Organizing Your Home & Spring Cleaning

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. After a long winter, we are all open to the idea of letting some fresh air come in, we want to get ready for the “new time” ahead and warmer days to enjoy.

At this time of the year, I work with my clients in large de-cluttering and organizing sessions getting their house organized and ready for summer!

In each case, I suggest simple strategies that will bring lasting results:

Getting Ready:

Start small, both in space and time, so you can feel you got somewhere after each session. Use a timer and work until it’s up. Keep your water and phone close by.

When working on a large area, select a space to work on, the one closest to the door and then, work on a clockwise direction, until you reach the door again.

Before working make sure you have all you’ll need: paper bags (for repairs, move to another room, donate, toss), markers, dust cloth, a quick pick up vacuum cleaner, measuring tape, notepad, and a pencil)

Spring Cleaning the Closets

This is the time of the year we do switch from warm and bulky sweaters, back to lighter outfits, so it’s the perfect time to check all that was used, that needs repairs, dry cleaning or that you decided to donate. Be honest and let go of what you don’t love, don’t need or that you won’t use because hurts you (expensive shoes?), won’t look good (tight on the hips), but you keep because you paid for it. Keeping them won’t change the fact that you don’t use them.

  • Once you finish cleaning up your closet, organize it by type of garment, then by color. It will make it a lot easier to maintain it as you go.
  • I like to hang my hangers inside out every beginning of the year, and if 12 months later they still hanging facing out the hanging rod, that means I didn’t use it. Time to let go.
  • End of the cold season also means the kids will need new size clothes, making it the perfect time to check what doesn’t fit them anymore. With three young boys, being the older ones twins, I keep one large container with left-overs for my little one, and I let go of the rest.
  • Shoes: make sure you clean all your winter shoes before putting them away for the remainder of the year. The salt and mud will stay with them for the next year and with time will ruin your shoes. If you have tall boots, use inserts to prevent bending or breaking of the ankles and leather.
  • Coat closet and entryways: if you have a basement or attic, create an area to store your winter coats and jackets there using a garment rack. Also bring your winter shoes here. Doing this will free up space in your entrance for the Spring/Summer gear, like umbrellas, rain boots, rain jackets, a basket with your beach towels, another one for goggles and pool toys.

Spring Cleaning the Kitchen

  • Go through your pantry and check for items you bought when the weather turned colder, like pumpkin cake mix, chocolate mint cookie dough or that bag of marshmallows to go with your hot chocolate. Check for expiration date and toss what’s old, spoiled or you won’t use. Also, organize your fridge and freezer: didn’t eat the ham?
  • As the kids will get more active outside, get your first-aid kit and bug repellant ready and keep them in a small container in your kitchen or wherever you spend most of your time, that’s the best spot.
  • School: If you have children coming into Kindergarten this year, this is the time to get the school selected and enroll the kids.
  • Summer break will be here before you know it, so if you need/want your kids in the camps, pick yours now and proceed with enrollment as well. The spots in the best summer camps get taken quickly, and you don’t want to settle for less just because you didn’t take care of it now. Here is a handy planner for camps selection.
  • If you still have Fall or Christmas ornaments still out or just lying around in the garage waiting for warmer days to do the job, now is the time. Store them correctly to have them in good shape when the season comes around again.
  • Store the round and small ornaments in egg cartons or apple containers from Costco, the long candles in the insert of the paper towels and use a cardboard piece to wrap the cords around to prevent tangling. Inexpensive solutions will go a long way too!

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11 Comments

  1. Stephanie Gabriel says:

    Love this list! I thought I was organized but really found value in the points about including the pantry in seasonal change. Thank you Helena for helping me get ready for the warmer weather…although it’s been a strange weather year and feels like summer already!

    1. Stephanie, thank you so much for coming by and I’m happy you got a new idea to improve a system, that it looks like it’s working for you.

      Talk about strange weather! I’ve relocated from MD to CA last summer and was a very “strange” winter for us – no snow?!?

      Let me know how your organizing efforts are going. Will love to hear about it!

  2. Love the colors of the photos on your post! And, I LOVE to have a good spring clean, the photos have really inspired me to schedule it in my diary!

    1. Donna, so glad you came by and it makes me very happy that you like it!
      Let me hear about your progress and if you get stuck somewhere in the middle, let me know and I’ll get you moving forward!
      Have a wonderful day!

      Helena

  3. I do pretty well organizing most areas of the house, and garage. But the office is just a nightmare. Paper, paper, paper. And warranty and instruction booklets. And power cords. Ugh!

    1. Denise, thank you so much for coming by and I’m sorry for the late reply!
      I’ll gear up on a post of paper management so you can turn nightmare into sweet dreams with that office space!

  4. Hi David.
    So glad to have you here and that you got some new nuggets for your organizing.
    Snowflakes now?! We need to organize that schedule! 🙂

    Have a great week and let me know how getting organized is going for you!

    Helena

  5. Amazing – three years later and your organizing advises are strong like hell.
    Agree, great reminders for cleaning spaces that I usually always forget.

    It is never too late for a thank you!

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