I don’t know about the weather where you are, but over here it rained today, for the first time this Spring season. After what seemed like an endless Winter, we are finally warming up and getting into the best months of the year. Now, I may be biased when it comes to the Spring season, but I believe it truly is one of the best times of the year. Much like the rain itself, Spring is a refreshing season, a time to transition from cold to warm, a time to start fresh and clean out the junk, both literal and figurative, you’ve been piling up for months.
Of course, you’ve probably heard of the term “Spring cleaning”, that time of year when you clean out your living area from top to bottom at the start of a new season. With that, you also probably know that cleaning an entire living area can be very time consuming and overwhelming if you’ve got a busy schedule.
It seems these days that we’re all getting busier and simple tasks such as cleaning out our home can become a burden in the back of our minds as we try to “get to” everything on our to-do list. Who’s got an entire weekend to dedicate to cleaning? Not a whole lot of people, let me tell you! Luckily, I’ve done some research and compiled some brilliant and creative ideas you need to make your Spring cleaning easier and more efficient in the long run, as your home or living area will remain organized for a longer period of time, saving you the time in the future.
The closet can be a messy place because most of us innately have a hard time parting with our stuff. When cleaning, it is important to organize your space in a way which makes it accessible, and doesn’t require you to take your entire wardrobe out each time you’re trying to put together an outfit.
Rule 1: If you haven’t worn it in 1 or 2 years, toss it out. As hard as it is to let go of things, chances are you forgot about the item already if it’s been that long. You don’t need it. Put it in storage somewhere else or donate it. Your closet will thank you. If you need further assistance on where to start, research says the top 3 unworn items in a woman’s closet are dresses, coats and shoes. Start there.
Rule 2: Organizing your clothing based on item type, rather than color, is an easier way to find what you’re looking for, and keep your closet clean. Fold or hang your short sleeves together, long sleeves together, sweaters together, cardigans together, jeans together etc., so you know where each thing is. When you know all your short sleeves are in one area for example, picking a color is easy. You will no longer have to rummage in piles to find your favorite shirt, you’ll know where it is simply based on its type.
Rule 3: Create storage space wherever you can. If your closet has doors, on the back of the doors on the inside of the closet you can hang a nice organizer in which you can put socks or underwear or even jewelry.
Rule 1: Utilize the wall space you have. Bathrooms often tend to be limited in terms of storage space, which is why getting creative and adding wall mounted storage can be of big help. Any makeup, washing supplies, hair supplies and products can be stored on these wall shelves, clearing the counter and cabinets. Most are pretty inexpensive to buy in Target, Ikea and even Walmart, and take seconds to put up. It’ll work wonders in getting a lot of your stuff out of the way, so you maintain a cleaner and more organized bathroom.
Rule 2: Invest in a heat light. It may sound fancy, but it’s actually not all that expensive, as you can even find them for under 10 dollars. A heat light in the bathroom does just as the name suggests, rather than emitting light from the ceiling (which it does often), it actually emits heat to dry you and can even help dry your bathroom after your shower. It saves you time and energy in drying out your bathroom after each use, as well as reducing your need to rely on your bathroom fan to eliminate some moisture from the air.
Rule 3: Organize your items based on how often they’re used. If you only use something monthly or occasionally, keep it in a separate closet or room. Only daily or weekly items should be hanging around in your bathroom.
Rule 1: Use your pillowcases to store your linens and bed sheets. Simply fold and place your bed sheets and covers inside the matching pillow case when folding your bed items, which will not only keep things neat and save space, but it’ll also ensure you have matching sheets and pillowcases when you need them.
Rule 2: Investing in a bed frame which comes with drawers on the sides/underneath can save you a ton of space in storage. You can keep all of your seldom used items in there, such as seasonal clothing you don’t need for the next while or bedding stuff if you store it in your room. It keeps things out of the way and won’t take up any more space in your room than your bed already does.
Rule 3: Use the back of your door to hang extra storage hooks, where you can keep anything from bags to hats to even scarves. It is less bulky than a box somewhere on a shelf, but it does the trick and no extra space is taken up! Likewise, if you need more storage space, buy seating items which double as boxes to hold your things. Plenty of stores sell stylish little storage ottomans that are perfect for a bedroom or even living room.
Rule 1: Do not use your coffee table as a storage. Only keep the remote and other necessary items on the table itself. A messy table gives the appearance of a messy room, so keep it cleared. Magazines, even if you read them, should not be on the top of your table.
Rule 2: Use labeled organizing bins to keep kids toys, board games, DVDs or whatever else you may use in your living area and keep it stored either on a shelf in your living room or in the hallway closet, so you can pull it out when needed. Having too many items in your living room can create a mess with time, whereas bins will keep things organized and also make cleaning easier in the long run.
Rule 3: Limit the amount of items on your floor. A messy floor at times makes your room look messy by default. Your living area floor should remain clear, and any items or toys should be in their designated place. Plants and decorative lamps are fine, but anything else just adds extra mess for you to clean and makes a room look cluttered. As I mentioned earlier, plenty of stores sell stylish little storage ottomans that are perfect for a bedroom or even living room.
Rule 1: Always, and I mean ALWAYS, keep your Tupperware containers together with their lids. While it may seem like more space is being taken up when you place an entire Tupperware container in with the lid on, you are actually saving yourself the mess in the long run if you keep the container with the lid. If you separate the two, you know it’ll get to the point where you are looking for the matching lid and suddenly everything is out of the cupboard and in your messy kitchen…save yourself the time, keep them together.
Rule 2: Much like your clothes, your pots and pans also need to be examined for their usage and need. You realistically likely only use 1 or 2 specific pots or pans daily, thus you should not keep more than the needed amount in the kitchen. Store your extra pots and pants in the pantry or closet somewhere, where you can pull them out for holiday or special occasion cooking.
Rule 3: Keep your fridge organized based on type of food and frequency of consumption. If you know your family eats a lot of cream cheese and salami, keep them on the higher shelves and keep your cooking ingredients on the lower shelves. Keep your items grouped together in their respective group (meats, eggs, veggies, milk items), so you are not moving things in and out of the fridge looking for something. Weekly check for expiration dates and toss what is expired.
Lastly, please remember, these are all simply ideas for keeping things clean and clutter free. You should always use your personal taste and creativity to create a comfortable living space. If you like cozy and crowded, do so. If you like eclectic, do so. It is your space, and should feel safe and comfortable only to YOU.