Spring Decluttering: Choose 5

Beyond throwing open the windows and getting the dirt out of the corners, Spring is a great time to lighten the load of furniture and stuff from inside your house. In the Cure, one of the first assignments is to choose one thing in your home to put out on the street. It breathes new life into your space and fosters a sense of being able to let go of the old and welcome in the new. That's why we start Spring Cleaning with upping the ante and choosing 5.

We comb through each room and we choose 5 things to either sell on craigslist, donate to the local Salvation Army or to a friend. If none of those are possible, we put it out on the street, in the back alley where it disappears in a couple of hours. We choose things that are either broken, we don't love or are no longer useful. Maybe we've outgrown a throw pillow, or can accept that we're never going to fix that lamp or that the side table is really unnecessary (since we keep bashing into it). When we get proactive about what we want to keep, it makes us feel empowered to get rid of what's dragging us down. When we can choose 5 things (start small if you need to) it feels so good that it motivates us to keep going, making space, lightening the load.

Here are some of the things that have made it out the door over the years:
• Old thrift store paintings we're just not that into anymore
• Frames we were saving just in case
Clothes that have holes or we've outgrown (no we don't hang onto them for when we lose weight)
• Chipped dishes or dishes we don't love
• Side table that was too bulky in the living room
• Books! We keep the ones we love, not the ones to impress guests
Old Towels (we donate them to shelters)
• Beat up lampshades (here's where we replace them)
• Miscellaneous stuff in the bathroom

And here's a list of ideas for donating or recycling the 5 things you choose.

(Image: Homes and Gardens)