This is the time of year when we think of doing some spring cleaning, but what about spring organizing?
Cleaning and organizing are two completely different things, but they can go hand in hand to make for one clean, organized home you’ll be proud of. It’s easy to find checklists for spring cleaning ideas, but many people also need spring organizing tips.
This week and next, I will provide you with small, simple and quick organizing projects for various rooms in your home. Each of the projects should take you 20 minutes or less to complete. This week I will cover the kitchen and closets.
1. Pantry: Toss expired food or stale chips, crackers, bread, etc. When complete, reorganize your pantry or food storage area by types of food so it’s easy to see what you need when it’s time to grocery shop.
2. Refrigerator: Check expiration dates on condiments and toss those past their prime. Toss anything you no longer recognize or are not going to eat.
3. Dishes: Donate or toss chipped or mismatched dishes.
4. Food Storage Containers: Do you have a lid for each container? If not, recycle the ones without a match.
5. Garbage Bags: Do you have an excess quantity of brown bags or plastic bags from the store? Recycle them, or return them to the store. They are free, and you will always get another!
6. Small Appliances: What’s been collecting dust for the last year without a single use? These items might be a good candidate for donation to a transition home for women.
7. Paper Piles: You know the ones I’m talking about that keep you from seeing the color of the desk in the kitchen or the counter. Review the piles; if they’ve been sitting there for a while, chances are, much of it may be able to be recycled – and that is the easiest type of filing there is!
8. Junk Drawer: Consider this concept: A junk drawer doesn’t have to be “junky.” Dump the contents on the counter and start sorting. Put stuff away where it belongs, toss the trash and organize the rest back into the drawer. If you don’t have a drawer organizer with lots of small compartments, purchase one that fits the dimensions; it will make it much easier to keep the drawer from becoming junky.
1. Shoes: Review your collection – make a bag for those needing a little TLC, such as new heals or a good cleaning. Of the shoes you consider to be “everyday” shoes, which ones were not worn in the past year? Are they out of style? Do you no longer love them? Let them go. Organize them by style, color or both. Invest in shoe storage if needed.
2. Hamper: Do you have the appropriate size hamper for dirty clothes? Perhaps one that you can easily take to the laundry room? Determine your needs and then it will be easy to find exactly what you are looking for. This will help keep the floor from becoming the hamper!
3. Clothes: Take a quick pass through the closet, looking at each clothing item. If you no longer love it, it doesn’t fit, it’s out of style, or needs mending, remove it. Donate or consign items in good condition. Consignment items should not be more than a year or two old. This exercise should free up some space.
4. Rotate Seasonal Clothing: If you have the space, rotate in clothing for the upcoming season and rotate out the bulky winter items.
5. Vacuum and Dust: You’d be surprised at how much dust can collect in your closet. Do a bit of “spring cleaning” of the floor, shelves and baseboards.
6. Special Occasion Clothing: These pieces and shoes will collect dust over time; protect them with garment bags or shoe boxes. Don’t store your clothing in dry cleaning bags long term; it is not good for the clothing.
7. Accessories: Give your accessories such as jewelry, belts, scarves, etc. a once over, determining what you will still use or wear. Consider a belt or scarf organizer to help contain these items when they go back in the closet.
8. Purses and Handbags: Clean them out – you might be surprised what you find inside! Those you no longer use, donate to a woman’s transition home. These women will be thrilled to have your gently used items. If you have a number of designer bags, find a consignment store that carries this type of item so you can get top dollar.
9. Hangers: Establish a place for empty hangers in your closet. Choose a spot that is easy to reach when putting the laundry away. Remove and recycle wire hangers from dry cleaning. Chances are good that your dry cleaner will reuse them.
Spring organizing will require you to make some – or maybe a lot – of decisions. Not only will your efforts reduce clutter, but I guarantee you that spring cleaning will be easier after a round of organizing. Pick one or two small projects to get started, and you’ll see just how easy it can be to organize your home.
Laura Leist, CPO
Organizing with Laura