Get A Fresh Start With Spring Decluttering And Cleaning

spring decluttering


Spring decluttering is an essential process for minimalists and those living in tiny homes – but it’s a practical step for all home sizes and works with any lifestyle. Taking the time to declutter can bring a lot of benefits. Seasonal changes make the process for spring decluttering slightly different, and, I think, far more satisfying than in other seasons of the year.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

As a minimalist living in a tiny home, decluttering as I tackle spring cleaning every year is one of the main ways I keep my space clear and organized so I can really enjoy the season ahead.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Why Declutter For Spring?

Why Declutter For Spring

Spring decluttering is an important part of any spring cleaning checklist. Removing unnecessary items keeps my home organized, tidy and functional. Plus, saying goodbye to the objects I don’t use very often makes it easier to clean my entire space more effectively.

If you really want to dive in to spring decluttering like a minimalist, there are a few simple guidelines and strategies, like the 30-day declutter challenge, that will help you get in the right mindset when it comes to deciding what stays and goes.

spring decluttering like a minimalist
I’ve found that a spring declutter and cleanup can vary from those I do at other times of the year, simply because I go more in-depth to really clear the mess that piles up after spending months indoors.

30-day declutter challenge

How Is Spring Decluttering Different From Other Seasons?

How Is Spring Decluttering Different From Other Seasons

Decluttering and cleaning in spring is a little bit different from other seasonal spruce-ups because, to most people and cultures, springtime signifies the start of something new and refreshing. I always stop to think about my springtime plans, and the plans Mother Nature may have in mind, before I decide how to clean my home.

The first thing I think about is how the changing weather is going to impact my space. Depending on your climate, perhaps you’ll be opening windows more and using fans.

spring cleaning windows

Make sure that nothing is blocking proper air flow and that nothing will be disturbed or displaced by a passing breeze or unexpected April showers.

Fall and winter tend to keep us indoors more, so the simple fact that we’ve spent more time in our space leaves more dust, dirt, and unnoticed clutter around. Changing light patterns may also bring more sunbeams to a corner that gets dusty due to a little-used accent shelf or plant stand or a wall hanging that attracts cobwebs.

Tips For Spring Decluttering

Tips For Spring Decluttering

As someone who’s been a minimalist for over a decade, I rarely get intimidated by clutter anymore. But I can remember my first spring declutter, and I could have used a few pointers to get started the right way. Luckily, there are a number of strategies that you can apply to your process that’ll become second nature by this time next year.

Make A Plan For Getting Started

The 20/20 Rule is a great way to decide what stays or goes. The idea is that you declutter items that are easy to replace, from either a money or time perspective. Keep in mind that none of these rules are all or nothing – you can apply them in the way that best fits your life.

Will You Use It In The Next 90 Days?

Another minimalist rule I refer to often is the 90/90 Rule, and it helps you sort through items based on how regularly you use them, so you end up removing those that aren’t serving your daily life. The change of seasons is a great time to use this rule, as each season is about 90 days long, depending on where you live.

minimalist 90-90 rule

Take It One Room At A Time

When you start making a plan for your spring declutter or deep cleaning, break it down into individual rooms or zones. This will help you sharpen your focus and complete one area before moving on to the next. When you start decluttering, you’ll feel a bigger sense of accomplishment when a whole area is completed, no matter how small.

Schedule Your Decluttering And Cleaning Sessions

Speaking of time, blocking time for cleaning and decluttering tasks is a great way to make sure they happen. Like a Sunday reset, scheduling time and making a list before you begin is the best way to make sure you’re using your time wisely. I find it really helps me hold myself accountable.

declutter your home room by room

Focus On Seasonal Items

Donating seasonal items is a great way to think about giving new life to unused items during your spring declutter. Sports, outdoor activities, and gardening often pick up speed this time of year, so if you have contributions to make there, don’t hold back. It’s also common for schools to organize plays and musicals in spring, and they often source clothing and furniture to use for costumes and props from thrift or donation centers.

Know Where To Take Decluttered Items

Speaking of donation centers, I always advise anyone tackling a spring declutter to get familiar with donation, recylcing and repurposing resources in your area.

Find thrift shops with easy drop-off processes, use a neighborhood “Buy Nothing” e-mail listserv or social media community, or visit a community swap in a park or common area.

Some communities organize spring seedling and plant swaps, where even a bulky houseplant or potted tree can go home with a new owner. Others offer clothing swaps and consignment shops for specific items or types of clothing. Schools, churches, and some shelters can be good places to pass along used books or children’s toys.

where to donate decluttering items

Six Things to Declutter This Spring

Things to Declutter This Spring

When choosing what to declutter for spring, think about the change of seasons and the items you’ve just finished using, and those that you’ll soon put to good use. Get in the minimalist mindset and ask yourself if you really need each item in your space.

things you can live without as a minimalist

Things to Declutter This Spring

Declutter Unneeded Winter Clothing

When I have clothes and boots that are getting worn out or just not fitting me anymore, I pass them on at the end of a season instead of holding onto them and waiting until next winter to decide if I’m still tired of them. I also put any winter gear that I’m keeping into a storage space until I need it again, so it’s out of the way.

Declutter Your Holiday Decorations

As a minimalist, I don’t own or use a lot of seasonal décor. For any decorations I do have, like garlands and wreaths, I might donate, discard or repurpose these so they’re not taking up valuable storage space. If I do keep them for next year, I’ll choose just a few favorites that are easily stored away.

Sort Through Pots, Planters And Garden Items

As spring rolls around, it’s important to consider the needs of your outdoor space. Have you decided to turn your grassy lawn into a wild pollinator garden? Passing along your mower would make sense now. Pots and planters you don’t need will help others make their landscaping plans for a new season.

Get Rid Of Empty Or Extra Containers

Trying to be prepared by holding on to too many “useful” boxes, bins and jars can do more harm than good if they’re only getting in your way and making it harder to get to what you actually use. Especially after the holidays, when I always seem to have an excess, I determine which containers will be useful in my pantry or closet, and which would be better suited in a new home or the recycling bin.

Declutter Your Outdoor Gear

I like to take inventory of my current hiking and swim gear in the spring to verify the fit and condition, shedding items that no longer work, so that on the first swim day of the season, I’m ready to hop in the water. Additionally, equipment — like trekking or fishing poles — can come in handy for someone else’s outdoor adventures.

Kitchen Items Always Need Decluttering

I find that I don’t cook indoors as much in the warmer months and use my oven less frequently as I shift into grilling season. If this applies to you, too, evaluate which pans and baking dishes you may not be using for the bulk of the year, and add them to the donation box after you give the oven one good, final scrub.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring Cleaning Checklist

I find that making a personally curated spring cleaning checklist, tailored to my space and needs, is crucial to using my time efficiently. This list serves as a standard baseline for me — it’s up to you to determine which tasks should be part of your regular routine and which will be done less frequently.

Again, consider the changing patterns of weather in your climate, and how your routines or activities might change in the spring. I generally follow a minimalist cleaning regimen throughout the year, but springtime is when I really dive into details.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

  • General decluttering
  • Bathrooms
  • Appliances
  • Floors and baseboards
  • Walls and ceilings
  • Windows and dressings
  • Food storage areas
  • Springtime supplies
  • Outdoor areas
spring cleaning supplies
spring cleaning floors

Floors And Baseboards

As the seasons change, your spring cleaning list should revisit tasks that you probably already do regularly but just need to tweak for the changing time of year. Your floors are one of those features. The baseboards may need cleaning less often but shouldn’t be neglected this time.

If you live in a place where an icy winter had you tracking in mud and salt, pay extra attention to the entryways. Do you make fires in the winter? Do an extra sweep for soot around the fireplace and clean any tools or accessories that live there.

spring cleaning walls and ceilings

Walls And Ceilings

Doing a sweep of the walls and ceilings as more light enters your home will ensure that cobwebs aren’t illuminated by the sun. You can use a stepstool to dust crown molding and door frames. While you’re up there, clear the tops of ceiling fans, so that when they’re turned on with the warmer weather, they don’t spread dust.

cleaning windows in spring

Windows And Dressings

Speaking of light, don’t forget spring cleaning tasks that let the light shine in — clean those windows inside and out. Maximize efficiency by opening curtains (wash them if you need to) and blinds to let in natural sun instead of energy-based lighting. Make sure all blinds, shades and other window dressings are thoroughly dusted on all sides.

spring decluttering refrigerator

Refrigerator And Pantry

Including a pantry and cold storage review in your spring clean checklist is an easy way to avoid moldy surprises in the back of the fridge and ensures precious stored food isn’t lost to poor rotation. Check dates on each item, making sure to use those closest to expiration first, before beginning another season of growing, enjoying, and storing food.

cleaning tiles during spring decluttering

Seasonal Deep Cleaning

For me, the change of seasons is a good reminder to do a deep clean beyond the average daily or weekly tidying and disinfecting. I use a small brush to clean in between tiles, lift and clean underneath furniture, and even move and clean around my kitchen appliances. No surface is left untouched this time of year.

power washing during spring cleanup

Outdoor Areas

Even outdoor features deserve some love here. Power wash porches or outdoor living spaces, repaint your pergola, clean furniture cushions, or give the grill a deep clean so they’re all ready to use as you begin enjoying the warmer weather.

organizing garden tools for spring decluttering

Spring Items

Prepare the things you’ll use outdoors at the start of the season. Clean out and refill bird feeders and bird baths ready for a busy season of hungry feathered friends. If you’re planning a spring garden, wipe out and prepare the planters you’ll soon be filling with fresh dirt, seeds, and plants. Declutter and organize gardening tools and supplies so you know what you already have before you start shopping for more.

how to prepare garden soil

Enjoy Your Clutter-Free Space

Enjoy Your Clutter Free Space

These spring decluttering and cleaning strategies might vary a little for each person and household, but they’ll help make sure your home is tidy and ready to welcome the potential of the new season.

I find that taking a mindful and minimalist approach to housekeeping makes the process simple and easy to pull off as soon as spring showers start rolling in.

spring decluttering and cleaning strategies

Your Turn!

  • What items are you ready to declutter and pass on?
  • What area of spring cleaning are you going to tackle first?

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