With Spring having officially sprung last week, the season of “Spring Cleaning” begins. It’s time to wash windows, clear clutter and store winter wear for the season. I think it is safe to hang your snow shovel up and perhaps eyeball the lawn mower to see if it requires any maintenance, before you press it into service again for the summer.

Yes, as the sun returns, so too does our energy level and with it a will to brighten your home and lighten your load. Can I make a suggestion on how to achieve that? It might feel a bit early, but why not start looking through the basement, garage and playroom with the idea of a garage sale to purge your excess belongings that you just don’t need anymore? I bet if you were really honest with yourself, you would agree that you don’t really need to keep that old microwave, second set of wrenches or extra copy of “The Handyman’s DIY Bible” that you got for Christmas three years ago. If the spine hasn’t been cracked, perhaps it is time to let it go.

What else can you get rid of? Here are a few suggestions to get you started on clearing your home and in turn cleansing your mind for a fresh start on a new season and new life.

THE GARAGE SALE: A List of Items to Purge

    • extra table clothes
    • old linens & towels (keep one or two to use as rags)
    • kitchen appliances that you don’t use (ex. the ricer that is still in its original packaging)
    • mismatched plates, glasses and/or wine goblets

Get rid of old, worn, chipped or broken kitchen items

    • worn, chipped or broken kitchen utensils
    • books that won’t be read again (FYI Danielle Steel will be snapped up from any yard sale box)
    • trinkets that no longer have a home and are just collecting dust
    • items that are still packed in boxes from your last move 5 years ago

      Time to purge the wardrobe!

    • clothes that haven’t been worn in over a year (ditch those pants you have been saving from the 80s that will NEVER fit you again)
    • toys that your children no longer play with or have outgrown
    • puzzles & games that are missing pieces (well, maybe they should just go in the garbage bin, but get them out of your house!)
    • CDs, DVDs, records, VHS movies that you no longer watch or listen to
    • furniture that no longer has a space in your home
    • items that you have fallen out of love with (those cute his & hers towels you bought with your ex)

Do you really have a home for this?

  • well-meant gifts from others that will never go with your home decor
  • excess garden items (someone might need/want/kill to have your mile-high stack of garden pots )
  • divisions from over-grown plants (I can almost guarantee that someone will just die and go to heaven after spying your excess hostas, irises and/or ornamental grasses)
  • out-of-season items that you have since replaced (a poke through your Xmas box might net you a tidy sum. Doesn’t everyone love Christmas all year long?)
  • anything else that you haven’t seen, touched or missed in over a year


And just remember that for every item you purge, you regain another piece of your home. You will truly appreciate the extra space and peace of mind that you gain by shedding items that no longer receive the love that they deserve. You might find a few extra dollars in your pocket, which you can even put towards a few new purchases if you so desire, but don’t overdo it.

One last rule for garage sale decluttering: Whatever goes out to the curb, does NOT re-enter the house!