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Spring cleaning is a chance to take stock, and set goals that limit clutter in the future.

Spring cleaning adds value to your home, your life

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We’ve all heard the saying that “less is more.” Yet sometimes we’re happy with what we’ve got and just need to organize it a little better. The ritual of spring cleaning can help in either case, preparing us to enjoy the year ahead with all the lightness of the lengthening days.

Taking stock

One of the things we often forget to do is take stock of what we’ve got. We buy this and that, and pack it away thinking we’ll use it some day. Too often, it sits waiting for us. Spring cleaning puts us back in touch with what we’ve got, what we need and what we don’t need.

Sometimes we can repurpose a forgotten purchase, other times we’ll wonder why we ever brought it into the house. Some decisions are easy to make and others are more difficult. Yet none of them will happen if we don’t know what we’ve got.

Taking control

Once we’ve taken stock and know what we want to keep and what we want to discard, it’s important to take action. It’s not enough to separate the keepers from the culled items. We have to make our trash someone else’s treasure.

Some people will host yard sales, while others offer their goods online. Still others will take their clothes and knick-knacks to one of Vancouver’s many thrift stores. Many community organizations will pick-up old clothes, and some such as HomeStart will even fetch furniture to give others a fresh start in life.

Other items – old guidebooks and defunct electronic devices – for example, are recyclable. The Recycling Council of BC offers a comprehensive list for the environmentally conscious cleaner. Many stores will safely dispose of items at the end of their useful life, and don’t forget the South Vancouver transfer station. It accepts more than your blue bin does!

Making progress

Once you’ve gotten rid of your junk, take time to put everything you’re keeping in order. It’s also a good idea to lay down some rules for yourself about the kinds of items you keep and when you’ll do your next clean-up.

Perhaps you’ll choose a smaller bin for recyclables, or a smaller magazine rack so you’re not left with a year’s worth of issues to sort through. Alternatively, you might decide to scale back your consumption altogether and put some of the money to paying down your mortgage, sponsoring a child, or some other cause.

Spring is a great time to make a fresh start. It’s a time when you can set the tone not only for the year ahead, but a lifetime.

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