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How To Spring Clean & Organize

How To Spring Clean & Organize

No matter what size space you’re living in spring cleaning is always a good idea. It’s a great way to clear out old clutter, get organized and feel a sense of renewal and accomplishment. Here are our tips on how to spring clean and make your living space feel like home!

Clean First, Organize Second

Before you pull out the mountains of clothes you’ve had since the ‘80s or the DVDs you’ve been meaning to go through, first clean your space. It’s easy to get sucked into sorting through old stuff when organizing and getting so overwhelmed you lose a whole day and nothing gets accomplished.

Schedule a time where you can get all your cleaning and tidying-up completed in one day without interruptions. This doesn’t include organizing time, just strictly cleaning.

When you’re ready to tidy and clean move through each room and complete each of the following:

  • Put away all objects where they belong
    • (E.g. hang up clothes, put shoes in the closet, clear off bathroom counters)
    • If you don’t have a place for a specific object, set in a tub or box for organizing later
  • Make the bed (if applicable)
  • Dust
    • Blinds
    • Baseboards
    • All shelves and objects on shelves
    • Fans
  • Spray down and wipe all surfaces
    • Mirrors
    • Windows
    • Counters
  • Vacuum or sweep
    • Mop floor (if applicable)

What and How To Organize

When it comes to spring cleaning, most people don’t think to organize after they have invested the time in making their living space squeaky clean. Organizing is essential to creating a stress-free environment and a living space you can enjoy.

There are four main categories you should cover while in spring clean mode:

  1. Clothes
  2. Miscellaneous Items
  3. Paper
  4. Sentimental Value Items

 

Before we go over how to organize each category, you must first learn the golden rule of spring cleaning, The One Year Rule.

The One Year Rule

If you haven’t worn or used something in the past year, get rid of it! You can sell it, donate it, or give it away to a friend.

If you come across an item of clothing or miscellaneous item and you’re not sure, think to yourself “Will I use this, this year?” If the answer is yes, hang on to it, but if the answer is no, toss it.

Can’t decide? If you have an item or two you just can’t decide on keeping or chucking, you have one year to decide. Mark that item with a little tag that has today’s date, if the tag isn’t removed because it hasn’t been worn or used after ONE year, say goodbye.

Now, more on how to organize within the four essential categories.

Clothes

Follow The One Year Rule and sort your clothes into a keep and donate/giveaway pile. Once you have your two assorted piles, go ahead and bag up the clothes you are rehoming.

When it comes to spring cleaning and organizing clothes, just keep it simple. 

Fold all shirts and clothing that is easily stackable and will fit into drawers or bins.

Hang up all button-downs, dresses, slacks, or anything that is typically steamed or pressed before being worn. (If you’re feeling EXTRA ambitious, iron those items before hanging up).

Miscellaneous Items

Miscellaneous items are any objects you may be hanging onto, hoarding, or haven’t found a designated space for in your living space. Again, you’ll first follow The One Year Rule and create your two piles.

For items that you have decided to keep, be sure to immediately find a place for them. If you’re on the fence, remember to label them with a date (for your one year) and still put them in a designated space.

The key to organizing your miscellaneous items is to make sure that there is a designated space for EVERYTHING, whether that’s a bookshelf, a bin that slides under the bed, etc.

Paper

Organizing paper is a little bit of a different process than organizing clothes and your miscellaneous items. When it comes to paper, think bills, old cards (birthday, gift cards, etc.), statements, other important documents.

First, you will want to sort your paper into piles:

  1. Unpaid Bills
  2. Paid Bills
  3. Tax Documents
  4. Old Cards
  5. Miscellaneous

 

Your unpaid bills should be organized by the due date and placed in a folder near where you pay your monthly bills and/or do your monthly budgeting. Your paid bills should be kept as a reference for 30 days. If you have paid bills older than 30 days, shred them and trash them.

Tax documents should be organized by date and kept for 3 years after the original date received or after filing. If you have anything older than 3 years, it’s usually safe to shred and get rid of those.

Old cards whether they were from birthdays, holidays, etc, should be sorted into a sentimental pile and a recycle pile. Be sure to actually sort these and don’t just hang on to every single birthday card you’ve ever received.

Lastly, miscellaneous documents will depend on what and how you use them. If they are important to a legal dispute, purchase, etc it’s best to organize them by date and hang on to them for at least 3-5 years.

When organizing your papers, the biggest key (just like putting away our miscellaneous items) is to find a home where they can live. Buy a small cardboard or plastic file box and tuck them into a closet or under your desk.

Sentimental Value Items

These are the items that you have collected over the years that may have some sort of sentimental value or memory attached to them. It’s up to you whether you choose to clean out some of these items or hold on to them.

However, you must find a designated space for them where they can stay organized within your living space.

If they are old pictures, frame them, hang them, or make an album. If they are knick-knack or paper items, find a special box or tub to keep those items and find that box a designated space to stay.

Keeping A Clean Space

Now that you’ve done all the hard spring cleaning and organizing work, it’s time to keep your space clean so you can feel that sense of accomplishment and organization all year long!

Put things away after each use! This is probably the biggest key in keeping your space sparkling clean. If you take something out, just put it back in its designated spot when you’re finished. If you change clothes, put your clothes in a laundry bin for wash day, etc.

When you keep your things put away it makes tidying up and surface cleaning a cinch!

We recommend a light surface cleaning and dusting once per week. Sweeping and vacuuming should be done daily.