Spring (Cleaning) Is in the Air

By Kathie Miller, GHI Corporate Director of Marketing & Communications


Tips for Cleaning & Downsizing

Spring is in the air. As cherry blossoms peak and daffodils pop up around the DC area, we find ourselves thinking about warmer weather, longer days and, of course, that time-honored annual tradition of spring-cleaning. Yes, that’s right! As flowers bloom and trees bud, it’s time to get out the dust cloths and elbow grease and take the time to spruce up our homes!

You might question my enthusiasm, but I truly look forward to my yearly deep clean. There’s something about a fresh clean home this time of year that gets me going. I appreciate the opportunity to find (and finally clean up) those last remaining pine needles that somehow managed to escape my vacuum for a few months. I also enjoy going through closets, finding new (old) items to donate to charity and giving my home a nice fresh, clean start as we enter the warmer months of the year.

I realize not everyone enjoys this as much as I do, so here are a few tips that might help you find the motivation to get your home ready for spring.

Basic Tips for Getting Clean & Tidy

As you consider tackling the task of cleaning your house this year, you might want to consider these six easy tips, one of which is to get the family involved. What bonds us more than running the vacuum and dusting the shelves? Going through belongings to decide if we still need them.

Family and friends can be a big help when we’re trying to decide what to keep and what to give away. There are also several professional organizers out there willing to give their advice on how to bring order to your home.

You might be familiar with the organization guru Marie Kondo, who recently reached new levels of popularity with the Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” If you don’t connect with Kondo’s “choosing joy” philosophy of home organizing, fear not! The New York Times provides some other approaches that might appeal to you.

Getting Ready to “Rightsize”

For those of you who might be planning to move in the future, perhaps to a smaller house, a condo or one of the Goodwin House Life Plan Communities, spring cleaning presents the perfect opportunity to start tackling that daunting task of “rightsizing” your belongings. Rightsizing is similar to downsizing, though you can do it in your current home or as you plan to change homes. The idea is that you keep what you need and rid yourself of what’s unnecessary.

As you perform the deep clean and review of basic items, consider devoting some time to rightsizing or planning for your next move. AARP offers tips for decluttering as well as ways to sell or get rid of stuff.

Even if you plan to stay in your current home, getting help from an expert on how to organize and rightsize can be super useful. At Goodwin House, we offer workshops to prospective residents and often work with the move experts at TAD Relocation. They even offer complimentary in-home consultations to help you get started.

Additional Trash & Recycling Resources

As you gather items to throw away, some might require special handling. Be sure to check with your local government to know how you can dispose of certain types of belongings. Most city or county government websites list their codes and resources. Here are some local ones for you:


As Director of Marketing & Communications, Kathie Miller provides strategic guidance and tactical support for all areas of the GHI organization. As part of her responsibilities, she manages The Good Life blog and newsletter. Kathie joined GHI after nearly 15 years at NPR, where she honed her skills in brand and reputation management, content marketing and internal communications.