Every spring, nature shows us how to have a new beginning. All around us, new buds are forming and flowers pop up from the ground. It's nature's way of saying, “out with the old and in with the new!”
Our version of spring's new beginning is the tradition of “spring cleaning.” When the pollen's gone and the windows are open, our thoughts turn to getting our home in order and refreshing our surroundings. It's the best time of the year to get rid of the unused, clean what's left, and get organized for the months to come.
Are you ready for your own spring cleaning?
To help you get started, here are seven steps that will ensure your spring cleaning is worth every minute you devote to it.
Get rid of the clutter. Stop saving those magazines you just can't get to and those long-expired coupons. If there's a recipe or article that you just can't live without, clip it and put it in a folder for reading later. Or better yet, scan it into your computer (or find it online) and store it there.
Don't be a fashion hoarder. Go through your closets. If you haven't worn that dress or those shoes in several months, pack them up. The same goes for kid's toys, games and other little-used items around the house. If you have the time, hold a yard sale and make some money to put in your savings account for your next vacation. Or donate your stuff to Goodwill or the Salvation Army and get a tax break. Remember: your trash can be someone else's treasure.
Make it sparkle. Once the clutter's gone, it's time to give the house a thorough cleaning. Get the whole family involved and clean every nook and cranny, from rugs to rafters.
Tackle repairs you've put off. Once the house is sparkling clean, those minor flaws that you've been ignoring will seem to stick out. There's no better time to get in and fix them. There are lots of tips on the internet to help you tackle minor repairs.
Create a home cleaning schedule. Now that you've got everything sparkling , repaired and in order, set up a schedule to keep it that way. Keeping your home in a reasonable order will make next year's spring cleaning easier.
Don't forget to review your books. Your desk is clean. All the obvious clutter is gone. Time to look a little deeper and attack an important — yet often overlooked — type of clutter. Spring cleaning time is a great time to get your financial house in order. If you don't have a system that you can easily access for tracking and keeping your financial house organized, here are some tips from financial guru Suze Orman. Or you can just use First Reliance Bank's great new tool called My Finance; it can help you to to track your expenses, create a budget, set goals, and track your net worth. This easy-to-use tool has special features like alerts to let you know when you'e reached a budget limit in a certain category, and it can connect you to accounts that you have at other financial institutions, so everything you need is right at hand.
Spring cleaning doesn't have to be a chore if you're organized!