To me, you’re not truly spring cleaning if you’re not organized…and if you’re not organized, you’re spending a lot of time doing simple tasks just to get the greater task accomplished. That takes twice the work and twice the time. And being the busy women we are…ain’t nobody got…you know the rest.
The lead up to spring is almost like the lead up to a new year – within a new year. January is a new awakening for our mind, body and spirit. While Spring, with its warmer climate and longer days of sunshine, is a new awakening to all that we’ve been hibernating under all winter – or maybe even all year long! Yikes!
Spring cleaning is all about the details – cleaning and deep cleaning all areas of the home – particularly ones that typically don’t need regular attention or focus every week or every month in our routines. For instance, cleaning the inside and outside of windows, deep cleaning rugs and upholstery, freshening up the caulk around the tub and wiping down walls and crown molding and so on.
But truth be told, people. like. stuff. And LOTS of it. And we can’t truly focus on the details if we’re tripping over our stuff to get to the crown molding!
So as far as I’m concerned this spring – the organizing must come before the cleaning.
To me, you’re not truly spring cleaning if you’re not organized. And if you’re not organized, you’re spending a lot of time doing simple tasks just to get the greater task accomplished. That takes twice the work and twice the time – every single time you clean. And being the busy women we all are, ain’t nobody got…you know the rest.
So we might as well look at this beast dead in the eye and do the work. I’ve got 3 tips to show you how to get organized and – most importantly – how to stay that way.
1. The Find a Home Strategy: This is one of my favorite and most effective tips, and it’s quite simple. Every…single…thing you own must have its own place to go. A home – if you will – where you can find it when you need it, and a place for it to return to when you’re done using it. For instance, when you first walk in your door where do you drop your phone, keys, and mail? On the dining room table? Wherever your purse happens to land? Keys are one of the most misplaced items. So much, we have to buy gadgets to help us find them.
All you need to do is to give them a home – a landing pad like this beautiful catchall tray from Rosanna. Catchall trays come in so many materials, colors, patterns and themes that it’s super easy to find one to fit your style. And there are SO many vessels on the market to hold your stuff all over the house. Under my kitchen sink, I put in this shelf which really allows me to make use of the vertical space. It holds my regular use cleansing products while the built in drawer is used to stash away grocery store bags, sponges and other small items.And in the spirit of maximizing space. Here, my mops, brooms, dusters etc. are stored in the 9 inches of space between my refrigerator and the wall. Please don’t let your mops and brooms pile up in a corner in such a way that they fall all over the place every time you try to grab one. Command hooks are the truth. Just get the appropriate weight capacity.Inside kitchen cabinets, try to store your regularly used bulk items – like flour and sugar – out of their original packaging and into large canisters or jars. This helps eliminate spillage and makes the space look neater. Also help your cabinets look less cluttered by grouping items by category. Spice containers are so small they can easily make a cabinet look disheveled. I took them out of the cabinet and moved them to a drawer instead. This makes finding any spice or seasoning super easy.
Elsewhere, your linen closet should NOT have textiles piled, balled up and stuffed all over the shelves.
Fold them. Then categorize. Bath Towels have their space, washcloths have their space, and bed linens have theirs. This will allow you to find what you need – when you need it. Get it? Execute the find a home strategy with EVERY item you own in every area of the house and you’ll be well on your way to a well organized home.
2. Use Your Time Wisely Chances are you’ll need to empty out closets, drawers, and rooms of miscellaneous items from multiple locations in your home to execute your “find a home” organization strategy. If you try to clean these spaces out item by item, it’ll take forever, you’ll lose momentum, and you’ll likely never get organized. Get yourself some baskets and sort first. All items that need to go in one room should be placed in one basket, and any items that will be donated or need to be put away on a different floor entirely are in their own baskets. That way you spend less time going back and forth. And more time effectively getting the job done.
3. Part Ways You’ve heard this before. If you haven’t used it, worn it, or don’t have specific plans for it – it’s time to part ways. Whether you donate it, give it away, sell it or chuck it. You shouldn’t keep it. Simple as that.
Now once you’ve done the grueling work to get your house in order, the best gift you can give yourself is to keep it that way. The best tip for this is one I found on a blog called “Mother’s Niche” and it’s called the “One-touch rule.” It’s an idea that came from the writer’s husband. She writes:
“Let’s say you come in from outside and take off your jacket. You then conveniently drape your jacket across the back of the couch and go about your next activity. Next, someone comes over and wants to sit on our couch so you quickly move it to the counter. Later you are making dinner so you finally move your jacket to your closet. How many times did you touch the jacket before you put it away? 3 Touches. Let’s say you come home, take your jacket off and put it straight in your closet…how many touches would that be?” He then excitedly exclaimed “ONE TOUCH!”
I’d love to hear your spring cleaning and organizational tips and tricks. Let me know in the comments below.