More than 70 percent of kiwi families take part in some form of spring cleaning every year. The benefits of this annual tradition are easy to see: a clean home is a healthier home. It also provides a great time to take stock of the things you need and those you don’t.

Though spring cleaning is often most associated with bleach and glass cleaner, scrubbing and dusting, many also use the time to declutter their homes of items they no longer use. While the task can seem overwhelming, a room by room spring cleaning checklist can make the decluttering process much more manageable.

This checklist is designed to help you break your decluttering process into bite size chunks. Completing each room before moving on to the next will give you a motivating sense of accomplishment at multiple stages during the decluttering process.

The three box method
The three box method is a great way to organise your decluttering process. As you go from room to room, take three boxes or large containers labeled “Donate,” “Keep” and “Trash/Recycle.” For larger items, place sticky notes labeled with the same three categories. Removing all items in every room and sorting them into boxes also presents a fantastic time to tackle a thorough deep clean of your house. There are some great spring cleaning checklists for these tasks, as well!

Benefit our community
In addition to providing you with a clean and organised home, we see indirect benefits of spring cleaning at the ReStore every day from those boxes marked “Donate.” When those donated items are sold, someone in our community gets to give your item a second life for a great price. An even further benefit is that the proceeds from the sale go towards helping a family build affordable, decent housing. We’ve also provided a partial list of items commonly accepted at the ReStore for each room to help you know what items from your home can be donated to us. Print out an abbreviated version of the Declutter spring cleaning checklist PDF to take with you from room to room.

Declutter: A simple spring cleaning checklist for every room

1. Bedroom
The ReStore finds that the bedroom is the most commonly prioritised room for spring cleaning, so it seems like a great place to start.

  • Surfaces
    Examine items on all flat surfaces – the tops of dressers and nightstands, for example – and make sure they all are something you use regularly.
  • Closet
    Take a close look at your clothes and shoes. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably won’t wear it again.
  • Under the bed
    You never know what’s accumulated under there – and it’s time to find out!

Bedroom items accepted by the ReStore

  • Beds
  • Dressers
  • Nightstands

2. Kitchen

  • Cabinets
    Perform a thorough cabinet sweep. Match containers and lids. Take stock of the dishes you need (and those you don’t). Remove expired items and be sure to check that all spices are fresh.
  • Refrigerator
    Clean out any old or unused items in the fridge and the freezer.
  • Drawers
    Is the infamous “junk drawer” located in the kitchen of your house? If so, take out all items to assess what you really need.

Kitchen items accepted by the ReStore

  • Sinks
  • Refrigerators
  • Other appliances

3. Living room

  • Entertainment center
    Sort through Blu Rays, DVDs and CDs and donate any you no longer watch or want. Recycle any empty cases you find.
  • Drawers
    Go through any drawers to remove trash and other unneeded items.
  • Shelves
    Organise all shelves, getting rid of any unneeded items.

Living room items accepted by the ReStore

  • Furniture
  • Antiques
  • Rugs
  • Bookcases

4. Garage/basement/shed
Everyone’s garage or basement or shed is different, and we’ve put them all together because what we are really referring to is the place in or around the house where extra stuff tends to pile up. This can be a closet, a finished basement, an outdoor shed or any place in between.

  • Donation piles
    These spaces can seem overwhelming, so start with the easiest of all: donation piles. You’ve spent all year collecting items you need to donate, and it’s finally time to load them up and take them to our donation centre.
  • Categories
    Divide everything left into categories and go through each category one by one. Tools, building materials, cleaning supplies, whatever it may be. Check for duplicates and get rid of anything that’s broken – throw away if necessary but donate or recycle if possible!
  • Reorganise
    For everything that you are keeping, organise by the same categories to help keep them organised year-round.

Other items accepted by the ReStore

  • Bricks
  • Pavers
  • Doors
  • Lumber
  • Windows
  • Paint
  • Tools
  • Light fixtures
  • Building materials