them out on display and of course, drink out of them. :)

  2. Inspired that you are “normal” and not afraid to share … my house has the same stuff going on.

  3. Thank you, Melissa, for keeping it real!

  4. I have been painting and redoing the whole house, so I so understand having things out of place and clutter. It really can get to you. I ordered the book today, can’t wait to get it.

  5. For me, puttering and a bit of furniture moving are like therapy! Looking forward to your book. I pre-ordered it on Amazon last week. Congratulations on being #1!

  6. Oh my…you have no idea how much I appreciated this. I love your blog. The ideas are “inspiring” …. but today…I feel so much better to actually see how those little piles are just a normal part of every day life. I am cracking up about the book mark – that is so like our house…game pieces that have been in the pencil holder for YEARS….little things that just need to be put back into place. I am encouraged this morning to just get busy with a spring cleaning! Thank you so much!!!

  7. Ms Maggie says:

    I use a clothes basket to go around and then I do not have to go in circles, which always impresses the hubby. I too love the bookmark from long ago days when there was even more stuff due to babyland.

  8. Love the copper cups! Where did you get them? If for some reason you are decluttering those, I will buy them from you!

    • HA! Yeah, I bought them online and they just were set there on the table a couple of weeks ago. But I totally want them. They are SO pretty! I’ll get a link to them and share it soon, I think I got them on Overstock. :)

  9. I totally understand. I have a herniated disk in my back pinching the sciatica nerve so I am down for a while. It is driving me crazy that my house is not the way I normally keep it. But life is life and this too shall pass. I pre-ordered your book yesterday! Can’t wait to get my hands on it. Congratulations!

  10. I totally understand this concept, and feel the same way. I just ordered your book and am so excited about it!

  11. I think my mind is already lost from living in this chaos for way too long. Normally, I am like you in needed to restore order. I sure hope that happens again in my lifetime, heheh! Thanks for sharing your reality :)

    • Ah, it will! That’s life for ya. Ups and downs. Moments of being inspired and moments of being too tired to deal with stuff. Ha! That’s why I wrote a book, because I need that little nudge sometimes to remember how much I love my home and enjoy those little daily rituals. :). You’ve had a lot going on so give yourself some grace. You’ll be back up and decluttering in no time!

  12. How wonderful to see your life, at times, is so much like mine. I agree: bringing order to your house, brings peace of mind to your soul….

  13. I think we moms are all going through the same thing right now. I mean we didn’t actually invent the term spring cleaning. Some mom a very long time ago probably did! Even my son’s teacher (kindergarten) said the kids were so tired right now they have been having longer quiet times. Next week is spring break here in northern Colorado. The sun is shining today and it’s 67. Time for a break and then renewal! Thanks for sharing your reality! We get it!

  14. I totally get what you’re talking about. Thank goodness we have a small group that meets every Tuesday night. So by Monday a.m. I start going around cleaning up all my piles that started Wed. a.m. But the odd time we skip a week, it just seems like a bigger chore than the weekly cleanup. So our group meets tonight and everything looks good.

  15. cindy b. says:

    I couldn’t agree more with what you said — I can take the craziness for awhile and then it ALL must be put away! we are gutting our master bath and closet and the ensuing chaos is wearing on me! and I know its because so much stuff is out of place (so I’m compensating in other rooms by purging closets and cabinets and drawers). looking forward to your book!

  16. I just “pre-ordered” my copy of your new book at barnesandnoble.com today- I cannot wait to get it in my hands and start reading it!!!

  17. Perfect timing. I just gave myself 45 minutes to catch up on social media, then it’s off to conquering the piles of stuff. I know I have at least 3 pairs of earrings on the kitchen counter as I seem to take them off as soon as I walk in and somehow “forget” to walk them to the bedroom, where they belong. Thanks for the push I needed!

  18. Gretchen says:

    We are a multi-generation family…Hubby and I were invited to move in with our daughter, military son-in-law, and three young kids at retirement. We took them up on it! We sold our home, about 2/3 of our “stuff”, and have lived near Savannah (Ft. Stewart) and are now finishing up a stint in northern Virginia (Pentagon). Thankfully, I’d already caught the declutter/pare-down bug a year before all of this. The hardest, most painful part of decisions on what to keep are over.
    This spring my daughter and I are catching the bug again a few months before we move again. So, what do I love and use? What am I lugging around and storing? Those are our main questions. Things I love go with me know matter what! Quite honestly, it makes me feel better to shed that other stuff…because it IS just stuff!
    It sure was nice seeing that your house sprouts clutter over the winter just like ours has! What is put down in convenience around here soon looks perfectly normal sitting right where it is!
    I’ll be following; will begin today with all of our surface areas…they are a mess!

    • Isn’t that the truth? When you set something down and don’t deal with it pretty soon you just start to overlook it and even worse, add more to it! That’s why I love cleaning the surfaces because I like to avoid the pile up! It really does make you feel better, doesn’t it, to shed that stuff we don’t even need? Enjoy your new home! That’s awesome.

  19. Melissa, have you ever tried DoTerra oils? I use them in my diffuser and love them. I’m a believer!!!

  20. Thank you for the real pictures! It is so nice to know that your house isn’t always perfect. It brings me hope! :) I also pre-ordered your book from Amazon today for the 50% off price. Hooray!

  21. This is a fun post… I will admit that I actually really like the rhythm of clutter accumulating and then putting it all to rights (whether that’s the weekly rhythm or the yearly one!) It’s super satisfying… I don’t let myself feel guilty for being untidy because that’s just Life – and then when it’s all sorted, put away, or gotten rid of, there’s a sense of enjoying the space freshly.

    Noticed your giant glass jug on the floor in the office – it’s identical to one I picked up at a tiny little shop last fall! I’ve been meaning to make it into a terrarium but one thing and another have made the threshold for getting to that project a little high. I wish I had a good idea of how to manipulate objects inside of it. My handy father made a pair of loooong tongs, but they leave a little to be desired.

    • Yes, I am totally with you there! It’s a joy to see your home refreshed again.

      That would be an amazing terrarium. I wonder if there’s maybe a way to have the glass cut at the bottom to create one? I bet there is! Let me know if you make one. I’ve thought of that too but like you, it’s not happened hahah.

  22. Great post, I love that your home is not always perfect! Makes me feel better about the stuff lying around my house (after I read your post, I put away a bunch of things).

    About your book – I don’t get free shipping on Barnes & Noble but noticed that the book is price matched on Amazon so I just ordered it from Amazon since I am a prime member and receive free shipping on Amazon. So hooray, readers can get the lower price on Amazon.com too!

  23. Karen on Bainbridge Island says:

    Hey your house is a big fat mess! But we still love you. Welcome to the human race….have fun cleaning it all up, then sitting with your feet up, sipping a cup of tea and admiring your hard work. That is always the very best part of a good clean up.

  24. I ordered your book awhile ago from Amazon but went back yesterday canceled the old order and reordered it at the Barnes and Noble price on Amazon saving the shipping cost because I have Prime. Can’t wait to receive it. Love your blog.

  25. Thanks so much for sharing this. I have a 4 1/2 year old, a 2 1/2 year old, and an almost 1 year old. A couple of weeks ago I had a really good week and finally felt like I was caught up on housework. The following Monday the 4 yo came down with the flu and I wrenched my back trying to get her out of the back of the minivan. A week later, and the 2 yo got sick. Now the 1 yo is being miserable. I’ve been looking around my house feeling completely frustrated by how bad things have gotten, but powerless to change it. I’m the same as you – I can tolerate the clutter for a bit, and then it starts to drive me a bit crazy.

  26. Thanks for this! I’m glad to see that your house is not always perfect; You’re just like the rest of us :) Whew! What a relief!

  27. Oh my gosh, I can definitely relate. I get pretty lazy too when it comes to cleaning my house, especially after a tiring day of work. P.S. I’m loving the yellow chair!

  28. My spring mission is to go organize my bedside table and my desk!

  29. We always make everything look perfect when we show our house. It is interesting and a lot more “real” and “live” to see the little clutter in these pictures ! Thanks for sharing. I am glad to know that sometimes you are like us too ! Haha !!

    • Yep! Hahah, both are real to me. Everyday clutter and stuff is just part of living, we certainly embrace a little happy clutter around our house! But I find a lot of happiness in cleaning off surfaces and putting things where they go, it’s a wonderful feeling to enjoy the prettiness of clean counters and tables again (even if it isn’t that way constantly, ha, cause this mama can’t keep up with perfect order! I have other things to do!). It’s great to have a balance, because real life is just that way!

  30. I have anxiety just hearing about your anxiety. I can relate to everything you just said. Nice to know my normal is someone else’s normal too.

  31. Hi Melissa! I just ordered your book! I am so excited to read it! I have loved your blog for a couple years and am looking forward to an entire book which I will likely binge read!:) my spring cleaning goals are to get my home office de cluttered and clean out the garage. For me once there’s a place for something I always put it back…but when I don’t have things organized I just stuff cupboards or drawers. My surfaces always look clean…but behind closed doors is another situation altogether until I get a system in place. :) I always declutter right after Christmas in January….and now I’m thinking how the heck is it March already?!:)

  32. This was so uplifting to see your house looks like mine except mine seems never to get organized. This gives me hope that all is not lost in decluttering. This is my inspiration to GET MOTIVATED. Can’t wait for the 31st of March. Carry on and Organized is my new motto!!!!!

  33. I think a large part of my job description is just walking around putting things away. It helps if there is an “away” in which to put things, but even so, just getting stuff back into the proper spot takes time. I think it is very calming to do this. I’m also thinking about switching out some curtains that have a heavy/winter feel to them, and putting something lighter in place… I need to feel like spring is here!

  34. My spring cleaning and restoring began last summer! LOL. You see, we are reading our home to be placed on the market and are 4 weeks from our target date to begin showing the home. Spending a week in each room painting, patching, purging, decluttering, donating and packing up and placing items in storage has been what has kept us busy the last month. Bring on Spring! We and our home are just about ready! :-)

  35. I can soooooo relate!!! I have to put things on hold here while I do taxes (our personal, all three businesses, and then all three kids) and when I come up for air my house makes me CRAZY. Here I call it “Nesting” or “Puttering” day. And it so necessary for my mental well being. Here’s the funny thing…..Mya’s car broke down, so she took David’s, he took mine……and I am stranded and secretly overjoyed! I will put away, finish laundry, floors will be caught up (swept, mopped, vacuumed), I will dust, and bring in an armload of daffodils! I NEEDED this day. Hugs and love!!

  36. Oh boy, did this ring a bell with me! We’ve spent the last 2 weeks painting and re-organising our living room, meanwhile the rest of the house has been filled to the gunnels with everything we took out while decorating. Yesterday I got to the point where I wanted to scream, I can live with mess and muddle for so long, and then bam! It’s got to go, NOW!! So today I’ve been busy putting things to rights a little, although with my disability I can’t do anywhere near as much as I want to do in a day, so it’s likely to take me the best part of a week to get tidy again, but at least now it’s going in the right direction, and to top things off, I now have a lovely fresh, newly painted room to enjoy when the tidying just gets too much for me.

    Congratulations on your book, I’d love to get my hands on a copy, but don’t know if it’s available in the UK?

    Warm wishes

    Judi

  37. Lana Taylor Legge says:

    Oh my gosh. I swear – reading this, you could be me! If I didn’t know better I’d think I wrote your Spring Decluttering article. We are kindred spirits.

  38. I know exactly what you mean! When I’m at work, sometimes all I can think about is going home and get to cleaning in a big way! Maybe we both have type A personalities…:) But if it makes you feel any better, I gave a little sigh of relief that even your stunning home isn’t always ultra tidy! hehe

  39. Thanks for keeping it real! I know after a long day at work I tend to let things slide at home and then the weekend hits and I think….what happened?! So nice to see we all struggle with the same things! Even us neatniks!

  40. I’ve been feeling the same way. Work has been so busy and I just haven’t had a chance to clean my house. I don’t feel like I can truly concentrate when my house is a mess.

  41. I need to open every day and drawer and just have at it. Thanks for the tips. I find that I have let so much go in this little house….just keep making piles….that needs to stop.
    Thanks for the help.
    And sweet happy Day about your book! I’m so super happy for you!
    Enjoy

  42. Thanks for sharing your messy counters! I feel as though I’m constantly dealing with things on every surface – trying to keep up with putting things away, finding homes for things, etc. I easily get overwhelmed by it all, and it is so true – getting the house in order helps me have a better outlook on my day!

  43. Spring decluttering is one of my favorite things to do when the spring comes! I love to go through my things.. it is like meditation for me! Thanks for the post! :)

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