Just as they say, summer bodies are made in the winter, spring cleaning organization starts now too. These expert tips will help you get organized, so your spring cleaning will be a breeze.
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No Winter Blues Here
The feeling of a clean home is comforting to those who live there and reassuring to those who visit.
Anyone else clean when they feel that their mind is cluttered? Only me? Ok, fine. 😀
Naturally, we spend more time inside during the colder months of the year. And, since sundown is earlier, the days feel shorter. But now, the sunset is getting later day by day and it’s the perfect opportunity to get a head start on spring cleaning. It’s time to see what you have and what you don’t need or no longer use.
Divide and Conquer
Make three piles.
2. Make Someone Else Happy
3. Thanks for Your Time on the Planet
The best is to take out two large garbage bags to put items directly into for transport. An added benefit is that once you put something in the bag, it is out of sight. You’ll have less emotional battle during the process. However, if you prefer to make piles instead, that can work too.
Whatever you do, don’t take out more than it would take to put away if a friend suddenly called and said, “Hey, I’m in the neighborhood. I’ll see you in 10 minutes.”
In other words, keep it manageable, and you won’t get overwhelmed.
Spring Into Action
When we see too much in front of us, we can get distracted by memories, the dust or whatever else comes to mind. The memories can take us completely out of our element and before we know it, 20 minutes has gone by reminiscing.
Take out a small bit and get it done. Just like taking small bites of food is healthier, so is this method of cleaning out and organizing your home. It’s important to stay positive. Often, sifting through items we haven’t seen or used in months (or longer) can set off negative thoughts like a switch.
- Look at this dust. Can’t I even keep my house clean?
- How will I ever be able to fit into this again!
- I’ll never get all of this under control!
Don’t even let that negative thinking begin. Let’s get back to our three piles. Very quickly, go through as much as you can in ten minutes. Sort the items between the three piles. Here’s my sure-fire method to make your spring cleaning organization worth every second and to get through it painlessly:
The “Keepers” – If you like it, use it and it makes you feel good, then it’s a keeper. Everything else gets divided between the other two piles:
The “Make Someone Else Happy” pile.
The “Thanks for Your Time on the Planet” pile.
Remember, if it is an object, you can always take a digital photo of it. This works especially well with school work or kid’s adorable handwriting in those 20 year-old workbooks. (Oh, just me again. Ok!)
Eliminating what you truly don’t need (IOW, what you finally decide to let go of), will free up some physical space, and likely some psychological space too.
Now, if you’ve sorted those things and you feel like you can do more, go for it. But remember, only take out 10 minutes worth at a time. Use a timer if it helps. Everyone can do something for 10 minutes. You won’t get overwhelmed and the room won’t turn into a disaster.
Getting Organized Now Will Keep It Under Control Later
Just read on and these spring cleaning organization tips will help you!
For storage, whether it’s seasonal clothing, shoes, or keepsakes like photo albums and personal items, I love using clear boxes on wheels. I keep two shorter storage boxes filled with shoes under my dresser.
You can see what’s in there without even opening it. They are easy to wipe down and the wheels make it a breeze to move them from room to room or to slide them under the bed.
Some boxes, I rarely open, like my Passover supplies storage boxes. I keep a list of its contents and a “To Buy” list inside the box facing out. That way, I can remind myself of what’s in there and what I need for the upcoming holiday without even having to open it. This becomes very handy during Passover preparations, but we’ll save that for another blog post which you can read right here.
Start in the cabinet that you use most often. If that stained set of warped food containers with another 72 pieces that you rarely use is causing a daily struggle to get something out of the cabinet, then give it a “Thanks for Your Time on the Planet” and put it out to be recycled. Better to invest in a set of Rubbermaid containers with sizes that you will actually use.
Is your silverware drawer so heavy that its breaking the drawer glide? Perhaps you need a new clean kitchen drawer organizer. As you are switching everything over or cleaning your current drawer organizer, look at what you actually use, and put only those items away.
One of my favorite things in my kitchen is what I have dubbed, “The Work Station.” It’s a portable (and very narrow) kitchen cart that sits between my sink and my stove. On it, I can easily get to my most used items like salt, pepper, olive oil, pot holders and trivets. But the most handy part is this is where I also keep my most used cooking utensils in a ceramic container that I picked up at a florist when I was getting some orchids (my favorites!). It’s large enough to hold my set of silicon kitchen utensils and I have another for my wooden utensils, that clean up very well.
The Work Station helps me keep everything organized and easily in reach while I am cooking. It also helps me save water and avoid dry hands, since I don’t have to wash them each time I need to take something out of a cabinet or drawer. (Tip: I always keep some hand lotion by the sink. Your hands will thank you for this).
Declutter to Make Your Spring Cleaning a Breeze
One of the places that easily gets cluttered is the bathroom. Small bathroom cabinets quickly become packed with makeup and skin care products. That nail polish color that you love that you haven’t worn in more than two years……say bye-bye. Check your makeup for expiration dates or if it’s been open longer than the suggested length of time on the package, it’s time to get rid of it.
I have a front loading washer and dryer, so that I can make use of the top. The washer top usually stays completely empty. The dryer, which is in the back corner of the bathroom, is where I keep some supplies that don’t fit in a cabinet. My hairdryer, makeup bag, face cream and other items I use on a daily basis all stay there.
The trick to keeping everything neat and clean is two clear plastic bathroom storage containers. It makes it a breeze to wipe things down. Instead of having to move a bunch of items, I can simply lift, spray and wipe.
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Organization is Liberation
Shoes – Take a good look at what you’ve got and get rid of shoes that aren’t comfortable. If you want to wear a certain pair, but always decide to wear the other shoes that aren’t as nice but are more comfortable, then you know it’s time to send them to the “Make Someone Else Happy” bag.
While you are at it, is that costume jewelry or men’s tie (which you hadn’t even seen for the last year) something that you forgot you even had? Is that scarf nubby and itchy? You know what to do! Quickly put that jewelry in the “Make Someone Else Happy” bag and stick that scarf in the “Thanks for Your Time on the Planet” bag.
Younger nieces and nephews will enjoy those things, while you’ll enjoy a bit more breathing space.
Roll With It Into Spring
By the time spring rolls around, you’ll be in a much better position to get that spring cleaning done. But you won’t have to wait for the benefits to kick in. Each day, from now on, you will experience the joy of having a bit more space, less stress because it’s easier to clean and the positive feelings associated with getting good things done.
In 10-minute spurts of spring cleaning organization, you will be able to accomplish more than if you set out to do a complete overhaul, which never seems to get started. Stay positive and just keep imagining each room the way you want it, and before long, your spring cleaning organization will be something you look forward to.