Spring Cleaning – Purging, Organizing, Keeping and LETTING GO

Apr 03 2022
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Spring cleaning here at Grandma’s house always comes with purging for us. Unfortunately I find that purging oftentimes conflicts with us living the most frugal and green lives that we can. How can I justify letting go of something that’s perfectly good and replacing it with new? The answer, of course, is balance. Yes, we should be allowed new things and I think for each one of us the amount of time we “use” the old before we feel good about replacing it with new is probably different.

And sometimes we really do need to get rid of things whether we want to or not!

The obvious reason being we don’t have the space.

And sometimes we may be holding on to the old and its literally making it impossible (space-wise especially) to let in the new. We can’t have a whole home filled with our past and expect to be able to move into new days or even be able to fully live in our present.

People go through a lot of changes over the course of their lives.

at Grandma's house DIY making the decision for Lodi and Annie to move in with me here at Stoyrhardt Farm - I'm getting room mates!

Whether it be kids leaving the home (or coming in brand new!) or, like in my case, a whole new man in my life after two years of living alone.

MAJOR changes had to happen to Grandma’s house so Lodi could make this his home and, yes, I had to get rid of some of my things to make that happen… and it wasn’t all physical things.


Making the physical changes first though, like purging out closet space to create physical room for him, was a great place to start!

And, of course, always remembering the wonderful future these changes were giving me.

And that statement can be applied beautifully to just about any form of purging that is painful – eyes on the prize, think about the reward!

spring cleaning

Funny tidbit: My ex took some really bizarre stuff with him when I threw him out. (Clearly to annoy me as much as possible because who takes a pizza cutter?)

But do you know what I replaced it all with?

Better stuff!

I went shopping and got exactly what I wanted instead, it was awesome.

Always remember that you’re getting something better in return. And, yes, just extra space to live more fully is absolutely BETTER.

They’ve proven that clutter, stuffed closets, living in crammed spaces, are literal detriments to our mental health.


Our local thrift store (where I take the majority of our stuff) is also a supporter of our local DAC center. They offer jobs and help for the developmentally handicapped in our area.


So, even when I feel guilty about giving something away, I know that its going to a good cause.

Also, any book I purge I donate to our local library, again giving me the peace of mind that they’ll be appreciated and in good hands.

Well our July 2021 started off like a "normal" July before quarantine and Covid meaning: We did way too much over July 4th weekend


This one may seem obvious but I find we don’t always consider, doing without. The majority of us have a lot of stuff in our lives that we simply dust, move around and, yet, we never use it.

(It took me four years to donate my George Forman grill that I had never used lol.)

Its like the elephant in the room!

I firmly believe everything in our lives that takes up space (and yet, doesn’t pay rent) should to be working for us in some way. This can be incredibly difficult with heirlooms but I really doubt your Grandma would want something she left you to be a hardship in your life.

Our grandparents’ were HUGE on the things in our lives doing a job.

(Its also ok to keep things just because they make us happy, that’s an important job too!)

spring cleaning

Our toaster died a few months ago and we realized that we hardly ever used it… but everyone has a toaster… right?


Another good example was my pots and pans cabinet that I finally tackled.

I ONLY KEPT FOUR… they were the only ones I ever used and it just so totally annoys me that I didn’t do that sooner.

Why did I think I had to keep the whole set?

The whole set in there meant I was constantly stacking, stuffing and fighting to get to the few pans I actually did use!

I let that cabinet annoy the crap out of me for years!


The cliché “junk drawer” is oftentimes a much larger space for us than just a drawer.

How I combat that is also SUCH a cliché but, seriously, you’ll have no idea how many screw drivers you own if they’re in your car, your garage, your shed and in six other locations in your house…

You might be getting rid of an old used one and planning to replace it because you forgot you have three others.

We need to make a place for everything and get everything in that place and if we don’t have the space to do that well, it may be time to realize our current lives do not have a place for it.


We managed to complete the BIG projects by the end of October which was a gift for me of a much less Spring cleaning.


I know this spring cleaning blog post is clearly an encouragement to purge but its ok to keep some things too.

I tend to go too far the other way.

I am thrower, a burner, a tosser…


spring cleaning

I legitimately feel guilty for keeping anything that has no use for us and just takes up storage space.

But this year I gave myself permission to keep some things. Four big bins in fact. We have the storage space – I told myself it was OK and it actually made me feel really good.

I told Lodi, “Those bins just may end up a relative’s problem after I’m gone…”

Maybe someday I’ll have no problem tossing them but, for now, I felt like I gave myself some grace and I accomplished that by not only giving myself permission but also giving myself boundaries: FOUR BINS.


I read once that if you’re having trouble parting with something then stick it in a box, duct tape it shut and put the date of a year’s time on it. (Also write either “Trash” or “Donate” on it depending on what’s in it.)

If, by that date, you never needed anything in the box (and can’t even remember what’s in it) than DO NOT OPEN IT just donate or throw it.

I also find just about everything in our lives do have expiration dates.

Which was why I told Lodi that I actually may be able to part with those bins some day because I’ve found that every time I go through a closet I can get rid of more than I did the last time I went through it.

When I tackled my garage a few years ago I purged a lot and kept what I legitimately wanted to keep…

Oddly enough though some of those things, after another year, I had on problem getting rid of.

Every year after that I’ve found it to be true. Apparently I can only keep something in my life for so long, without using it, until I’m cool with getting rid of it!

But I still have to hold on to it for awhile lol

August 2020 went by far too quickly for my liking. I promised I would kick Spring cleaning and get some things done this month


If you’re having trouble parting with something I actually learned this one from the show Hoarders.

Once you make the decision to get rid of something then don’t touch it again.

Sentimentally touch and smell are two huge triggers for us. If you know for a fact that its time to part with it and you really want to: then don’t hold it again.

(Bring in a buddy to help so you don’t need to.)

I keep a garbage bag lined laundry basket in my closet where I toss clothes I don’t like.

I’m not allowed to touch anything once it goes in the bag!

Once its full I tie it up and donate it.

Clothing, shoes, coats etc. are a real tough one for me. I own a pair of shoes (and still wear them) that I’ve had since I was 11 years old… I’m 36!

Apparently those Skechers were a good investment…

Most of the time, most of my clothing items, are not in good enough shape to donate but those that are really bother my frugal self when I get rid of them.

spring cleaning

I have never once donated a pair of jeans.

I wear my jeans to my day job until they get too shabby for secretary work and then they get retired to house work. They’re usually less denim and more paint / glue / stain (and goodness knows what else) by the time I’m done with them.

Any blankets, bedding, towels, shirts or socks that are too old to be useful for their intended purpose anymore (and are too rough and old to be donated) go directly to our workshop.

The bedding and blankets make great drop cloths. And the shirts, towels and socks are great for staining wood or just wiping up!


I promise that pen that doesn’t work is not going to miraculously start writing again…

Organize and keep all of your pens in only one or two places and make sure they all actually work from time to time. This is a great place to start if you have trouble throwing things away because its totally guilt free.

Adding a wall of plywood, shelves and hay storage for my horse shed along with a solar light! Spring cleaning of tiger lillies blooming

Another thing is our pantries, refrigerators and freezers.

There’s a lot to be said about so called “expiration dates” but, seriously, that three-year-old, half-empty-bottle, of what was once ranch dressing, should probably be thrown away…


Avoid the guilt entirely by being honest about what your household will eat, donate it to your local food pantry before it expires, and never buy it again.

No part of proteins, fruits or vegetables ever need go to waste at all.

Leftover bones make free homemade stock.

All veggie scraps can go in a compost, be used for making stock or out for the critters. (Its quite the sight to see a red squirrel run off with a broccoli stem as big as he is…)

Our critters love fruit and our birds went crazy for the pork fat I put out for them this winter. So, from now on I’ll be freezing any leftover fats we have for them – officially eliminating all of our protein waste!

About once a month I go through our pantry, refrigerator and freezers and take mental note of all of our oldest ingredients and then base our meals around them.

I think we all feel the spring cleaning bug over March, April and May!

Goodbye stuffy winter, hello spring!

Spring cleaning here at Grandma's house always comes with purging for us. Unfortunately I find that purging oftentimes conflicts with us

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  1. Linda G Weaver
    April 3, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    That is a beautiful fur baby you have!

    • April 4, 2022 at 1:57 pm

      Thank you our little Annie is our little luv.

  2. April 5, 2022 at 6:33 am

    Such great inspiration here! I too have a problem getting rid of perfectly useful items but I agree that clutter around the items I actually use is a much bigger problem. Your pot cabinet is the perfect example of this. For me it was measuring spoons….as an avid baker, I had acquired many sets and found that especially around holidays I would actually use the teaspoon and the half teaspoon measure from multiple sets, but why on earth was I keeping 4 each of the 1/4 teaspoons and 1/2 tablespoons?! I ended up pairing down to one complete set and one extra 1/2 teaspoon, one extra tablespoon, and 2 extra teaspoons and haven’t looked back. Now, even if I’m baking up a storm around the holidays, I never run out of clean measuring spoons in the size I actually need. And now that I pulled the extra 20 (I know right…super embarrassing) spoons out, I can actually find what I need immediately! Once I turn on the logical side of my brain I can balance the sentimental much better and actually get things done. Thanks for the inspiration today, I’m realizing I’m now overdue for this years purge. Such a treat hopping with you each month 🙂

    • April 5, 2022 at 9:19 am

      Allison I totally get it! Isn’t it strange how we don’t even think about how much space we’re letting this take up and we don’t even use them? But we’re supposed to keep sets of things together right?! lol humans can be so funny! Its awesome hopping with you every month too, hope you have a great week!

  3. April 6, 2022 at 2:00 pm

    Tara, this is the best post on spring cleaning EVER! Your “We can’t have a whole home filled with our past and expect to be able to move into new days or even be able to fully live in our present” sums it up. Pinning and tweeting!

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