Come spring, I get bitten by the spring cleaning bug. Hard. I’m a purger by nature, so if it were up to me, I’d gleefully go on a rampage tossing toys, clothes, and small children into giveaway and trash piles. However, my better half is generally the opposite of a purger (ok, I’ll say it, the man is borderline Hoarders material). And I don’t have many extra hours every day to tackle huge projects, like cleaning out the entire garage or bringing order to our basement-turned-storage-locker. So while I try not to go too crazy with the spring cleaning, there are a few manageable projects that I like to do that only take a few hours (or can be broken up into small chunks of time on different days), and give me a big “bang for my buck” satisfaction-wise. Ready?
- Clean out the fridge. So I do try to do this every couple of months, but sometimes in the winter I get lazy, and giving the inside of the fridge a good clean out not only makes it well, cleaner, but it also forces you to take everything out, toss anything that’s past its prime, and organize what you have. I find a tidy fridge means less food waste, because I know what I have, and can use it before I buy more food. So there’ s lots of positives, even if it does involves scrubbing sticky mystery substance off shelves.
- Organize your shoes. This sounds so boring, but it makes a big difference in my house. You can buy a simple shoe organizer like this one or this one pretty much anywhere, and keeping your shoes in one place, with its mate, makes life so much easier. I don’t know about you, but when there isn’t a designated place for each person to put their shoes, they wind up all over the house, in the most obnoxious places, just begging to be tripped over. This is a super quick project that’s got a big payoff.
- Tackle the mudroom. If yours is anything like mine, come spring, your mudroom/entryway/wherever you dump all the STUFF is a disaster area. Our situation is exacerbated by the fact that our tiny little landing area is also our laundry room, with the washer and dryer taking up over half of the floor space. It’s tight. And despite my best efforts to keep it clear, coats, boots, and gloves tend to pile up to the extreme throughout the winter months. Take a few moments to clear all the coat hooks, pick a jacket or two per person that should be handy, and store the rest away or hang them in their proper closets. Same with all the winter gear. Sweep it out and voila! You’ll feel like you gained a ton of space. *An extra tip: I recently nabbed a cheap-o drawer situation to store the kids extra stuff. Not only does it keep stuff from ending up on the floor of our tiny mudroom, but the kids can put their own things away, which teaches them responsibility and means that they always know where their fleeces are so they can quit asking me. Best ten bucks I’ve ever spent.
- Clean all the sheets. Ever slept on clean, freshly laundered sheets? Then I don’t need to explain this one. It’s easy and will make you happy.
- Organize books, one shelf at a time. This one is easy to do when all you have is a few minutes to spare. Tidy up books so they all face the same way, they are all standing up neatly, and they’re grouped roughly by size. If you’re up to it, start a giveaway pile for any books you don’t want anymore. A spruced-up bookshelf has a way of making the whole room look nicer.
- Take on the junk drawer. This one is good as long as you stick to one drawer at a time. We all have that one drawer in our house that is a hot mess. Or, erm, maybe there’s more than one. But pick the one that you actually put your hands in every day, because that is the one you’ll appreciate the most once it’s streamlined. Besides, there is a certain amount of satisfaction that comes from tossing all the useless junk in those drawers, you know?
- Or just skip all of it, and head outside for a walk in the beautiful warm weather. There’ll be plenty of time for organizing once they weathers bad again, right?
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