With the changing of seasons, the inevitable spring-cleaning bug tends to bite — sometimes hard. Here to help you organize those spaces in your home that need a little freshening up, Audrey Swanson is picking the minds of local professionals to share their tricks of the trade on home organization.
Over the last few months, we’ve divided and conquered how to keep every single spot in your home tidy and neat. Inevitably, a few of these pro’s tips rang some similarities. With my internship drawing to a close, I thought I’d compile a list of the 10 most significant bits of advice I’ve received during my Freshen Up Fridays series. These gems apply to your entire household, so consider this your cleaning Bible.
1. Make labels your new best friend. Whether it’s storage bins in the garage, office desk drawers, or containers in the pantry, basically anything that stores an object in your home deserves a label. Nothing’s worse than searching through seven unnamed boxes trying to find that one sweater you know you packed somewhere.
2. Use smart storage tools. Throw these bins into drawers for easy categorization, these desk trays for pretty paper storage, and these storage baskets for pantry organization. Accessories that serve a dual purpose of storing excess items and looking nice are probably the best home inventions out there and a worthy investment.
3. Purge the pointless. Hoarding happens to the best of us, but sometimes you need to let things go for your home’s space sake. Say goodbye to clothing that hasn’t been worn in a year and items that have stayed in storage for two or more, and then rejoice in all your newfound extra space.
4. Color-block the closet. Not only will this help you find attire easier, your closet will also look gorgeously color-coordinated and (I’m convinced) therefore that much more like a celeb dream closet.
5. Work in sections. Just like any big project, if you try to tackle your whole home in a day, you will end up frustrated and fatigued. Try starting with the kitchen one weekend and then tackle bathroom organization the next. Splitting it up will truly save your sanity.
6. Start and end the day with a five-minute pick-up. Take a moment at the beginning and end of each day to do a full-home sweep. This is when you can take small measures to make the house feel put together, like returning shoes where they belong, re-hanging dishtowels, and doing a quick wipe of counters.
7. Utilize all surfaces. And we mean all. Rolled under the bed, hanging on walls or the ceiling, tucked into cabinets: everything should belong in a certain space, even if it takes some creativity to get it there.
8. Keep similar items together. This tip works in every room of the house. Keep frozen meals with frozen meals in the freezer, hair accessories with hair accessories in the bathroom, movies with movies in the family/media room, and . . . I think you get the picture.
9. Write notes-to-self. Instead of keeping bills stacked on the desk as a reminder to pay them soon, write it down on a notepad and store the envelopes in a drawer. Notes-to-self are less obtrusive than leaving things lying around and easy to keep track of when needing to make to-do lists (which, if you’re like me, is every day).
10. Set goals for you and your home. Determine the purpose of each room. If the bedroom is meant for relaxation only, keep computers and electronics in the office. With the knowledge of how you would like to use every room, organizing their contents becomes simple.
Audrey Swanson is a D Home and D Weddings intern.