Adios Old Man Winter, hello fresh and renewing spring!
The return of the season inevitably means it’s time to do some serious spring cleaning. I mean, when was the last time you washed that shower curtain or your drapes?!
“Spring cleaning is the perfect time to do a thorough once-over of your entire home,” says Monica Friel of Chaos to Order. “We tend to hold on to way more than we need, so this is a great time as the days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer to find motivation to clean through areas of your home that aren’t regularly focused on.”
Whether you need to sort, clean, scrub or declutter, here are the top places to give your cleaning attention first.
Entry closets and mud rooms
“It’s time to review those winter coats, hats, gloves, boots and snow pants,” says Patty Mullin, professional organizer and owner of Organizing Unlimited. “Pack away and store the items that will be worn next winter and donate everything that won’t fit someone in the family next season.”
Put out a basket for each family member to be their own personal drop zone, she says. “Then no one is digging through everyone’s stuff to find that favorite baseball cap.”
Refrigerator and kitchen cabinets
“Have a ‘must-go’ night where everything in the fridge must go,” Friel says. “Wipe down the shelves, and don’t forget to vacuum the vents to keep your refrigerator running efficiently. Also go through pantry cabinets and the freezer to dispose of any outdated food.”
Medicine cabinets and linen closets
“Dig into those medicine cabinets and linen closets to review all the products and dispose of outdated items,” Mullin says. “Check to see that you have a good inventory of the basics, including a first aid kit, sunscreen and bug repellent.”
Clothing closets and dressers
“If you don’t purge clothing on a regular basis, now is a great time to do it,” says Mullin. “Review one family member’s clothing at a time and start by emptying closets and dressers, sort into piles of like items, and then sort by keep, donate and dispose. If you have children that are able to wear hand-me-downs, bin and label the season and size of clothing before packing it away.”
One room at a time
Pick a room and stay there until you are done, Friel says. “Doing odds and ends in every room will leave you frustrated and feeling unaccomplished. Start in one room and finish it.” A thorough purge should be the first step, she says. “Getting rid of what you’re not using has the most impact on helping spaces look and feel cleaner and more organized.”
Electronics and all those cords
“Go through your house room by room and gather all the electronics and cords that aren’t being used,” Mullin says. “Box them up and get rid of them. If your town has an electronic drop-off or pick-up service, now is the time to take advantage of that.”
Reduce consumption and donate
“Good organization allows you to know exactly what you have and keep a mental inventory,” says Friel. “This will help you avoid purchasing unnecessary items and duplicates.”
Donate or sell the items taking up your storage space.
Don’t forget the garage!
“The garage usually needs some attention once spring rolls around,” Mullin says. “Gather the sleds and shovels and store them away. Get the bikes, sports equipment and gardening supplies ready to use.”
Host a community block sale
If your community allows garage or block sales, consider getting together with your neighbors to get rid of your extra stuff. Put the kids to work pricing and selling their toys while you focus on the rest of your stuff.
“I suggest you go into it with an open mind that you’re not going to make a lot [of money] and what doesn’t sell gets packed up and dropped off at a donation site as soon as the sale is over,” Mullin says.