Organize Your Home: Tips for Spring Cleaning
Spring is a time nearly everyone looks forward to. Spring cleaning is another matter. People often look around their home during those late winter months and see that there is an awful lot to do. Even thinking about it all can be overwhelming. The key to managing it all, however, is organization. The more you are able to make firm choices on how to organize different areas of your home, the easier it will be to follow through with implementing your system and keeping things nice.
Taking It One Step at a Time
There are many areas in the home that function better when they are organized. Some of these include
- The front entryway
- Kids toys and books
- The area around the bed
- The home office
- Kitchen food
- Kitchen tools
- Other storage
Many people realize that even this list is just the beginning, but still it is a good place to start. By not thinking about cleaning and organizing your whole home at once, it becomes a much more manageable task.
The front entry way is a good place to start, because it is the first place you see when you get home, and the first place guests see when they come over. Space here is often limited. There may or may not be a closet. What it can easily become is a dumping ground for shoes, coats, keys, umbrellas, and various other wraps. When these things aren’t stored in the vicinity of the door, they are often misplaced.
Scaling back to what is needed for a particular season can keep clutter from getting out of hand. Store things that are not needed in some other area of the home that sees less traffic. Keep things that need to be handy within reach. If there isn’t a closet, a freestanding coat rack can come in handy. A small table with a bowl, or hanging hooks for keys comes in handy as well. Shelves for the most used shoes is also useful in this area, as is having a chair or bench by the door.
Kids toys and books can easily get out of control, whether the kids are infants, teens, or somewhere in between. Having a good system on storing toys and books will help parents keep track of things when the kids are very young, and help the kids take care of their own belongings as they get older. If kids have more of these things than they can use regularly, playing favorites may be necessary. Open wall shelves can hold favorite books and smaller toys. Mesh bags with hooks can hold things as well. A binder with a toy and book inventory can be kept in the bookshelf and revisited from time to time to see whether it might be time to donate items that aren’t being used. The inventory book can also say where the toy is stored, should your child want to play with it later.
Around the Bed
It is easy for things to accumulate in the area around the bed, such as in the nightstand drawers or the top of the nightstand. Because of this it is important to set guidelines on what does and does not belong there. The top of your nightstand should be for things you need within reach while in bed, such as your alarm clock, a lamp, a water glass, and a book in progress. Things you might not want on display, such as your bedtime medications or the remote control can go inside the drawers. If you have a larger nightstand, consider storing one set of spare sheets in the drawer.
A home office can be anything from a large room, to a small nook in the corner. In either case, it is a good idea to define this space an its purpose. You can use power strips to set up a charging station, and a magazine rack to keep different devices organized. Dividers can be used inside drawer to distinguish between different pens, post its, stamps, envelopes, or any other thing you may need. The top of the desk needs to stay as minimalist as possible. Too much clutter on a desk will make work seem like more of a chore.
By keeping certain kinds of food in the same types of places makes it easy to access food when it is needed and limits the amount of food that spoils before it can be used. Keep things such as meats and vegetables near the front of the refrigerator so they are used when they are fresh.
Inventories can be kept here as well. Prepackaged food in boxes and cans should have expiration dates noted. They can be crossed of a list as they are used to make grocery shopping easier.
Having kitchen tools organized makes it easier to spend time in the kitchen. Cooking becomes more pleasurable, and fewer meals are eaten out. Hanging pots and pans on hooks on a peg board makes them easy to reach. The shapes of the pans can also be outlined so it is easy to tell which pan goes where. Large utensils can be hung, or stored in an easy to reach drawer.
Often, people use a small amount of what they have on a regular basis, and the rest is used only occasionally. Determine which things get the most use, and store the rest. Most things do not need to be easy to reach. Under the bed storage is a very good way to make use of space that has little other purpose. Air tight bins, and storage bags, including those that can be vacuumed out to take less.
Part of the freedom of spring cleaning comes when extra things leave the home completely. Because of this, no matter how good you are at organizing, it is important to look at your belongings and determine what you really need. Generally, if an item hasn’t been used in a year it can be sold or donated, with exceptions made for things that hold sentimental value.