Spring is in the air and so is the feeling of reawakening. Each year around this time, as the cycle of rebirth begins, many of us are inspired to make a fresh start. Hence spring cleaning: it’s the perfect time to take on big projects to tidy, organize, and refresh your space.
Big cleaning projects often seem overwhelming, but with the right approach the project will fly by, and at the end, you’ll feel like you just completed a marathon or finished climbing Mount Everest. Not that I’ve ever done either of those, but there is no other way to express this unique feeling of accomplishment when you face a well-appointed and organized space.
Here are my top spring-cleaning projects to make you feel liberated, purified, and accomplished:
Master closet, kitchen, fridge and kitchen cupboards, garage, and outdoor spaces.
THE CLOSET is always my favorite place to start. Walking into a clean, organized, and well-appointed closet can make it seem like you’ve found a whole new wardrobe that you didn’t know you had. You’ll feel excited about getting dressed in the morning and have more time to get ready because it’ll be easy to find everything you’re looking for.
Here are the steps:
- Take everything out of the closet. Yes, everything.
- Deep clean closet shelves, floor, and air-vent system.
- Separate your clothes in 3 separate piles:
- KEEP: Things you love and know you will wear next fall and winter.
- DONATE: Things that are too small and items you will never wear. Donating these items to a person or family can make a big difference.
- RESALE: Name brand items that are still in great condition, but you no longer wish to wear. Pack it up or leave on hangers and take it to your closest used clothes reseller.
- Organize and pack up the rest until fall.
- Bring out the Spring clothes and sort them before you put them back into your closet.
- Organize the closet based on the way you live. Create clothing and accessory sectionst.
- Professional clothes and accessories
- Casual, but professional
- Evening and special occasion
- Workout, at home on the weekend and pajama section
- Shoes, purses, and jewelry should be done in the same way
While cleaning the master closet is a rewarding activity, sometimes professional help is key. I would highly recommend a closet organizer or personal shopper. They can be a great help with tossing out all those items you’ve been saving for the past 2 decades–because you just know this is the year you will lose the extra pounds and be able to get int it.
Last year, I hired a professional closet organizer to help me with my closet. I can tell you, it was
the best thing I could have ever done. She made me realize that I had to throw away some of those pieces I thought were a classic…after all I am never going to be able to get in them again, and if I do, it will no longer be the hip thing it was back then.
I recommend a similar ritual as the closet: Take everything out and separate into the stuff you want to keep and the stuff you can throw away. Throw everything out that is leaking, broken or left unpacked. Chances are it’s no longer any good and leaving it in your garage will only make it cluttered. Clean everything and reorganize the garage. You can thank me later.
Unlike in the closet, the garage requires some special care. It’s important to check the gardening or cleaning chemicals you might store there. Discard older substances and chemicals you no longer use. Untended chemicals can be dangerous to your family and pets if left to sit for too long. Search the internet for the proper ways and places to dispose of them, such as your local recycling plant.
FRIDGE AND KITCHEN CUPBOARDS:
This is actually something that really should be done every quarter, for your family’s health and diet.
Start by auditing your condiments. Assuming the bottle has been opened, salad dressing can last 1-3 months in the fridge, mayo lasts 2 months, ketchup will keep 6 months, BBQ sauce will last 6-8 months, and mustard and chocolate syrup can last up to 1 year in the fridge.
Follow that up by cleaning the inside. A mixture of baking soda (1tbsp) and water (1 cup) works best – if you have dried spills, make a paste of the baking soda and water and wipe with a microfiber cloth. The leftover baking soda can be used in the fridge to keep odors down. Just replace the box every three months. Even though most fridges come with the egg container in the door, they should be stored in the original container in the main part of the fridge. The door is the warmest part.
Lastly, don’t forget to clean behind the fridge. Vacuum the coils and wipe down the grill. Sweep and mop the floor. Voilà! The fridge is complete
For the cupboards, take everything out, perform the keep vs. throwaway ritual as you did in the closet and garage, wipe the interior with a damp towel, and put everything back.
EXTERIOR LIVING SPACE:
Spending a few hours each day outside after a long cold winter can be a fun way to renew your energy level. Think about the way you want to spend the summer with your family and how you plan to use the space outdoor. Plan a few projects for spring and make a few changes– it can have a huge difference to the quality of your life.
Aside from the big projects, there are a few other things that need to be checked on to be sure that everything survived the havoc that father winter can create, like your gutters, eves, roof, issues with critter holes, windows, doors, flashing, stonework on the chimney, and hardscapes. If you are too busy to do this on your own, be sure to have a professional do a walkabout your home and take notes. Catching minor issues at this point can save you a lot of money down the road.