Spring Cleaning for an Organized Life
Friday, March 14, 2014
Too many of us fall into the habit of doing massive cleans every spring just to clear out all of the junk that has piled up all year, just to fall back into old habits of mess and clutter. This year, plan your spring cleaning right - don't just rearrange, organize. You'll find that an organized house is easier to keep neat, meaning less work for you in the long run. We've compiled our top tips to help you put together a house that stays immaculate all year long.
1. Make a plan of attack
It might look overwhelming when you first set out to clean out your house in the spring. The best way to deal with all of the chaos is to map out a strategy and tackle one part at a time. Maria Gracia with Get Organized Now! recommends that you plan out a week of cleaning, broken down into just one hour per day. Your strategy might look like this:
- Monday: Clear items off all of your surfaces
- Tuesday: Dust and wash your surfaces
- Wednesday: Organize your drawers and shelves
- Thursday: Sweep and vacuum
- Friday: Wash your bedding and sofa cases
- Saturday: Decorate and organize
- Sunday: Enjoy a martini and a good book (disclaimer: yeah right)
2. Eliminate junk ruthlessly
It's hard to part with your belongings, even that old, washed-out band t-shirt that you haven't worn in years. Clutter has to go, though, and if you don't get rid of it now, you'll just be back to tripping over it six weeks later. Now is the best time to get rid of all that old junk you never use anymore. Take out a couple of trash bags, and fill them with anything you don't use anymore. When you're done, donate it to a local charity, like the Salvation Army, to be rid of it for good. If you're thrifty, you may find a couple of things that could fetch some money. Second hand stores will sometimes buy items that are in good condition, or you can sell it on eBay.
3. Don't neglect the closets
Your closets are where you file away many of the things that you use every day, so you have to make sure that they are well organized if you want them to be functional. For clothes, try this - take everything out and get rid of anything you know you don't wear. For everything else, hang it back up with the hanger facing the wrong way, open side toward the door. Whenever you wear something, put it back in the closet the right way. Six months from now, look back at your closet. Anything still hung up the wrong way has to go.
If your closet is getting full of shoes - and who could blame you - consider buying a shoe organizer. Shoe organizers are usually cheap - under $15 - and they're worth it for all the time and energy that they will save you. Our favorites are the kind that hang on the inside of a closet door, letting you look at all your shoes in two or three neat lines.
4. Put likes with likes
The secret to successful organization is to group things together. Think up some categories that describe the items in your home, and choose a spot for each category. Instead of having several junk drawers, you should strive to have an office drawer, a small tools drawer and a bills drawer for example. Once you have your descriptions, go through your house collecting all of the odds and ends that are out of place - clear off surfaces and empty everything out of all your drawers, the works. It's a big undertaking to put everything back, but trust us - it will be worth it.
5. Make organization fun
Cleaning and organizing your house doesn't have to be a dull chore, but it will be if you treat it like one. Put on some music or your favorite TV show - just don't get distracted. The time will pass much more quickly if you are enjoying yourself. If your family isn't helping you out already, they should be. Not only will the work be done that much faster, but organization concerns them as well, and you might all have fun working together. For little ones, assign each one a small task and make it a race!
While you're doing the responsible thing, make sure that you are also being responsible as a renter or homeowner - invest in good home insurance. Home or renter's insurance is there to protect your possessions and house from damage or loss. Good luck, and happy spring cleaning!