Spring Cleaning (Finally) at Our Little House

Winter clothes out, summer clothes in

This week has all about organizing.

Well, in between the numerous tornado warnings (we are fine).

I have never been the greatest organizer and although living in Our Little House demands better organizing, it just isn’t happening.

Maybe it is too many years of having a larger house that had numerous places to throw things, such as an empty bedroom, stairs and a larger kitchen table.

At any rate, Our Little House, as well as The Belle Writer’s Studio, had become a disaster since my last seasonal cleaning.

Mail cluttered the kitchen table, my table I set up in the studio for taxes took overflow and books were stacked on every available surface.

I began the week by doing the bi-annual rotation of clothes. It just had not been consistently warm enough, even here in the south, to get out the summer wear until now. And I’m still not sure now as it is only to get into the low 60s today.

I do love my summer wear. Whenever I pull my brightly colored cotton pants and shirts from storage, it feels like I’m reuniting with old friends.

I then moved to the office where I began putting away books onto the shelves, which are full. This shouldn’t be a problem in the future as I bought my long awaited Kindle this week!

Clearing the kitchen and portable table and putting the table away will be my next chore. I’ve also noticed that I need to get off of some more mailing lists. I did some this week and will share how you can clear your life of paper next week.

My last task this week will include painting that mailbox we bought and hanging it, which will prevent (in theory) any more mail clutter from hitting the kitchen table.

After the holiday, my surroundings will be clear and I’ll be officially ready for the summer season.

Happy Memorial Day to all of my readers in the U.S.!

Do you do a spring cleaning, rotation of clothes and clearing of clutter? Tell us about it.



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41 Responses

  1. Kelly says:

    I need to go through this place again. We moved from an 11-room, 200 yr old Victorian in IL to this 3 bdrm (questionable) ranch in southcentral MO 4 years ago. Pitched A TON… everything fit here fine. Then we had to shift everything to make room for the daughter and granddaughter to move in temporarily. They’re gone but I still can’t seem to get this place back to the way it was. Little by little.

    • kerri says:

      Having people move in can throw you off with with organization. You’ll get back to it, as you say, it will just take time!

  2. Kelly says:

    Hi Kerri

    Found your blog through MotherEarthNews eZine. Love it! I need to scan your posts to see if you have anything on your studio. I am a writer as well.. just east of Springfield MO about 100 miles.

    did you know there’s a writers conference in Eureka Springs AR?

    • kerri says:

      HI, Kelly and welcome! I Haven’t heard of that conference. Please post some details.

  3. Christine says:

    I would like to do a spring cleaning, myself. We just moved, so in a sense we have been trying to pare things down all year, but with four young ones, things do accumulate and I find it really, really stressful.

    • kerri says:

      Hi, Christine! I’m sure chasing 4 little ones and having the clutter from kids is stressful. I’ve heard a lot of mothers say that “The Fly Lady” helps them. You might check out her website.

  4. I’m jealous. I want to be Spring cleaning. I think it’s great to declutter, get rid of clothes, and improve your space. But I’m so busy running around after the kids and just trying to clean up the messes (not successfully) that I haven’t spent a second on anything remotely equivalent to “deep” cleaning…

    • kerri says:

      Enjoy it now, Jennifer. You will have plenty of time to clean when your kids are grown. 🙂

  5. SABLE says:

    Well before the weather warms, I have good intentions but as soon as it gets warm enough the outdoors calls and I just can’t resist. So my plans to de-clutter and re-organize are in progress, but that progress is very slow. Oh well! Enjoying nature is so much more pleasant and results in a peaceful contentment that lingers long after I head back indoors.

    Happy Spring and Summer!

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, I know, SABLE, it is going slow here too, but I really need to get it done this weekend. Happy Spring and Summer to you as well!

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, I know, SABLE, it is going slow here too, but I really need to get it done this weekend. Happy Spring and Summer to you as well!

  6. tammy says:

    i love tiny house blogs and living! i own a little cottage…1000 sq ft..small in the housing industry, but huge in the tiny house realm. however, i live small, if you know what i mean. i cannot breathe with a lot of unecessary clutter around me. seriously, in some people’s houses i find myself holding my breath! your house sounds cluttered, for someone who is trying to live small. i have my clothes whittled down to 40 pieces, and there’s room for both winter and summer because of that. it’s great! and i’m with you on the pretty colors. tho i do love autumn. i wish i could own a tiny house. am a 65 yr old widow and since finance-wise now unfeasible for me to hunt land, build, etc… guess i can still dream of one! good luck to you.

    • Kerri says:

      HI, Tammy, Welcome to Living Large! I’m not a minimalist, that is definite, but we have paired down our belongings significantly from moving from our 1,100 sq. ft. home in the city. Clothes and books are probably my biggest problems when it comes to having “too much.” Keep on dreaming, you never know what you can do unless you keep dreaming!

  7. Jane Boursaw says:

    Oy, I SO need to dive into some spring cleaning around here. And spring finally seems to have arrived, so I don’t have that excuse anymore. Good on you, Kerri.

  8. Merr says:

    Here in CA some of the winter clothes kinda blur into spring clothes, and summer into fall. And yet, I’m still wearing my down coat to walk the dog in the morning, it’s that cold!

  9. Kristen says:

    Yup, you’re right it’s spring cleaning time. I have tiny closets so I definitely have to carefully swap out clothes from one season to another. Oh, and I was hanging out during two tornado watches this week too. Let’s hope there’s no more for awhile. My dog is getting absolutely bonkers from the sirens.

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, thank goodness my dogs cannot hear the sirens. Just the alarms on the weather radio and thunder. That’s enough. Good luck with your spring cleaning!

  10. I’m overdue in putting my wool clothes in storage. Any advice about keeping moths away?

    • Kerri says:

      The thing that has always worked best for me, Ruth, is to put my wool things in my cedar chest. Or, if you don’t have a cedar chest, how about a storage box with some of those cedar balls?

  11. Frugal Kiwi says:

    We need access to layers all year round here in northern New Zealand, so we don’t have a big change in wardrobe just a reshuffling of what’s on top. I recently had a big clean of the house but that was more to do with renovations than any sort of Autumn Cleaning.

    • Kerri says:

      That’s interesting, Frugal. I didn’t know that about your part of the world. So, it can be chilly there even in the summer?

  12. Christina says:

    Right now, we are planning to move by the end of summer so I am going through everything! I started at the top and there is practically nothing left in the attic right now! I went through the kids’ rooms (while they were in school) and got rid of all the silly stuff that accumulates in corners: Happy Meal toys, the junk they “had to have” from the Dollar Store, etc. Then, I attacked the kitchen. I had to face facts, just how many plates does a family of four need? Okay, a few extra IF we have guests, which is a rarity! And all those casserole dishes: GONE! I kept a set of Pyrex and got rid of everything! My motto was: if I haven’t used it in 6 months, it was outta here! I cleared out 3 cabinets and that was 3 months ago! I haven’t missed anything that hit the road! But now, the big finale: the BASEMENT! Where everything goes be forgotten and out of sight, out of mind. I am putting it off but it must happen! Luckily I have a wonderful friend who will come by with his truck and haul away all the trash I pile up! God bless him! Now, if I could just descend the steps……..

    • Kerri says:

      That is actually a very good rule, Christina. If you haven’t used it in 6 months, you usually will not miss it. Good luck with that basement and those stairs! 🙂

  13. I have not yet done my seasonal clothing rotation because it’s still just too bloody cold here to put away all my sweaters! Our house has a large walk in closet for storing seasonal clothes, so if temps here ever get above fifty degrees, I’ll be making use of it.

    We moved into this house last fall and I’m ashamed to say that I still have boxes I haven’t gone through- mostly papers that just need to be for the most part, discarded. Organization is an ongoing challenge for me, wish I came by it naturally like my German grandmother, but it’s always a struggle for me to deal with piles- whether paper, clothing or miscellaneous. I often watch those programs about “hoarders” and think “there but for the grace of God…” I think it’s a fear of becoming completely out of control with “stuff” that keeps me at least somewhat determined to manage and eliminate clutter as much as possible.

    • mat says:

      We have a serious paper management problem at our house too. I think I still have egg-boxes worth of grade-school art projects, report carts, etc, that my mom saved and no longer has room for.

      • Kerri says:

        Well, if there is anything that I hate worse, it is the paper clutter. Good luck with that, Kathleen! Mat, I’m sure there are some report cards stashed in cedar chests in one of our storage buildings!

  14. Sheryl says:

    I love when I am organized (which is rare). Despite that fact, I am constantly struggling with trying to achieve an organized office and closet. I’m just one of those people for whom it does NOT come naturally, shall we say…

  15. sarah henry says:

    Love a good clean up — find it therapeutic, especially after a big deadline. About to go tackle my disaster of a desk.

  16. mat says:

    The last year or so has seen a clothing revolution in our house–both the wife and I donated all the clothes that we knew wouldn’t fit again or we just didn’t wear enough to justify keeping. But somehow, the attic closet (the house came with an old cedar closet built under the eave) doesn’t seem any less cluttered. I suspect that the drawer-style bins we were using are mostly empty and we’re leaving the large tote bins in front of them full of clothes. Go figure.
    But yes, it’s time for us to rotate our winter clothes out too. We were still dealing with 60-degree weather just a week ago–and in fact when we were camping last weekend, the mornings and evenings were cold enough that I could see my breath. But no more! It’s going to be in the mid-80s (today will flirt with 90) all week and into the forseeable future.
    On top of it all, our son is really having allergy issues, so we’re cleaning the house from top to bottom this weekend and getting him a hypoallergenic pillow…perhaps a new mattress (manufactured a couple of blocks from our house). After all that work, we might have to treat ourselves to a dinner we don’t have to cook….

    • Kerri says:

      I failed to write that I insisted Dale go through his t-shirts, jeans and socks last weekend as well. Like a little kid, he complained, but got it done. We lived in our house in the city for nearly 20 years and that was the first time the man ever sat down and went through clothes. I reminded him we just don’t have the room here to keep accumulating! Anyway, he put away several pairs of jeans he cannot wear (it’s a start) and we threw away numerous very worn clothes that wouldn’t have even made good rags. Go for that dinner mat, I think you deserve it! 🙂

      • mat says:

        It’s funny how many t-shirts and shorts, jeans, etc, we had accumulated over the years and pounds. I bet there’s still more t-shirts that I could get rid of. I think I still have one or two from college that look like they’ve been through a war. But funny enough, a pair of sweatpants I’ve had for every bit of 20 years finally gave up the ghost this past winter. It was the USA/Olympics brand…I wonder if they’re still made anymore–I could use another pair.

  17. Olivia says:

    Yes, I rotate my clothing as well. I am hyper organised and that, combined with my love of minimalism, dictates that my closet looks as empty and neat as possible. (DH’s half is another story – shudder). Of course, now that I have switched to “summer” wardrobe, it would be nice to be able to wear it without having to add a layer of fleece on top. I refuse to get out my winter clothing again as I already have to wear it too much of the year. My ancestors clearly picked the wrong climate for me.

    You are so brave to live in “tornado alley”, Kerri. I hope you stay safe. I’m willing to suffer ongoing winter if it means no tornadoes. I’m just afraid of the approaching hurricane season but as least hurricanes give more warning than tornadoes.

    • Kerri says:

      Yes, I’ll be posting about tornado alley next week, Olivia! I am wearing one of the long sleeved t’s I reserved from storage. It’s chilly today!

  18. Christi says:

    I too, do a seasonal rotation of my clothing. I have a hard time letting go of my clothes and probably should donate some of them, but I keep thinking I’ll wear them. Since this horrible tornado in Joplin and I’m sure we’ll start seeing the gathering of clothing for them, I think I’ll go through my things…..they are just things…and send them on to someone who needs them worse than I do 🙂 And like you, it’s been hard to go completly to the summer clothes….the weather has just been too darned cool yet. We are also in the Bull Shoals area….in fact…we are the closest house to the dam which, right now is roaring with the release of water! I’ve enjoyed reading about your downsizing and all of your ideas….who doesn’t need some good ideas!

    • Kerri says:

      Helllo, Neighbor! Good to hear from you here, Christi! Yes, my husband works with some guys who live your way and they say the roar of the dam, even well into Bull Shoals is deafening. I caught a wonderful photo of all of the gates when they were open in 2008. And here we didn’t think we would ever see that again! Thanks for being a part of Living Large!

  1. May 28, 2011

    […] Living Large In Our Little House , Archive » Spring Cleaning … On top of it all, our son is really having allergy issues, so we're cleaning the house from top to bottom this weekend and getting him a hypoallergenic pillow…perhaps a new mattress (manufactured a couple of blocks from […]