Get Ready to Save During Spring Cleaning - USAA Member Community


Spring cleaning is a great way to both declutter and save. Spring cleaning is a great time to take stock of what you have, what you need, and what you do not need anymore. These savings are a great way to save some money, maybe earn some money, and get the spring and summer started right.


Simple steps start the spring cleaning process. We need to think of our physical possessions as objects that should make us feel at ease, happy, peaceful and in control. When we start to lose those feelings or stop having those feelings, then we need to take immediate steps to rectify the situation.


Six simple and immediate steps to have an effective and productive spring cleaning.


(1) Spring Cleaning Step #1 – Dedicate & Schedule Time.  Spring cleaning does not just happen and it is important. Make sure that you dedicate time and protect that time on your calendar. Don’t schedule entire days, free days are very hard to find. Start by scheduling 1-2 hour segments to ensure you get started cleaning.


(2) Spring Cleaning Step #2 – Sort Into Three Piles.  Sort all of your holiday items, kid’s winter clothes, unwanted items, and unused belongings into three piles: (1) Keep, (2) Sell, and (3) Donate. This is a very simple and incredibly effective way to ensure that you go through and remove any unnecessary clutter from your home. Use a simple test that if you haven’t used an item or worn an item in two years or more, then it is probably a good candidate for the donate or sell pile. 


(3) Spring Cleaning Step #3 – How Many Things Do The Same Thing?  If you have six winter jackets, how many winter jackets do you need? Likewise, shoes, backpacks, scissors, and other similar items are often purchased but how many do you really need. If you have 2-3 things that do the same thing that is more than enough. Put any remaining or extra items into the donate and sell pile.


(4) Spring Cleaning Step #4 – Swap with a Friend or Relative.  When you have your donate and sell piles, separate the respective items into clothes, housewares, children’s clothes, toys and other major categories. Next, take to social media and email to see if there are any friends that can swap items with you. For example, if you have toddler toys and need some toys for a child aged 4 to 8; see if you can swap items. Trading items is a great way to get items that you need and helping others do the same while reducing your unwanted items.


(5) Spring Cleaning Step #5 – Sell It, Donate It, Or Throw Away.  For items in the donation and sell pile that no one wanted, it is time to sell!  There are lots of ways to sell. Online sales, gently used stores, consignment stores and garage sales are all ways to make an immediate sale. Anything not given to a friend or sold should be donated. Charities, churches, and other not-for-profits all have donation arms and needs for all manner of items from clothes to toys to housewares. Be sure to get a receipt for any possible tax deduction. Whatever remains after you no longer need it, no one wants to buy it, and friends and charities do not need it should be thrown away. Immediately. 


(6) Spring Cleaning Step #6 – Clean.  Once you have removed and reorganized your remaining items, it is time to do traditional spring cleaning. Pull out items, sweep the sand out of the garage, and wash all winter items before putting them away. This is a big task, but it will seem much smaller with a great many items removed. 


The reward of spring cleaning is a relaxed and comfortable living space, the satisfaction of helping out friends, some additional money from selling and tax deductible donations, and a happier outlook. Now get busy and go clean!


Have a spring cleaning tip to share? Leave your advice below in the comments.


About the blogger:
Chad Storlie is the author of two books: Combat Leader to Corporate Leader and Battlefield to Business Success. Both books teach how to translate and apply military skills to business. An adjunct Lecturer of Marketing at Creighton University and Bellevue University in Omaha, NE. Chad is a retired US Army Special Forces officer with 20+ years of Active and Reserve service in infantry, Special Forces, and joint headquarters units. He served in Iraq, Bosnia, Korea, and throughout the United States. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Special Forces Tab, and the Ranger Tab. In addition to teaching, he is a mid-level marketing executive and has worked in marketing and sales roles for various companies, including General Electric, Comcast, and Manugistics. He has been published in The Harvard Business Review blog, Business Week Online, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, and over 40 other publications. He has a BA from Northwestern University and an MBA from Georgetown University.



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