DIY Home + Garden

Published on January 22nd, 2011 | by Wenona Napolitano


Early Eco Spring Cleaning with a Side of Craftiness

recycling binsThe holidays are over, the excitement of the new year has dwindled down and the winter blahs are setting in. It always happens to me around this time, lethargy or restlessness kick in. Some days my restlessness can’t be contained.

So what’s my cure? I start spring cleaning early.

Starting early gives me plenty of time to sort and decide where everything is going to go. If I wait for spring then it’ll be time to work in my garden and a thorough cleaning won’t get done. This extra time also let’s me clean and sort in an eco-conscious and creative way.

To begin, I sort through everything and make three piles:

1. Recycling. I try to recycle everything that can be recycled. Paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and old batteries. These items go in separate containers to be carted off to the recycling facilities.

2. Donations. Next I make piles of things to be donated to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or a local church. Items like clothing, toys and household goods go in this pile.

3. Makeover. And my last pile is where my craftiness comes into play. This is my makeover pile, it contains all the stuff that could use a little upcycling or maybe just a creative redo, like a fresh coat of paint or maybe an entire strip down and refinish.

I love redoing furniture and breathing new life into old objects. This is the year I plan to live craftily and finish all my started projects and all the other projects in my crafty to-do list. If I don’t finish my projects this year then everything gets sent to Goodwill in next year’s crazy crafty spring cleaning session.

What kind of creative spring cleaning ideas or solutions are you going to do this year?

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About the Author

Wenona is married with three crazy kids that range in age from 4 to 18. She is a freelance writer, poet and the author of The Everything Green Wedding Book. She enjoys reading, writing, crafting and gardening. She tries to do all of these as "greenly" as possible. Her writing has appeared in several local and regional publications, Pack O Fun, Today's Creative Home Arts, and Indiana Living Green magazines as well as numerous online sites including,,, eHow, Associated Content, Suite101 and

One Response to Early Eco Spring Cleaning with a Side of Craftiness

  1. Jessica says:

    Good idea! When I get around to cleaning up I always have those three piles – chuck it, donate it, and keep it for craft. Never moved to your step of designated bins for it but I think maybe I should do that this year!

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