Spring is magical. Especially spring in Maine. It’s not all flip flops and apple blossoms here. It’s more like walking on pallets and balancing on planks to get into your house. Desperately trying to keep your mud room from literally becoming a mud room and saving small children from having the boots sucked off their feet. The expression “Spring is in the air” means something different in this neck of the woods. What you are smelling is in fact a combination of waterlogged lawn blended with thawing dog poop from a long winter’s worth of bathroom breaks.
Spring is what happens here between 10 foot snow banks and 20 below 0 temperatures that transition into lush, green lawns and 70 degree days. It’s the adolescence of the seasons, the awkward in between time. It’s indoor Easter egg hunts and not taking your snow tires off until May. It’s going to the grocery store in Muck boots and also to your child’s band concert. It’s springtime in Maine.
Despite the flaws, spring is really a great time. It’s a promise of better days ahead. The days of bare feet, campfires, and sleeping with the windows open. Spring is hope. It gives us all something more to look forward to, the light at the end of the tunnel. I look forward to hanging my first load of laundry on the line, cleaning out my flower gardens, and picking up all of the limbs that were ripped from the trees during the harsh winter winds. I look forward to turning the heat off and letting the sun warm the house. It’s spring cleaning, the time of the year when the windows fly open and the decluttering begins.
Decluttering is an essential part of saving money. It seems strange how getting rid of things can actually save money, but it’s true. You stumble upon so many things you forgot you had and find things you wonder why you ever kept in the first place. When you are able to get rid of things you no longer need, you free up more space for the things you want to keep. Have you ever bought something you already owned because you just had no idea where it was when you needed it? It’s so much easier to know where things are when you have less. It feels good to let go of things you no longer have a use for. I am guilty of hoarding away things for future projects. Keeping things that could be used down the road is great, but only if, A. You have the space and, B. You are organized enough to find it when you need it.
When you come across things you are willing to part with, set up 3 boxes one for donating, selling, and trash. Very little goes into my trash box because if it has any purpose left, I won’t throw it away. I often think of someone who might be able to use it and give it to them. They may very well throw it away after I leave, but I have a clear conscience knowing that I have found a good home for it. You can make a little extra money selling things you no longer need. Garage sales are fun, but a lot of work. Selling things on Facebook classifieds sites or Craigslist are good options too, but please take good pictures (try to keep the background free of ashtrays, kids in diapers, dirty laundry, or any other questionable items that aren’t for sale). All of the rest can be dropped off at a charity thrift store and you’ll be amazed at what an incredibly freeing feeling it is to get rid of things you don’t need!
These warm, sunny days and chirping birds may have you thinking about shaving your legs, painting your toenails pink, and putting on those flip flops, but remember to toss your boots in the backseat. There’s at least a 30% chance of snow in the forecast. Happy Spring!