Use this time during the pandemic as an opportunity to tidy up your home.

Tom Kalinski, RE/MAX of Boulder

Summer is a good time to get your house in order, especially with the start of the school year approaching fast. This year offers a fresh perspective on what you do and don’t need, since “normal” is no longer here and “adjusting” is the rule of the day. The silver lining of our pandemic summer is a welcome opportunity to pare down and clean out.

Here are five areas of your home ripe for easy cleaning and the opportunity for finding joy in having less clutter in your closets, first published by

Remove unused office clothing
With our ongoing work-from-home status, you may find your closet overflowing with things you can’t imagine ever wearing again – even when the office does open up. Take advantage of that new-found outlook and pare down. Trash any clothing with holes or stains and sell or donate the rest. Boulder has a few local consignment shops to tap into such as Plato’s Closet and Rags Consignment. Be aware, they are particular about condition and brands. For the apparel they don’t want, donate them to Goodwill or Salvation Army.

Donate excess canned goods
Remember when it felt as if we might never shop for fresh veggies again? With grocery stores mostly back to full stock, it’s time to get rid of some of the extra canned goods we all wisely bought. Make an honest assessment of the canned and boxed items you will never use and donate them to our local food banks.

Recycle takeout freebies
It’s been good to support our local restaurants by buying takeout during this period. But all of that delivery filled our kitchens with free utensils, condiment packets, and the takeout containers they all came in. While you may use some of those things, you’re not likely to use them all. Clear out your cabinets and make them feel more orderly by getting rid of these items – either by recycling, or possibly the food bank will accept unopen condiments and utensils.

Banish broken art and office supplies
Parents end up with a stockpile of broken crayons, eraser-less pencils, and markers that may or may not work. It’s time to throw out those that don’t work. And with kids at home who need something to do besides banking more screen time, make it a contest to see who can find something worth keeping – with a high bar for what to keep, of course.

Recycle delivery packaging
This is one of the biggest downsides to online shopping – the waste of packaging. Even though Amazon has recently committed to “right-sizing” the box to fit the package, we still receive far too many cardboard boxes and wrapping. So until Amazon starts picking up the empties, or providing places to drop them off, it’s best to go ahead and recycle them now.

For more ideas on what to clear from your house, see the full list at:

By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in residential and commercial real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit