photo by: www.burlapanddenim.com

for some people, the most wonderful time of the year would be the holiday season. except for me, it would be the spring cleaning season.

call me a freak, but i need to clean and i enjoy doing it. i also love organizing, but like diet and exercise, they go hand-in-hand. i can’t do one without the other.

almost 2 years ago i moved into a smaller, but comfortable, apartment and i could not bring all of my exercise equipment.

fortunately, there was a free, on-site, room available i could store items in indefinitely; or until the complex was sold and the new owners said they needed the room cleaned out.

insurance reasons.

crap.

i had my elliptical, treadmill and two rode bikes brought to my apartment and dumped into several rooms. i thought my treadmill could fit into one of my closets so i started cleaning one out, but it would not fit, especially with the stuff i already had stored in there.

now i’m frustrated and it was at this exact moment when my clutter heebie-jeebies set in and i knew i had to get rid of or donate some items from that storage closet.

as i started cleaning and organizing my OCD endorphins kicked into overdrive and i wasn’t only cleaning my closet, but my entire apartment. i started in the kitchen and spent 9 hours cleaning and organizing every inch of cabinet space and any drawer that would open.

all of the labels are freakishly facing forward, boxes and cans in the cupboards are organized in height order. canisters are labeled. condiments and spices live on their own shelf.

i wiped walls, scrubbed and mopped the floor. i cleaned the inside (and yes everything has a place), the outside, the back and underneath the refrigerator.

the microwave, the stove, the oven, the toaster oven, the keurig. cleaned. cleaned. cleaned. cleaned. cleaned.

tired yet? i’m not.

the only thing i did not clean in the kitchen were the cabinets and that’s because i didn’t have a super fine grade #0000 steel wool pad and a bottle of old english wood furniture polish. but i will.

an organized closet

an organized closet i don’t mind looking in to

sheet sets, blankets, table clothes and other items are filed and labeled in cloth boxes as this one.

sheet sets, blankets, table clothes and other items are filed and labeled in cloth boxes as this one.

a small portion of my kitchen cabinets. these storage containers are great!

a small portion of my kitchen cabinets. these storage containers are great!

i like to stick things on the wall. these decals make the kitchen look a lot better.

i like sticking things on the wall. these decals make the kitchen look a lot better.

i did some redecorating and changed my chair color and table cloth to garnet.

i did some redecorating too and changed my chair color and table cloth to garnet.

i really enjoy cleaning and organizing, but it’s never done without sacrificing my body. i had to wear my back brace and take an excessive amount of pain medication every four hours to get through it, but i got it done.

like a tornado, i’m slowly making my way through cleaning and organizing each room, labeling baskets in my linen closet and getting rid of anything i have not used within the last year. this includes clothes, electronics, books, toys and kitchen items.

initially, i packed items to be sold locally, but after reading the more of less by joshua becker, i decided to donate my belongings to bbbs, a non-profit organization.

“big brothers big sisters is a volunteer mentoring network that develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.”

the time and energy i would have spent selling the items wouldn’t earn me much but donating them will provide a greater financial impact for someone in need.

the donation pile

the donation pile

i feel energized to be on the less is more bandwagon and look forward to more time, more energy and more space.

over time, it’s easy for our home, closets, drawers, basement, attic, garage to become filled with things we don’t need or clothing we haven’t worn in years.

i’m guilty of neatly folded, but overstuffed, drawers, but do i really need 20 t-shirts?

no. in fact, when i looked around my apartment i felt comfortable being able to part with everything in it, with the exception of my cameras and maybe my guitar.

it doesn’t mean i’m not sentimental but i could take a photo of it and pass it along if i had to. see why i need my cameras?

as much as i love my treadmill and tolerate my elliptical, i only have room for my exercise bike, the other two items will be sold.

i’m interested in how you keep your home clutter-free and organized or do you? are there things you’re holding on to? do you own something you could never part with? leave your thoughts below in the comment section.