It might not feel like spring yet, but many of us want to get our homes and minds as clear as possible as we lighten up and open up after a long winter. Spring cleaning and organizing your home can have amazing benefits — improve your mood, reduce stress and overall make your home a more relaxing environment.

Many of us have this sudden urge to declutter our homes around springtime, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. How, then, do we go about getting rid of the things we no longer need? Why, by going green and supporting sustainability efforts by donating to your local Goodwill, of course. Donations support our mission of Elevating People by Eliminating Barriers to Employment and keep items out of the landfill.

Here 5 spring cleaning ideas to get you started:

Oosouji

This annual tradition in Japan means big cleaning. Homes are thoroughly cleaned, children at schools clean out their desks, and everywhere people throw away clutter, junk and donate the unneeded. Cleaning your physical surroundings promotes not only mental cleaning but also provides a refreshed start.

Day-by-day

You could make a week out of it by tackling one area or room each day. On the first day, go through your closet, on day two your kitchen and so on until your house is clean.

Minimalist approach

Make it a monthlong project if you are too busy to take on your spring cleaning in a day or two. Each day of the month you declutter a certain number of items from your home corresponding to the day of the month. Essentially, on the first day you remove one item, two items on the second day and so on until month end. Over the month you will have gotten rid of almost 500 pieces and increased your confidence in your decision-making skills in the art of letting stuff go.

Khāne-takānī

The Iranian tradition means shaking down the house and cleaning all of the items in your house or life from top to bottom, including areas that may not get attention during the year such as your cupboards or your closet, especially the back of it.

Döstädning

This Swedish art of death cleaning has a bit of a macabre beginning as it was designed to organize our items so we don’t put the burden on our relatives should something happen to us. However, döstädning became popular by its focus on being as organized as possible and not being so attached to things. An easy way to start is with the boxes and containers you have stashed away and move on from there.

Helpful notes

Have a storage tote in a room like the mudroom where you can place items you want to donate. Once it’s full, bring it to one of our donation locations. Goodwill takes all types of quality donations, including clothes, purses, books, kitchenware, electronics and more. To learn more, see what we can or do not accept.

Remember to make sure your unwanted items that don’t fit your lifestyle or body are in saleable condition. Anything that is ruined should be thrown away or properly recycled.

Restock

After you drop off your donations, stop in and pick up some necessities to restock your home. Whether you need a new swimsuit for the upcoming summer, a vase for your spring flowers or a book to read in your clean, relaxing home, Goodwill has everything you need.

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