Vail Valley: Spring cleaning restores a home’s energy |

Vail Valley: Spring cleaning restores a home’s energy

Karen Petersen
Living Energy
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Spring cleaning is the perfect time to clean out, reorganize our Vail Valley homes and refresh the energy of our homes and our lives.

To free up the energy we need to reclaim space in our homes, we need to get organized so we don’t become overwhelmed by the process. As with all difficult tasks, taking it one step at a time generally works better. If there is too much stuff in our space, our lives and energy become stagnant.

Ready? You can e-mail me at and I will forward you this form as an excel worksheet.

Step One: Get a pad of paper and label each piece of paper with a room, such as “Living Room.”

Step two: Make your inventory list. Begin to draw a cross grid column sheet with the inventory line items across the top grid of the paper, and then several columns running cross grid down the page:

1st category:

1. Do I love it?

2. Do I use it?

3. Do I need it?

4. Do I have enough room for it?

Place a check mark in all of the questions and answer “yes “or “no”. Total your answers between “yes” and “no”.

The general rule of thumb is only keep the item if you have answered “yes” to three out of the four questions. Then categorize it by placing it in one of the columns going down the page:

2nd category:

1. Keep

2. Family mementos to store (Photos, kid’s drawings grandma’s tea pot, etc.)

3. Paperwork to organize (Bill paying, medical records, tax receipts, etc.)

4. Sell

5. Donate

6. Recycle

7. Trash

Check the appropriate column for each item.

Often we hold onto things “just in case we need them.” The general rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it or worn it in the past year, get rid of it.

We also hang onto things because of our personal attachment to them So if it has personal meaning, take pictures of these items, store them on a CD disk and file it in a box labeled “memories,” and get rid of the actual item. It will take up a lot less space and you can revisit those items when nostalgic moments occur.

Then get to work and, room by room, start to eliminate things. Don’t get overwhelmed. Do one room at a time. Go to another room as time and energy allow until you get to the garage or basement.

Save the hardest for last. Garages and basements can become the worst place for clutter. Ski equipment, bikes, sporting equipment, junk – things we don’t know what to do with – get piled up in these areas.

For the remaining items you want to keep: get several large stacking clear cartons, (Wal-Mart is good place to buy these) and fill them with like items, such as wrapping paper, sporting equipment, garden tools, snow gear, etc., and take pictures of each item as you are putting it into the carton and tape to the outside of the carton so you know what is in there without having to go through each container when you are looking for an item. Get shelves that will support these cartons and put them up and out of the way.

It will take time to reclaim your space, just as it took time to fill up. Follow the same procedure for your closets. Get clear shoe boxes and flat organizing hangers. This will create a lot of extra space on your hanging racks.

If you really want to get organized, arrange by colors and season and put like items together: pants , dresses, shirts, skirts, suits, etc. It makes putting outfits together much easier too.

Make sure you recycle all salvageable materials to keep your project “green.” There are recycle outlets in Vail, Avon, Edwards and Eagle, so there is no excuse not to use them. Habitat for Humanity and The Thrift Store in Edwards are great places for donations.

There are also several consignment stores in the Valley. For clothes, make an appointment with Ritzy Recalls and Holy Toledo. For furniture call Treasures or The Nest. These are my personal favorite stores to shop at.

Stay on task and you will be amazed at the extra energy in your life when you get organized and de-clutter.

Karen Petersen is a certified feng shui consultant specializing in helping people to organize the energy in their homes. She is the owner of Black Diamond Realty and can be reached at 970-476-4414 or by e-mail at Visit her website at

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