With the arrival of spring comes a sense of renewal; the air is crisp and fresh, new buds are flowering, and your home…well, your home is a dirty disorganized mess after a long winter, isn’t it? Don’t worry, this is a common seasonal problem and luckily there are lots of solutions for tackling it. Here are some ideas to help make your home summertime fine.
If you don’t love it, or you don’t use it, then it’s clutter. Spring is an ideal time to embrace Feng Shui, the Asian art of uncluttered living. The main tenet of Feng Shui is that if energy can easily flow through a room, your life will be happier and more harmonious; clutter is the most basic obstacle to reaching a calm and relaxed state. Be ruthless when it comes to decluttering. Getting rid of excess knick-knacks, pieces of non-functional furniture, and kitchen appliances you never use means you’ll have less to dust, less junk to look at, and an easier time finding the things you do use regularly.
Make a Donation
Once you’ve done all that decluttering, anything you’re getting rid of that’s in good, usable shape is a candidate to sell or donate. Gather these items together in boxes or plastic bags. If you choose to donate, consider giving them to a local Salvation Army or Goodwill, or even a shelter in town. Many organizations will even pick up your donations at your doorstep. If you would rather sell, consider a yard sale, and see if any neighbors want to join in. Or, take digital photos of the items you’re looking to sell and post them to a site like eBay or Craigslist, or even to Facebook – and watch things disappear.
Make a master checklist of all springtime cleaning/organizing jobs that you only do once or twice a year, like bringing large comforters to a laundromat, or dry-cleaning drapes or winter coats. There’s also the seasonal clothing changeover, and things like checking batteries in smoke alarms or dusting hard-to-reach light fixtures and ceiling fans. If you commit these odd jobs to a list, you won’t forget to do them. Then, try to do one or two of these chores per week throughout the spring, (and assign some to your family!) so you’re not overwhelmed with the list all at once. The physical act of crossing items off the list and seeing progress on your to-do list is both satisfying and motivating.
A quick and easy organizing hack that will tame disarray is drawer organizers for the kitchen, bathrooms, and office. Divide and conquer the clutter and keep order by kitting your drawers out with wire or wooden organizers to keep small, loose items tidy and contained, and help you find that cheese grater or cookie cutter in the kitchen drawer jungle, or the paper clips or Sharpies in your office. If you can’t find an insert that perfectly fits your particular drawer, create a custom setup by lining the drawer with small containers or trays that fit next to each other like a puzzle, or divide the drawer in half.
Downsize your Bedside
You should prize your sleep, which is why it’s in your best interest to create a restful environment around your bed — and a cluttered nightstand does not help. An avalanche of books or magazines, lotion, device chargers, cups and tissues does not promote rest and order. Instead of attempting to make space for every possible item you might ever want on your nightstand, consider using a more petite table that fits only what’s essential. If you love to read in bed, choose one book. The others can wait on a shelf. If you like to write before bed, place your journal and a nice pen there. Make room for a glass of water and that’s it.
Central Message Board
No, we aren’t talking about something online; make space in your home for a multitasking message board. A message board will ramp up efficiency in a kitchen or home office. Not only does it act as a quick reference for everyone’s important appointments, to-do lists and must-revisit ideas, it also boosts organization and productivity. Consider including a calendar on the board or giving each family member a dedicated corner. For added practicality, use a board you can write and tack/tape papers on, like a white dry-erase board or a magnetic chalkboard.
Incorporating even a couple of these ideas into your spring-cleaning routine will improve organization and get your home ready for the warmer seasons ahead.