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Spring cleaning checklist

Finally, it’s spring! Time to do your spring cleaning and reduce the clutter accumulated over the long winter. Now is the best time to donate your gently used clothing and household goods to your neighborhood Goodwill store.

1. Gather the Right Tools

o Labels. Use a label machine or simply some tape and a permanent marker.

o Bins. From simple plastic tubs to drawer units to repurposed fruit crates, any bins will do. Stackable bins are usually most versatile.

o Shelves. Buy them or build them until you have enough to store your bins on! DIY options include stacking crates on their sides, using PVC pipes or building with reclaimed wood.

o Two colors of trash bags. Black for trash, white for items to donate.

o Laundry baskets / taped-off areas on the floor. Get at least four baskets, or use tape on the floor to make four (or more) separate 3’ x 3’ spaces, so you can organize in categories.

o Bucket for cleaning.

o Cleaning rags/sponges, plus dish soap or white vinegar. Fill your bucket with hot water, and add a few splashes of dish soap or vinegar (or both). You’ll need it soon.

o Vertical space tools. Add the below tools to your shopping list, or explore other options.

Pegboard + pegs. The pegs can hang items or support small shelves.

Hanging shoe organizers. There are over-the-door and closet-rod varieties, and they’re not just for shoes! Use them for hats, linens and more.

Hooks. Evaluate what kind you need. Need to hang a bike from the garage ceiling? Or just hang your purses and belts on the closet door?

2. Purge Items You Don’t Need

The best way to make organization easy is to have fewer objects to store. Get ready to declutter! Evaluate your belongings one room at a time, and check off these five tasks for every single room:

o Put trash in your black trash bags.

o Put items to be donated in your white trash bags and label Goodwill

o Place your black and white trash bags out of the way, and don’t go digging in them again!

o Fill a laundry basket (or taped-off space) with items you want to keep but organize better.

o Clean any dusty or dirty items you want to keep with your cleaning solution and rag / sponge. They can dry as you complete the next steps.

3. Categorize Your “Keep” Pile

Now logically divide the items you want to keep. Possible categories are sports gear, summer clothes and tools. Here’s how to do it:

o Evaluate your “keep” pile in each room to determine categories.

o Label laundry baskets (or taped-off areas) by category, and begin moving items to those areas until everything has a space. You may find that you need to create an extra category as you go.

o Create subcategories if you have many items in one category. For example, divide sports gear by season, winter clothing by type, or the garage tools by standard and metric sizes (or by purpose). Get a few smaller tubs to divide these objects up, or just place them next to each other.

4. Choose Locations for Your Categories

o Decide where in the house (or garage, or shed, etc.) each category and subcategory pile should be stored. Like items should usually be kept together so they can be found easily.

o Add a location label to each category (and subcategory, if necessary)

5. Prepare Existing Storage Spaces

Your go-to places for storage probably haven’t been loved in a while. Follow these steps next:

o Make sure your existing shelves, bins, closets and other storage spaces are in good repair; fix any damage before you put anything back in the space.

o Fill a bucket with warm water and a few splashes of dish soap or white vinegar. Wipe down all your storage areas, and allow them to dry completely. (Or dry them yourself with a cloth.)

o Plan exactly where each category of items will go in your existing storage spaces. You may pre-label the spaces so you know where to put everything.

o Estimate whether everything will fit. If you have doubts, keep reading to find uncommon storage spaces!

6. Set Up Storage in Uncommon Places

Make more space in your place! Check off whichever of the below areas where you’d like to set up some extra storage, and follow the accompanying instructions for your choices.

o Behind doors that always stay open

Instructions: Add hooks (or over-the-door storage) behind the door or on the walls behind it. This is also a great spot for a mop, broom or compact vacuum.

o Inside of cabinet doors

Instructions: Screw small hooks, cups, platforms or towel hangers inside cabinet doors, making sure the items you store there won’t bump into the objects inside the cupboard.

o Undersides of shelves that are spaced far apart

Instructions: For under shelves, consider an under-shelf basket! These hook easily onto the above shelf. You can also hang items below a shelf with hooks.

o Sides of cabinets or other solid furniture.

Instructions: Make a storage spot for magazines, books or other flat objects like cutting boards! Install a small screw-in cupboard towel rack, along with a shallow platform below it. Slide your flat items behind the rack to rest on the platform.

o Ceiling or high areas of the garage

Instructions: Use special hooks to hang bikes from the ceiling. There are easy hanging solutions for kayaks or paddleboards too. To store other items near the ceiling, install a shelf on the wall studs.

o Unfinished attic

Instructions: Add a plywood floor for stacking bins and more. Just be sure the items you store here are safe in a space that isn’t climate-controlled.

o Tall closet

Instructions:If space and height allow, install an extra clothing rod. If there’s less space, you may still be able to install a shelf above the existing rod. Is there space near the floor? Use it creatively!

o Under the bed

Instructions: Buy bins that slide under a bed, or create your own by adding wheels to short crates or to homemade boxes. These solutions are cheap and useful!

7. Put Your Stuff Away & Finish Up!

Now that you’ve categorized, cleaned and prepared, you’re ready to put everything away! Here are your last steps to check off the list:

o Donate the items in your white trash bags. Options: charity organizations, resale stores, consignment shops, or your friends and family.

o Take out the trash in your black trash bags.

o Bring each categorized pile or basket to its assigned location.

o At each location, put the least-used items away first so they’re at the bottoms of bins, on higher shelves or at the backs of deeper shelves.

o Put the commonly used items away next, within reach and sight.

o Vacuum the areas where you were staging your categories; they’re probably a little dusty! Finish cleanup by putting away any extra laundry baskets or other materials.

o Have a glass of water, and kick up your feet in your organized home!

Continue your journey and explore the top 10 Organization Blogs of 2023

Abby is the sweetest and most down-to-earth person – We just love her! When it comes to organizing, Abby not only talks the talk, but she walks the walk. She has two energetic boys, so when it comes to talking about keeping the home tidy with a family, she gets it. Abby’s well known for her fabulous printables and the crazy-effective system that she and her husband have used to go completely paper-free in her home!

More info about this organizing blog:

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Toni Hammersly has been blogging at A Bowl Full of Lemons for almost a decade, and you can bet your butter she’s got a ton of great tips!

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On her blog, Laura shares her organizing obsession with the rest of the world, and she’s not afraid to say how crazy she is about organizing! She’s got tons of tips on how to declutter and organize each and every room in your home, as well as cool printables and planners to help you with everything from organizing to meal planning. Who doesn’t love a good printable? I know I do!

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After struggling for years with clutter, Cas discovered there are four different organizing styles, which are: bee, ladybug, cricket, and butterfly. She can help you figure out what type of clutterbug you are and then teach you how to create a system that suits your organizing style and help you stay tidy – once and for all!

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Founder – Cassandra Aarssen (aka Cas)

Jenn originally started her blog to showcase her favorite home products but quickly became obsessed with sharing her creating home projects to declutter, organize, clean, tidy, and decorate the home. Her blog is full of ideas on how to simplify, get your projects done, craft with your kids, plan your meals, and much, much more.

More info about this organizing blog:

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Authors – Jenn Lifford

As you can probably guess from the name, Jen loves organizing! Although she considers being “mom” her #1 job (she has three boys), Jen also writes on her blog full time, is a Better Homes & Garden contributor, and runs an online printable shop. You will love her real-life home organization projects, DIY tips, and tips to declutter, clean, organize, and beautify your home.

More info about this organizing blog:

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Authors – Jen Jones

Must-read article – DIY Cereal Box Drawer Dividers

Clea and Joanna are long-time friends who started The Home Edit with the goal to reinvent traditional organizing. They seek to merge home organization strategies with design and interior styling that are both beautiful and functional. They have 5.5+ million followers on Instagram and a Netflix series showcasing their projects. Their style is bright, colorful, and very, very aesthetically pleasing.

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Must-read article – Clea’s House Tour

I’m familiar with Dana from her YouTube channel, but she also has a blog to help clean, declutter, and organize their homes – she calls it “reality-based cleaning and organizing!

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Authors – Dana K. White

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Like so many others on this list, Erin is obsessed with organization – it’s her passion! On her blog, you’ll find plenty of inspiration to clean, declutter, and organize your home, as well as holiday how-tos, fun ideas for families, and family fashion favorites. Seriously, that’s one photogenic family!

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Authors – Erin

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Melissa has a passion for helping people make everyday life more beautiful and less stressful, and she does this by combining form and function as you organize and decorate your home. A former accountant who now creates full-time, Melissa has been featured in the Better Homes & Gardens and Room to Create magazines and online by House Beautiful, HGTV, Buzzfeed, and more.

More info about this organizing blog:

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Authors – Melissa George

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