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There still may be snow on the ground, but spring is just around the corner. This is the perfect time to start thinking about spring cleaning your home of unwanted clutter and to organize the stuff you want to keep or donate—both inside and out. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to make your home look good.
It’s time to toss anything that doesn’t have special meaning or purpose in your life. The best place in the house to start is in the kitchen. Make a pact with yourself to keep all countertops neat and clean at all times. When the kitchen is organized, the rest of the home seems to follow suit. Once you commit to organizing your home, set up a cleaning schedule to include de-cluttering one room a month so you’re staying on top of it throughout the year which makes the task much more manageable. Here are a few tips to help conquer each room in your home and the outside too!
• Organizing Your Schedule & Important Papers—Do you find school homework lying on the table, schedules on your phone but nowhere else, sports forms hidden under piles on the counter? Set up a command center in the busiest spot in your home (typically the kitchen). Include a white board calendar, wall file for important bills and papers, cork board for attaching important papers that need immediate attention. Use a different colored white board pen for each member of the family to help keep the schedule organized. Each day as you go through backpacks and bags, check for papers and dispose of any that you do not need to keep right away avoiding piles on the counter.
• Organizing Cleaning Products—If your under sink storage is in disarray with cleaning products galore and no easy way to grab what you need, simply hang a tension rod in the under sink cupboard and hang your spray bottles from the rod. Another option is a clear hanging shoe organizer hung on a spare closet door where all your cleaning products are quick and easy to find.
• Organizing Garbage Bags & Kitchen Rolls—Hang a metal or plastic magazine holder inside your kitchen cabinet door. It will hold 4 different types of kitchen rolls such as foil, wax paper, parchment paper and plastic wrap. A standing or hanging paper towel holder is perfect for holding a roll of garbage bags.
• Organizing the Fridge—The refrigerator tends to take a big hit when it comes to disorder. It’s easy to overlook expired foods, food items you use regularly get pushed behind other foods and spills happen easily. Think baskets and bin organizers (look for bins with handles) for the fridge to keep like foods together, to hold food items that can easily spill and keep basics used regularly at quick reach. Label each basket so you can grab and go. Fridge liners are also great for making cleaning up a snap.
• Organizing Your Closet—Got a closet full of clothes and not sure where to begin the organizing process? First off you need to decide what you really wear and what hangs in your closet collecting dust. If you haven’t worn the item for the past 2 years, it’s time to find it a new home. If the item no longer fits or has something wrong with it (holes that aren’t easily fixed, broken zipper, etc.), it’s time to part ways. Once you’re done with the initial cleaning out process, turn all your hangers the opposite way on the rod. As you wear an article of clothing, put it back the right way. After a few months you’ll begin to see what is being used and what is not. Then you can decide whether to keep the items or choose to donate.
• Organizing Belts, Scarves & Socks—Not just for the kitchen anymore! Hang a 3-tiered wire kitchen basket in your closet. It makes the perfect spot to store your scarves, belts, socks and other odds and ends.
• Organizing T-shirts—If you’re like many people, you’ve got a ton of t-shirts stacked in a drawer that are challenging to keep organized. Take each t-shirt, fold in half the long way, then roll. Line the drawer with rows of rolled t-shirts. This makes it much easier to keep the drawer organized and to easily find the t-shirt you’re looking for.
• Organizing Sheets—Fold top and bottom sheets and stash inside of the matching pillowcase. This makes it easier to keep sheet sets together with their pillowcases but also makes it easier to store. Sheet sets easily stack on top of each other this way without become unfolded.
• Organize Hair Stuff—Command hooks (the super strong yet removable hooks that stick on) placed on the inside of your bathroom cabinets and hang hair dryers, curling irons and straighteners for the hooks by their cords. No more loose hair items getting tangled up under the sink.
• Organize Bathroom Stuff—Use utensil/cutlery trays inside of bathroom drawers to hold jewelry, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hair bobbins, brushes and combs and medicine bottles. All the different compartments are perfect for storing items you use every day and need to grab in a hurry.
• Organizing Towels—Use baskets and bins under bathroom cabinets. Roll towels and washcloths and place in baskets. Rolled towels eliminate towels unfolding and towel piles that fall over in the cabinet.
• Organizing Bathroom Extras—Most bathrooms lack enough storage space for all your necessities. Install small shelves in unexpected, unused spaces for things like rolled towels, toilet paper and more. Great places to add a shelf is over the toilet, above the shower/bath or over the bathroom door.
• Organizing Your Laundry Room—Laundry piles up faster than anything else it seems, so laundry room organization is essential. Laundry baskets sitting on the floor make it difficult to move around. Hang shelving over your washer and dryer or in the closet to hold laundry baskets. When pulling clothes out of the dryer to fold, simply stick the clothes in the right basket for that person or room. This also saves time from running from room to room dropping off a few clean items in each room.
• Organizing Cords—You’ve got laptop power cords, chargers for iPads, extension cords and more lying around your house. Wrap them up and insert into a cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels. Then simply write on the tube what the cord is for. They fit into a drawer great this way too.
• Organize Wrapping Paper Rolls—The holidays are over and now you need to store all your wrapping paper until next year. A quick fix to organize and hide the rolls is to slip them into a clear hanging garment bag and stick them in a spare closet. No more wrapping paper rolls falling over or becoming unwound. Need birthday paper? Just a fast peek at your garment bag will tell you right away if you have what you’re looking for.
• Organizing Items to Donate & Sell—Keep two storage bins or boxes in a closet or storage area for items to donate or sell. Throughout the year you can toss items your kids have outgrown or things you no longer want in the bins. Then when you’re ready to donate or sell, you’ve got all the items separated and ready to go.
• Clean Up Garden Beds—Add some perennials, trees and bushes to your garden beds. Most plants you find at your local big box store or local nursery are typically easy to care for and right for your state. Finish off your garden beds with a nice border and quality mulch or rock.
• Organize Garden Tools & Hoses—Install hooks in your garage for hanging your shovels, brooms, hoes and other outdoor tools. You can also install an economical garden hose holder to your house or attach to a simple wood post in your backyard.
• Organize Toys, Sporting Goods and Other Outdoor Stuff—Build inexpensive shelves out of wood in your garage or shed. Add some large plastic bins and label. You’ll have a perfect spot for all the stuff usually found lying around your garage and backyard.