Our Simple, Spring Cleaning Challenge

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Permission to be frank? We are not naturally organized people. We really try to be, but somehow it feels like clutter always wins and our closets start to explode.

Our home is both of our offices, our kitchen is our photography studio, oh yeah and we also live here. We don’t have the privilege of living in a mansion, so it’s challenging to keep everything tidy, especially when it feels like we are constantly packing and unpacking from all of our foodie travels.

This weekend, Karen hit the breaking point with our messy house. We knew we needed a major spring cleaning, but we both have super busy schedules. That is why we came up with this Simple Spring Cleaning Challenge. Here are the rules:

Conquer one room per day, no exceptions

When you break the entire house cleaning task into segments, it seems WAY easier to tackle. Start by documenting all of your rooms on a piece of paper, One complete, jot the date down next to it. Think about which rooms are the toughest to tackle and schedule those on days where you have more time. Busy day ahead? Schedule a room that is small and relatively uncluttered. For us, those are the guest bathrooms. We could whip those out in 20 minutes, where our bedroom and closets took a lot longer. Yes, we counted closets as separate rooms.

Find a home for everything and keep a homeless bin for the stragglers

Whenever Gavin loses something, Karen always says, “where’s its home?” which probably drives him bananas. In reality, everything in your home should have a place. One of the biggest sidetracks in decluttering and cleaning is having random stuff where you don’t know where to put it. Here’s a solution, place all your “homeless” items in a laundry basket to deal with later. You don’t want those items pulling you off of your path to cleanliness and as you start organizing all the other rooms, you might find the right place for some of the items. Once all your rooms are complete, see what’s left in the homeless basket. Can you donate any of these things? Is the reason it is “homeless” because it should really be in the trash? Do you need to pick up storage bins or organizers to deal with these leftovers? Figure it out once you’re done with everything else. It will save you a lot of time (and your sanity) in the long run.

Document what you’re going to donate, as you go

We’re not tax professionals, but typically you can get a bigger tax deduction when you itemize your donations, for example, the Goodwill Value Guide says that a skirt is worth $4.99. Have a notepad with you while you are cleaning and decluttering. Everything that is getting donated should be written in the notepad and tally how many items of each you’re getting rid of. You can also use the Give Back Box program by Amazon to ship items back in Amazon boxes to go straight to the Goodwill. Their website helps you to keep track of what you donated in a digital, organized fashion. Consult with your accountant before claiming any of your donations on your taxes.

We are currently three days into our Spring Cleaning Challenge and so far our master bedroom, closet, and bath are an organized oasis. It feels GREAT and we’ve already filled three garbage bags for a charity donation! We are holding ourselves accountable by checking in each day on our Instagram stories with which room we completed for the day. Follow along and let us know if you join in our Simple Spring Cleaning Challenge as well!

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