The time of year where we look around our homes and offices and evaluate just how much “stuff” we have, has arrived. Spring cleaning is here. It's time to declutter and organize, so we can increase efficiency and decrease feelings of stress in our everyday lives. Although it’s easy to look around your house and pinpoint the things you want to get rid of, the process is much easier said than done. Spring cleaning can be overwhelming. It can cause an increase in stress rather than a decrease. Here are 8 tips to help you declutter and become organized efficiently and strategically.
1. A place for everything and everything in its place: Try to designate certain areas in your home for items that tend to be misplaced. For example, try to avoid throwing your keys, extra change, and other small things on tables. Invest in some hooks and “catch-all” trays to keep things in one place. Clear a space in your hall closet or bedroom closet for shoes rather than just taking them off as soon as you walk in the house and leaving them on the floor.
2. Declutter your bathroom: Take everything out of your medicine cabinet, bathroom drawers, linen closets etc., prior to organizing. This way, you can get rid of everything you don’t want and appropriately organize the spaces with the things you really need. Use drawer dividers or shallow bins to keep toiletries organized.
3. Store fewer products in your bathroom. Rather than having many of the same products, treat yourself to some higher end products, but keep fewer of them. Hang hooks in your bathroom for towels rather than taking up space in drawers.
4. Rearrange your kitchen cabinets. Take everything out of a kitchen cabinet, wipe down the shelves and throw away the expired products. Unwanted products that are not expired can be donated. Once you have eliminated unwanted products, try to organize foods by similar categories (e.g., put all of the pastas together etc.).
5. Make your bed: A simple task like making your bed can give your room a fresh, organized look. The bed is typically the biggest piece of furniture in a bedroom. Making the bed makes the room look instantly put together.
6. Clean out your closet: Get rid of all of the things you don’t wear. If you haven’t worn something in years, you probably aren’t going to wear it now. Donate your clothes or consign them. Have a bag to place unwanted garments in as you go along so when you are finished, you know exactly what you are keeping and what you are giving away.
7. Make the most of your storage: Use functional storage methods. For example, use an ottoman that opens for storage. This is especially helpful for storing children’s toys. Use stylish baskets for blankets or pillows. Try to invest in storage items that have a double use.
8. Don’t overwhelm open shelving: Open book shelves, tv units, etc., are great, but don’t put too many things on them. This can make your home look messier than it actually is. Put some books, and space them out with other items. Don’t store electronics with exposed wires on the shelves. This also creates a messy look!