5 Spring Cleaning Tips from a Certified Professional Organizer
As the seasons change that can only mean one thing, it’s time to start spring cleaning! My name is Samantha, I’m a Certified Professional Organizer and Founder of Simply Organized Home, and I have a passion for helping others discover practical home organization solutions. Nothing says spring cleaning quite like Junk Removal, so I’ve partnered with 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to share my methodology behind organization as well as my top spring cleaning tips for the five main areas of your home!
Spring Cleaning Tips with the HOW TO method
Before I share the specific tips for spring cleaning the five main areas of your home, it’s important to begin with knowing the HOW TO method we use in every home we organize. The most important element of my job isn’t necessarily the beautiful, organized “after” result. Instead, it’s how I can transfer the organizational skills needed for you to maintain it. Throughout my tips in this post, refer back to these easy steps:
- Take everything out of the space.
- Sort and categorize.
- Purge unwanted items.
- Clean the space thoroughly.
- Measure your space for any new containment or organizing solutions.
- Set items back in place or put items away in the areas where they belong.
- Only at this point can you begin to source containment ideas because you will know what’s living here and have your measurements.
- Drop your unwanted items at the donation center or dispose of trash / recycling, sell any items to friends or family, or call 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to set up your junk removal appointment.
Five focus areas for spring cleaning
Before you begin spring cleaning efforts, make a list of all the spaces or areas you want to focus on. Highlight the real pain points on this list as you may want to tackle those first. It’s always best to start small. If you have a few kitchen drawers that have been bugging you, begin there. Most importantly, don’t move on to the next space until you’ve completely finished the first space. Here are my top spring cleaning tips for the five main areas of your home!
Tip 1: Kitchen & Pantry
The most loved and lived-in room of any home = the kitchen! And it shows! It’s where we gather to eat, where homework assignments are completed at the counter or table, where mail lands when we walk in the door, where meals are prepped, lunches made…the list goes on. We truly live in this room and it’s generally a great space to hit first during spring cleaning efforts.
Focusing on the method I referred to in the beginning of this blog, go cabinet to cabinet, drawer to drawer. Depending on how much space you have to work within your kitchen, this will vary for everyone. If you have a smaller kitchen, you can simply declutter drawer by drawer. If you have a large kitchen, maybe focus on one wall or area at a time. Most of us have a lot stored in the kitchen and it can be unsettling to see it all out on the counters at one time.
This is a great opportunity to take a close look at your pots, pans or baking items to see if you need a new set, donate small appliances you aren’t using and don’t forget to look at that food storage collection.
By now, most of us have been through the New Year’s food purge where we ridded our kitchen of indulgent holiday foods and snacks, but it’s been a few months. Take a look at your pantry items and get rid of any expired foods or spices, and donate anything you don’t plan on eating.
This is the chance to rearrange placement of items too. For example, if you’ve been making lunches on one side of the kitchen, yet your lunch making accessories are on the other side, move them.
You’ll be surprised just how much you may want to part with or what needs updating. Of course, a good deep clean of the kitchen brings it home. Nothing better than an organized, clean and fresh kitchen! If you have a pile of unwanted items once you’re finished with the kitchen, call 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to help donate the donateables and recycle the recyclables!
Tip 2: Laundry Room
Not as exciting a space as the kitchen, but it sure can be when it’s decluttered and clean! What’s key to this space is having a routine for getting the laundry done. Well, I should say, staying on top of the laundry because we all know it’s never truly “done”. Having a schedule for when you do laundry is a great starting point. It will keep the laundry clutter under control.
Take a look at your hampers to see if they are working for you. Do you need a better system with more space? Are items overflowing because the baskets are too small? Do you need a system for gathering loose items you find in pockets? I view my laundry room as a processing center. Because all clothing comes through this room at some point, it’s my opportunity to remove items with holes, stains, things that don’t fit the kids anymore, general items you don’t want to wear again, and so on. Culling items from this space just makes sense.
Most of us store cleaning supplies in the laundry room as well. This is a great opportunity to look at your supplies for an update. Everything from sponges to sprays or cleaning rags. I transitioned to microfiber several years ago and never looked back. There’s a variety of microfiber cloths for every type of surface and many of them only require water for cleaning, making them easier to use and a cheaper, more sustainable option compared to disposable wipes.
Tip 3: Closets
At some point, we can’t continue to close the door to hide the clutter. Spring is a great time to roll up those sleeves, open those closet doors and take a hard look at everything inside. This includes clothing closets, hall closets, coat closets and linen closets.
In most clothing closets we declutter and organize, we see where spaces can be improved to make more space. But there’s also simple fixes too that require NO money. I generally see closets with a high volume of empty or bulky hangers. Both take up valuable, usable space. Simply removing your empty hangers from the closet will help with more space. Spring is also the perfect time to move fall and winter clothing up higher or into bins in order to make room for spring and summer clothing.
Linen closets hold a wide variety of items. It’s a great time to check those linens and towels. Have they seen better days and it’s time for a refresh? There could be medicines in these closets as well - check the expiration dates. And don’t forget to add sunblock to your shopping list!
Tip 4: Home Office
This is a biggie, I know! There’s always a lot of categories to handle in a home office. Offices contain papers, files, electronics, supplies, books and so much more.
Spring is a great time to declutter papers, old magazines or mailings, and school documents as we head into the end of a school year. And it’s an even better time to take a hard look at your system for processing paper or really anything that comes into your home. Where is it landing or where should it be landing? I find hitting this point before it is allowed to enter your house is the best.
If you tend to find paper accumulating on the kitchen counter, which is normal for families, a good rule of thumb is to add a basket to the counter that you can sweep everything into. Then weekly or bi-weekly you can thumb through to see if anything is outdated and ready to go.
A home office can also collect a lot of electronic waste, from extra cables to old or broken computer accessories. When clearing out these items, it’s important to make sure they are being properly disposed of. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? can help you get rid of these items responsibly, ensuring that they are donated, refurbished, or recycled where possible.
Tip 5: The Garage
Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home’s interior - don’t forget about the garage! In my professional opinion, your garage SHOULD be considered interior space. These spaces offer so much storage and opportunity. But they typically aren’t treated with the same love and respect as inside the house.
Spring is a great time to pull out everything (I mean everything!), sort, categorize, purge and refresh your storage. I know this tends to be more than a one-day project so be sure to plan in advance for a few days to get through it - having extra hands to help is great too.
Once everything is out, categorized and purged, take a look at your available or existing storage. Is it enough? Can you add more function or space somewhere? Do you need better bins to fit within cabinets, on shelves, or see the need to update broken or cracked bins?
Decluttering can be a great way to fall in love with any space again and is a great way to welcome yourself home! Once you’ve created all your donation and junk piles, don’t forget the final step of our HOW TO method - say goodbye! Calling 1-800-GOT-JUNK? is the easiest way to say farewell to your unwanted items, and hello to a freshly spring-cleaned home!
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