Spring is here. So, fling open the windows and let in some fresh clean air into your rooms. But wait - there're cob webs in the corners, streaks on the window, dirty winter boots in the hall and more. What to do?
First things first. Before you clean, clear the clutter. Having clear surfaces and less objects to dust (break) gives you a great start to your Spring cleaning.
Clearing the clutter makes cleaning so much easier.
organizing tip: Before starting to work make sure you have everything you need. Bags to sort things that you need to remove through donations, trash and recycling. Boxes for items that you need to return to another room or that belong to someone else. markers, dust cloth, vacuum cleaner.
Start Easy and Start with the Places You Use the Most
Start easy. Choose a small project (a drawer) for a small amount of time (10min.), so you can feel you are making progress. Use a timer and work until it’s up. Keep your water and phone close by.
Start with places you use the most. Perhaps it's the living room. Select a section of the living room to work on. You could start by the entrance and then work in a clockwise direction, until you reach the door again.
Two favourites for decluttering are the Kitchen and the Family's Wardrobe
SPRING DECLUTTER THE KITCHEN
Go through your pantry
Pull out everything and group items by kind.
Remove whatever doesn’t belong in the pantry and return to its proper place.
Clean the pantry.
Check for old and expired food items. Put them in the trash or compost.
Donate unopened food you won't use to the local food bank.
Put foods back into the pantry in logical groupings.
Follow the above process for decluttering and organizing your fridge and freezer.
SPRING DECLUTTER FAMILY'S WARDROBE
Sort through winter things donate anything hasn't been worn this winter. Look for single mitts for textile recycle, too tight hats to donate.
Look through your closet to decide what you need, and love.
Check to see if they fit, need repairs or cleaning before you store them.
Remove anything that doesn’t fit, that you haven’t worn in a while or that you don’t like.
Sort these into donate and recycle fabrics and hand-me-downs.
Organize your closet by category then by colour. Keep like items with like items. Meaning store all your belts in the same spot. Hang your dresses alongside each other. Keep your workout shirts separate from your pajamas. It will make it easier to find outfits.
** While you are decluttering you may find that your master closet has you stymied. There are a lot of decisions to make and tough questions to ask like: Will I ever fit into this again? If there were ever a time to pull out our Decluttering Checklist this is it! Here's the question that works best for me: If I were to see this in a store TODAY, would I buy it? It's amazing how often the answer is NO.
organizing tip: Hang all hangers backwards. When you wear and return an item to the closet, put the hangar in forwards. If after 12 months some clothes are still hanging backwards, it could be time to let go.
If you have children, store hand me downs in plastic totes.
Place in closet of intended recipient so you'll know where they are.
clean all your winter shoes before putting them away for the rest of the year.
If you have tall boots, use inserts to prevent bending or breaking of the ankles and leather.
Sort through dresser. Put worn underwear in textile recycling.
Include dividers in your drawers
Create a "sock lost and found" in the laundry room for socks looking for their mates.
Of course there's always more to declutter - If you still have Fall or Christmas ornaments out now is the time to edit. Put what's left away. Store them correctly to have them in good shape when the season comes around again.
It is also time to get ready for taxes. Organize your papers. Review your files and discard anything you don't need to keep from previous years.
Finally, why not breathe easier. When you declutter it's easier to clean and dust. You'll find things more easily. You will be less distracted by visual clutter. You'll feel better, lighter when you enter your clean clutter free room.
If clutter is getting in the way of your peace of mind, give us a call.
We are Brad and Cathy Borg; siblings and professional home organizers serving the Greater Toronto Area.