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spruce up for spring
by Susan Johnston | 1 2 3

With spring upon us, itís time to think about spring cleaning. If the idea of breaking out the Windex and cleaning out your closet has you breaking out in hives and running under the bed for cover, youíre not alone. Still, just think how nice it will be when youíve cleared away the dust bunnies and tidied up the kitchen so you can entertain again. Or when youíre actually able to find your favorite pair of sandals without digging through piles of laundry. My own closet is impossibly small, but whenever I take an hour or two to reorganize it, Iím usually rewarded by finding a few pieces I didnít even remember I owned (score!). A little spring cleaning can make a huge difference in your abode. Hereís how to make the process as painless as possible...

First, focus on one area at a time and set small, manageable goals so you wonít get overwhelmed. Go through the kitchen cabinets as you wait for water to boil for dinner. Pull out a few drawers to reorganize as you watch Greyís Anatomy. Pick up some cute drawer dividers or plastic containers from Bed, Bath and Beyond to keep all those miscellaneous items in place. Crank up your iTunes on a Saturday morning as you weed through the black hole that was once known as your closet. The next time you change your sheets, clean under the bed and rotate your mattress so that it wears evenly. Rome wasnít built in a day, so donít expect everything to come together after only a few hours.

As youíre weeding through old magazines and last seasonís sweaters, youíll inevitably find some items you forgot you owned and may no longer want. I suggest creating four piles for your stuff: ďcanít live without it,Ē ďmight as well keep it,Ē ďdonít need it/want it but still good,Ē and ďwhy do I still have this?Ē

Obviously youíll keep items in the first pile, but think about whether you need everything from the second. If itís a back issue of Cosmo, you might rip out an article or two that youíre interested in and recycle the rest. If itís a sweater that you havenít worn lately (and donít anticipate a Flashdance fashion revival), then maybe itís time to donate it to charity. If itís a DVD, consider watching it one last time before saying goodbye. Youíll appreciate your ruthlessness when itís time to move.

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