The following post is from Lauren Rothlisberger of Get Me Geeky:
We kicked off spring break last Friday, and I kicked into spring cleaning mode first thing Saturday morning. When the weekend was done, I had 7 large bags to donate to Goodwill. What does that tell me? It tells me things have gotten way out of hand! It means I need to get a better grip on the ongoing ways to give, sell, recycle, or trash items that no longer belong in our house. It also means I need to put my kids to work more. They already do help out some, but we need something more official, and a better way to track this.
A family of six can accumulate a lot of stuff! We try to be intentional about what comes in our home, but just the pure fact that my little people — 7, 4, 3, 10 months — grow at a pretty rapid pace is enough to cause a lot of build up. So like most things it is far easier to control if I put a system in place to more frequently deal with these issues.
I break spring cleaning (or really all year cleaning) into three different categories. You need to reduce clutter, organize, and clean. This all just got me thinking about what technology might be out there to help us do this.
This is the part where I always say it has to get worse before it gets better. Reducing clutter means you either need to sell it, give it away, recycle, or trash it.
One of my favorite apps for this is ThredUp. Through them I can take care of selling and giving away with one bag. You just request one of their pre-paid bags and they ship it to you right away. You then fill that bag with items you want to sell and giveaway. Then drop it at any FedEx or USPS location.
They assess the items you send back, keep out what they are going to sell, and donate the rest. They then pay you for what they are going to sell. Now I have never made big bucks, and it is safe to say I might make a little more at our annual consignment sale, but sometimes I just don’t have time for that. This works really well and just gets it out of my house!
If you have the time to sell items yourself you can probably stand to make a bit more money by taking the middle man out. For that, check out PostMark or ThreadFlip.
After you reduce your clutter, you need to organize. But are you organizing HOW you reduce your clutter. I don’t know about you, but I am pretty bad about tracking our donations. They always hand me those cards at the drop off and I promptly lose them in the great abyss, also know as, the van.
iDonateIt helps you track and value your non-cash donations. Also check out, ItsDeductible brought to you by the same makers of Turbo Tax. They help you track your donations and make sure you can maximize your deductions.
Organizing the donations is one thing, but how about your house? Well there are endless blogs, pins, and magazines that flood my life with organization ideas. It is almost overwhelming, but one app I really love is Brightnest. They manage to deliver fresh, simple, ideas. You can choose to look for inspiration without becoming completely bogged down.
While you are busy organizing don’t forget to do some digital organizing. If you are a Mac user check out these 5 Ways to Clean Your Mac.
Cleaning doesn’t necessarily come after organizing. At least for me, it is something I do as I am organizing. But I know once I get everything organized I feel more inspired to keep everything clean. For me that means I need a schedule. I just need my phone to assign me with this task. I am not a natural clean freak, but I wish I was; I think it would be so much easier.
HomeRoutines is a great app that helps you work through the zones of your house with reminders to help you stay on track!
I mentioned that one of my tasks is to get the kids helping even more. I am looking hard at Chore Bank to help out. Now I do believe kids need to just contribute because they are a member of the family. But earning extra money for new doll clothes or a Lego set is a great motivator to take on some extra chores. I like that Chore Bank helps me track all that. (Or, for the non-technology solution, use these printable time cards for kids.)
Before I sign off, let me mention one more thing: April also happens to be the month of Earth day too. And in honor of that, I must mention recycling your electronics. It is inevitable that you will come across some outdated electronics during your spring cleaning. Apple and Best Buy both offer an electronic recycling program to help you clear technology clutter the safe way.
How does technology help you spring clean?
|Lauren Rothlisberger blogs and consults over at Get Me Geeky. As a military wife and mom of three girls five years old and under, she loves focusing on technology and productivity and finding new ways to simplify her life. She recently started putting together MacMinis, which are easy to follow videos for Mac users, and also wrote an ebook, Evernote for Moms.|