Thursday, March 20 is the First Day Of Spring! I always get itchy to clean up my home around this time of year (yes, just slightly crazy, but true!). Here are some simple tips for tackling those spring cleaning projects in your home:
Think About Strategy:
Do you choose to clean a room or do a project? It really is a personal choice, because it comes down to your personal preferences. I love to attack projects, one at a time. When I step back and look at what I’ve done, I feel accomplished.
If You Pick A Room:
Think 360 Degrees
Pick a spot in the room and move left to right around (in a 360 degree circle) the room to clean. You know you’re finished when you reach the start location.
If You Pick A Project, Simple Things Make A Big Impact:
Turn To Professionals: Hire professionals to clean your carpet and most used upholstered chairs/couches. The professionals know what they are doing and the drying times are faster because they have the equipment that can really get the water out of carpets better than those rental units you can rent. Tip: Turn your air down in your home until carpets dry out; it creates lower humidity, making drying time faster.
Use the 3 Box Rule:
Declutter, one room at a time, using three boxes. If you don’t use an item, place it into the “toss it” bin, “donate it”, or if it is sentimental, place it into the “ sentimental bin”, where items in this box can be displayed on a rotation schedule. Rotating sentimental items for display quarterly or every six months lets you appreciate the items more.
Clean Out Your Closet: Having a clean closet sets the tone for everything else in your house. It makes you feel good. Tip: If you are a shoe lover, try using clear plastic shoe boxes to organize your shoes. They allow you to easily see the shoes, keep them neat and dust free. The Container Store offers a kit of 20 clear shoe boxes on sale for $33.80 (usually $37.80).
Organize Your Pantry: We all have items in the pantry we bought because we were going to use it for a recipe that never happened. It is time to clean those out! Look for items that have sat in pantry too long. Check expiration dates and toss; have too many of one thing that you will never use before expiration date? Donate it. One great way to manage your smaller pantry items so you can see them is by using an over the door shoe bag. Clear pockets allow you to see the little items that may get lost on your pantry shelves.
Reorganize Your Bookshelves:
A surefire way to make an impact in a room is to reorganize the bookshelves. Donate books you are not interested in anymore. Dust all remaining books, then sort by size and subject. Line books, some vertically, some horizontally to give some visual interest. Add some of those sentimental items, but not too many. For some great ideas on how to arrange your shelves, check out this wonderful pictorial from Real Simple Magazine.
Just to illustrate how great a bookshelf can look, check out these before and after shots of one bookshelf (photos from GothamOrganizers.com):