While it’s not officially spring, our clocks are about to “spring ahead.” Seems like the perfect time to start planning for the annual vernal cleanup of our homes and offices. On order: a good review (and gifting) of what’s no longer needed/used and a serious organizing of all remaining items. Once you’ve narrowed down the “keepers,” spring-cleaning becomes a much easier task! Here are a few of our favorite tips for streamlining your spaces.
Kitchen: Aside from throwing out the old, very-expired food items, including canned goods, packaged foods and age-old condiments and spices, there are probably some other kitchen items, namely appliances, that don’t get much – if any – use. We suggest letting go of those, too. Whether you never used them in the first place or recently purchased newer models, there are several ways you can recycle small appliances or pass them on to someone else who will put them to work.
Closet: We have two rules when it comes to cleaning out your closet or dresser drawers:
1) Set a goal. Commit to get rid of 10 to 20 items you no longer wear and probably wouldn’t miss if they were gone (here are some eco-friendly tips for selling or donating your discarded garments). If this rule seems too difficult, refer to rule 2, below.
2) Create a capsule collection. Put together a selection of 20 to 30 items you plan on wearing in the next several months. Those items left out of the collection may help you reach your goal set in rule 1.
Bathroom: Has product pileup taken over your bathtub ledges and medicine cabinets? It’s time to consolidate and toss! That last bit of shampoo, eye cream and body lotion goes into travel-sized containers or they get the heave-ho.
Office: Take a few pictures. When you look at the same desk setup each day, it’s hard to see where the mess accumulates. A few quick snaps may reveal where unnecessary items are lurking. Another way to de-mess is to box-up all the items on your (actual) desktop and remove them from the box only as you need them. At the end of the month (or two), it’s bye-bye box and its remaining contents!
Garage: People use garages for different tasks – from at-home gym or laundry room to “man cave,” complete with fix-it shop and actual car storage. For all your garage requirements, this is an excellent guide to garage gear, and it details what to keep, what to donate and what to give to a friend. Once you’ve made your choices, here are some clever garage organization hacks.
Next on the list: decluttering kids’ bedrooms and playrooms. But hey, not so fast! No one really likes an overachiever (wink wink).