• Each fall I go through the ritual of decluttering, donating, and cleaning. There is something refreshing about getting the house ready for the holidays and passing on some items that we are no longer need to someone that can make good use of it. The benefits impact my family by teaching generosity, kindness, and contentment. I always feel amazing once the decluttering is finished, and donations have been made. So grab a few boxes, and join me.

    Let the purge begin

    While sorting out the laundry go through the clothes, and remove any items that need replacing. Donate any items in good condition that aren’t being used. Toss out, or recycle worn-out clothing. Consider making blankets out of old clothing to donate at a shelter. It can be a great family project!

    Pick two rooms a week and spend 15 minutes a day decluttering that space. I like to start in my closets. Turn all clothes on the hangers so that the hook faces you. When you do laundry put the clothes back on the hanger the correct way. After 2 months if anything is still hanging on the reversed hangers consider donating it. Donate shoes that aren’t being used. Take an inventory of your bedding. Do you need new items, or do you have too many? 

    A heart of giving

    Fall is a great time of year to talk to kids about needs in the community. Many families struggle around the holidays. Help children become active givers by donating canned food, clothing and toys.  After engaging children with the topic give them a couple of boxes, and encourage them to fill them with things they no longer need or use.  Consider giving them a small amount of money for each box they fill. They can save up, donate, or purchase something new with it. This encourages them to clean out unused items and helps foster a heart for giving.

    Get ahead of the mess

    Two times a day have a 15-minute family clean up time. Each person pitches in and cleans together. If four people clean for 15 minutes twice a day that is equal to two hours of cleaning time.

    Fall Cleaning Checklist

    • Service furnace and change filter
    •  Vacuum and launder the drapes (check cleaning instructions)
    • Clean out the cabinets.  Remove old spices, vitamins, teas, expired items, and medications.
    • Gutters
    • Brush and vacuum carpets, or schedule yearly cleaning.
    • Check CO2 and fire alarms, and change batteries if needed.
    • Kitchen, wipe down cabinets, clean out under the sink, remove/donate excess dishes, or tools not being used. Pull out appliances and clean behind them
    • Clean light fixtures
    • Wash windows
    • Fireplace and chimney

    Enjoy your fall!