Spring Cleaning Tips to Clear Your Clutter

Spring Cleaning Tips to Clear Your ClutterSpring is here, and as we open up the windows to let in the fresh air and sunshine, we look around our homes and realize we need to open up our indoor spaces where clutter has settled in over the winter.  Junk drawers, coat closets, cabinets and nightstands become catchalls that eat away at our time, energy and sanity.  Get a trash bag ready for items that can be thrown away, grab a box or two for charity donations and plan your attack. To get you started and provide a little inspiration, here are some tips to help you tackle your mess and bring peace to your space:

  • Know Yourself: If previous years’ attempts at spring cleaning have left you exhausted with projects started in every room and a bigger mess than when you began, this is the year to take control with a printable spring cleaning schedule or checklist. There are customizable versions available online that will keep you focused and on task so you make real progress. If you’re on a tight schedule, tackle clutter in one-hour sessions, while the baby naps, or after bedtime. Set a kitchen timer or alarm on your mobile device to stay on track.
  • Eliminate Paper Piles: Using the FAT method – File, Act, Toss – will guide you through sorting through the stacks of paper that accumulate in every home. As you handle each item, ask yourself whether it should be filed away, some action needs to be taken, or if it can be discarded. Take photographs of children’s artwork to preserve memories and free up space.
  • In the Bathroom: Sort through prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, lotions and cosmetics, and discard anything that’s expired. Remember that mascara is only good for two months, while anything in powder form is good for up to two years. Take serious inventory of hairbrushes, makeup brushes and towels and discard any that are heavily worn.  Be sure to check with your local pharmacy for safe disposal of medications.  Once you have all the extra stuff out of the way, you can give the bathroom a serious deep cleaning.
  • Bedroom Closet: This is where it gets tough, right? As you store away coats, sweaters, and winter gear, donate or discard anything that wasn’t worn in the last season.  Inspect clothing for stains, rips, missing buttons or other wear and discard anything that is beyond repair.  Most of us only wear 20-30% of our wardrobes, so there is real decluttering potential hanging in your closet.  To help you see what really gets worn and which garments are taking up valuable space, turn all the hangers in the opposite direction, and only return them to their usual position once something has been worn. At the end of the season, you’ll have a clear sense of what needs to go.  In kids’ closets, sort by size first, then by degree of wear.  You can pick up some extra cash by taking special occasion outfits, career wear, gently used kids’ clothes and accessories to a consignment shop.
  • In the Kitchen: Our kitchens are a hub of activity, and a prime location for clutter. To clear up space in the cupboards, match storage containers with lids and discard any cracked, warped, or mismatched items. Investing in a wall-mounted organizer for the family calendar, keys, takeout menus, pizza coupons, bills and correspondence streamlines daily operations and keeps clutter off countertops. Use the FAT system (see above) to maintain order.  Store away small appliances and large pans that you don’t use often to free up functional space. Inventory the pantry and spice cupboard and throw away anything that’s expired.  Fill the sink with warm suds for quick clean up of dusty dishes, and for deeper cleaning. To stay focused, clear a single drawer, cupboard, or shelf at a time, and deep clean each section as you finish. Bring a few boxes into the kitchen with you to hold items for donation or storage. Be bold, and you’ll have real results in no time.
  • OHIO: This is the best cleaning tip out there– Only Handle It Once! As you move from room to room, you’re likely picking up dirty dishes, toy cars, and stray socks. Do not put an item down until it can be put in its proper place. This method serves two important purposes: it keeps clutter from shifting from one place to another and it keeps you focused, knowing that you’ll have to carry that teddy bear around with you until you can put it away.

While you’re clearing the clutter from your home, take some time to clean up your schedule, too. Hiring a professional errand service to handle your to-do list frees up valuable time that can be devoted to home organization or spent with friends and family. Call on Good Neighbor Concierge to learn more about what we can do for you.