Spring is here! It’s time to throw the curtains back, open up the windows and sweep the floor and dust the furniture. While the spring cleaning ritual usually gets down to dirty windows and floors, I’ve got some other ideas for you to make your spring feel fresh and clean. These are a few tips and tricks to stay organized and de-clutter your life.
HANGER GAME: This tip is something that’s been around for quite some time but I think it is the best way to start de-cluttering your wardrobe. In your closet arrange all of your hangers to hang one way, then as you wear each piece turn the hanger the opposite way. Do this for one month. After noticing how much of your wardrobe you are not wearing you should really consider tossing most of the unturned garments. If you’re not wearing them, they are just wasting space in your closet. With seasonal garments like winter coats or spring dresses, it’s best to pack these away in bins and stow away. The real estate you have in your closet should be for things you need on the regular so if something is just occupying space and going unused you’re best bet is to tuck it away in a bin OR toss it!
DATE CHECK: We all know the feeling. You’re looking for Pepto Bismol after catching a stomach bug and you realize that the bottle you have in the medicine cabinet expired in 2008. Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes this spring to check your meds expiration dates. Take a quick trip to the drug store and replenish your expired stock so you’re not tempted to take a chance on some expired Pepto the next time you’re tummy hurts. It also doesn’t hurt to take a look at your lotions and shampoo bottles. Often times I find myself keeping half used bottles of lotions and potions then to find them turning yellow once I rediscover them in a dark corner of my bathroom. Checking the color and smell of your haircare and skincare products is a good practice and de-clutters those forgotten spaces under the sink or in the back of a closet.
PANTY PURGE: Underwear are one of those things that just seems to accumulate at an exponential rate. It always seems like a better option to buy five pairs instead of doing laundry each week. While that is a fine strategy, it can mean that your panty drawer is full to the brim with undies that you may have not worn for months or even years. Dump all of your “unmetionables” out on your bed and go through your lot. While keeping the essential period underwear, cute and sexy ones and functional pairs – purge the stained, elastic-stretched, out-dated ones. As a small reward to yourself for being proactive and purging your panty drawer, reward yourself with a few new pairs. Whatever you do, do not buy more panties than the amount of panties you tossed.
COMPUTER CLEAN-UP: Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be all about dusting and sweeping. Take some time to go through your computer files and make some sense of your information. Clean up your desktop and organize your folders. It is also critical to back-up your most essential information and remember to keep those extremely important documents together in a safe place. I abide by the rule of three – if your important files are not saved in three places, you might as well consider them lost. I prefer one cloud based back-up, one hard drive back-up and a USB flash drive as the three-prong approach. That way you cover your bases and hopefully never lose any of your precious files. While you’re at it with your computer clean up, it might make sense to rename some of those files that you can’t recognize by the name you gave it. Using a file-naming convention can really make your computer much more searchable and easier to navigate. Set up a system that works best for you and stick to it. I promise it will make going through those .docs labeled Untitled_1 to 1,000 a lot more manageable.
PANTRY RAID: After a long cold winter of soups and mac and cheese, not to mention the storms that can keep you cooped up inside for days, sometimes the pantry can get over stuffed with canned goods and things you may not need (or know you have). Get into your cabinets and see what’s going on in there. Take a look at expiration dates and if you have multiples of a type of canned good it only takes a few moments to organize them by date. That way as you’re using those black beans or creamed corn you can be sure that the next can has a longer shelf life than the one you’re using today. Also, if you find that you’re over stocked on some things that you bought on sale or in an impulsive shopping trip, do a good dead and donate those non-perishable goods to your local food bank. Also, while you’re at it – take notes on your spice rack. See what herbs and spices you are using most frequently and make a list so you can start a fresh herb garden this spring and freeze or dry your surplus product. Herbs and spices always taste better from your own garden.
These are a few quick and easy tips to getting some of the clutter out of your life. Feel free to share with us in the comment section some of your favorite cleaning tips and tricks!