Spring is rounding the bend -- meaning we're shedding the winter blues and leaping at the chance to glimpse real sunlight. It's also when the age-old practice of spring cleaning comes a'knocking.
Some say spring cleaning originated with the Chinese, who roll up their sleeves and sweep their floors to clean out the bad luck and misfortune of the previous year.
Others say it's just biology. Winter's lack of sunlight causes us to produce hormones that induce sleep, and spring cleaning is our way of waking up from a melatonin lethargy.
Regardless, we feel compelled to kick out the dirt and grime and open our windows. To help give you a head start, we consulted the removal specialists at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? The experts say you must first get the junk out in an environmentally friendly way so the real cleaning can begin.
"We're heading into our busy season now, and every spring our customers tell us the same thing: 'I'm trying to spring clean, but I have so much stuff!'" explains 1-800-GOT-JUNK? public relations director Tania Venn. "Over the years, we've accumulated the best tips to help people get prepared for spring cleaning."
Read on for de-junking 101:
1. Set goals. Your clear vision will help keep you motivated.
2. Plan ahead. Where will you take recycleable items? Donatable items?
3. Take advantage of family and friends. Hold a house spring cleaning, and offer to return the favor! Perhaps find a new home for some of your things?
4. Focus on one room at a time. The success of finishing one room will drive you on to the next.
5. Remove unwanted items. Create a staging area, or remove them to preserve clarity.
6. Be ruthless. Anything that you don't use regularly or has no sentimental value should get taken away.
7. Organize the room. Use existing organizing units, or purchase new ones.
8. Clean. It's beyond satisfying.
9. Reward yourself. If you're following the list, you deserve it.
10. Professionalize. Consider using a professional service to remove junk, organize or clean if you feel overwhelmed.
To learn more about de-junking and eliminating clutter the environmental way, go to 1800gotjunk.com.