These clutter-free tips are from Shelley Herod of Designing Women, LLC.

Well it’s March, and that means it’s time to start the spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is simply the time of year that we can tidy up our homes a little more than what we do on a weekly basis. It allows us to freshen up our homes for the warmer months ahead.

The biggest step to spring cleaning is getting rid of clutter. Once the clutter is gone, the cleaning process is much simpler. I started using a method a few years ago that I found very helpful when departing with my “valuable stuff” — I call it the bin system. All you need is four plastic storage bins with labels: trash, donations, storage, and find a home.

*Trash- Just like it sounds; it needs to go in the trash. These items are determined to be broken, torn and/or useless to anyone.

*Donate- Generally this container holds treasures that you “might use someday.” However, to someone else this could be just what they are searching for. This container is also where you place items that you would like to sell in the next garage sale.

*Storage- These are items that you need throughout the year but not on a regular basis.  Examples of these items are out of season clothing, holiday décor, camping equipment, etc. Make sure when you store these items that you place similar items in the same container and label the containers of their content.

*Find a Home- Many of us already have this container on the stairs, the kitchen counters, the dining room, etc. But that is not very appealing to look at everyday. These objects simply need to be put away instead of in a holding cell until someone breaks down and carries them to their proper resting place. If you cannot determine a good place for items in this container, then you might need to reconsider if these are really necessary essentials.

I travel from room to room with my bins searching through closets, drawers, cabinets and storage boxes. The most effective way to get this project accomplished is to determine ahead of time which rooms you would like to conquer on a particular day. After the day’s work is complete, dispose of trash immediately, take the donation bin to the garage, load and label the containers for storage, and deliver items in the Find a Home box to there proper places. This will help you not second guess your decisions.

Wow! That was a big step in the right direction. Spring cleaning is not really about the weekly dusting and vacuuming, but rather those chores that only need attention about once or twice a year. So, now that the clutter has been removed take a walk around your home with a notebook. In each room make a specific list of items that need attention. For example: clean and defrost refrigerator and freezer, polish tarnished silver, reorganizing the pantry and cabinets, change the filters in your furnace and air conditioner, clean out gutters, wash down outdoor furniture, wash windows, organize the garage, touch up paint inside and outside of the house, replace torn screens, polish wood floors, dust floral arrangements, etc. From your lists determine which rooms will get attention on which days. Trying to conquer everything at once will be overwhelming, so having a plan will allow you to make accomplishments throughout the process.

With determination and a plan the process will be over before you know it. Then you can sit back and enjoy the results!

Contact Shelley for any decorating needs at 770-235-5640.

Shelley Herod is the owner and designer for Designing Women, LLC from Woodstock, Georgia. She has been a local designer for the past 20 years. She graduated from Butler University  with a degree in merchandising and design. Shelley is a certified home stager and recently was selected by Executive Who’s Who. She is the veteran interior designer to the Junior Service League of Woodstock Christmas Home Tour, where she has been active for the past 10 years. She also works with wedding and special event venues as design coordinator to make dreams become reality. Designing Women is an active member of the The Atlanta Bridal Connection. Shelley can be reached at (770) 235-5640 or on her Facebook page: Designing Women.