Spring Cleaning: Organization Tips and TricksMarch 14, 2017
For many of us, winter can be a bit maddening and we may be chomping at the bit to get outside and do some spring-cleaning. If you live up North, however, it may be a while before the snow melts and you can begin cleaning up the exterior. Until then, here are some tips to organize the interior of your home so you can have a fresh, clean home to start a beautiful new spring.
Where Does Your Clutter Gather?
Identifying your go-to clutter areas is the first step towards establishing an annual spring cleaning routine. For example, where in your home do you head after picking up the mail? Do you have a favorite end table in the entryway? Or perhaps the kitchen counter? Neither of these need to be bastions for that unopened mail.
Often, clutter results from the various everyday tasks we leave abandoned about the house. Instead of going through the mail, we may become distracted by something more fun. Sometimes unfavorable mail may spark immediate attention. Over time, we form habits to release us from the everyday mail obligation.The kitchen counter will always accept the unwanted letters – unless you find a more appropriate solution.
One Room at a Time
Take on one room at a time. This way you can stay focused and work methodically. Start with your bedroom. It’s where you sleep and decluttering it will help you rest better. Plus, it may need the most decluttering. It’ll also give you a chance to begin moving your winter and spring clothes.
Once you have filled a donation box, or more, and moved all of your off-season clothing to storage, it’s time to dust and vacuum. Then, wash the bed sheets. Once your bedroom is clean and peaceful, move to a whole different spot, like the bathroom. As long as you work thoughtfully and logically, you will have a spotless home before you know it.
Donate and Destroy to Minimize Potential Clutter
Taking a good hard look at your belongings is a crucial part of spring cleaning. This tip is all about ridding your home of the things you could do without.
When you just can’t decide, there are a few tricks that can simplify the process. For instance, asking your partner or a friend to pare down for you. It may be tough, but others are always more willing to part with your things than you are. Another tactic is to ask yourself how many months have gone by without using the particular items on the chopping block. A good rule of thumb is: if you haven’t used it in a year, chuck it. If it has a sentimental value, “take a picture it’ll last longer.” It also takes up significantly less space.
You should have a donation box on hand when you are cleaning. This way, you have a specific place to put things you don’t need anymore. Plus, it won’t be put back or lost along the way. When you fill a donation box, you should donate it as soon as possible. By doing so, you’ll remove clutter from your home faster and you won’t be tempted to look through the box and talk yourself into keeping things you “might need one day”.
While you have a donation box, you should also have a trash can with you. This will make it easier to pitch old paperwork, wrapping, and other odds and ends that have found a spot in your home. If you have any old tax papers or bank statements, be sure to shred them and dispose of them safely. You do not want to have to worry about your information being stolen.
While it may not be fun, you should take a look at your budget and work through your expenses. In doing so, you can “trim the fat” and save where possible or invest in something that you use every day or love.
Fun Habits Make Clean Homes
Establishing replacement habits is the second stage of clutter-busting. Mail in hand, mindfully step over the threshold and hesitate before letting it drop on the counter. Sort it, placing anything important that must be attended to into an organized, labeled, container. Everything else can promptly be recycled. Keep it interesting! Leave little notes for yourself at the hotspots as a reminder. Get creative: signs that say “the counter is made of lava” are a fun way to eliminate clutter without being too hard on yourself.
While some people use apps, excel sheets, or other electronically based organizational tools, you may find keeping a binder and notebook is best for you. This could help keep everything in one place. Plus, writing it down will make the budget that much more concrete in your mind.