With the hot summer weather about to hit, there’s no better time to clean up your house and get it organized. Even if you don’t think you have a lot of things lying around, you might be surprised by the amount of clutter that builds up over time. By pulling everything out of each room, you’ll be able to get rid of what you don’t need so it’s no longer taking over your home.
It’s easy to put off storing your winter clothes until it’s time to use them again, especially if they’re stored in the back where you can’t see them. Instead of letting these bulky pieces take up space where other clothes could be hanging, take them down and place them in plastic storage containers. If you don’t have enough space for containers, then try using vacuum bags. These gently push the air out of the bags so your clothes and blankets shrink down to virtually nothing. Fortunately, as soon as you open these bags back up, your items will fluff up again so they won’t be damaged at all.
Underneath Your Bed
The nook underneath your bed can be difficult to clean unless you’re willing to move this heavy piece of furniture. However, you can get rid of dust bunnies with either a broom or vacuum that has a hose attachment. If you find any toys, food, or storage underneath, then either throw it away or dispose of it as needed. With storage containers, comb through them to see if you really want to keep what you’ve been hiding away.
How many half-eaten bags of chips are lying around your pantry? Since bugs can be prevalent in the warmer weather, you’ll want to clean these areas out so they don’t crawl into them. Glass or food-safe plastic snack containers can be excellent for leftover chips as well as cookies, cereal, and other loose food items. They can also be useful for storing baking goods that are often difficult to seal, such as flour and sugar.
Before putting food back onto your shelves, take the time to dust them off and vacuum up any crumbs. It’s also a good idea to pull out any items you’re not going to eat and donate them to a food pantry. If you have foods that are about to expire, make it a priority to eat them as soon as possible to eliminate food waste.
Aside from your pantry, it’s recommended to go through your kitchen and eliminate the clutter that can be leftover from excess holiday baking and family gatherings. A good way to start is by tackling the fridge to see what might be lurking in the dark corners. Toss out anything that looks unhealthy and consider using plastic organization containers to keep yogurt, juice boxes, or other small items easily contained. Wiping down shelves can also help remove spills so the interior of the fridge looks and smells better.
The Junk Drawer
Everyone has a junk drawer that’s tucked away in their dining room or kitchen and packed full of random things that otherwise have no home. Do yourself a favor by going through this drawer and taking everything out. Buy an organizer to place inside and then you can begin to sort everything out. From batteries to hair ties, if you make a space where everything belongs, you won’t have to spend a lot of time looking for those items later. As always, toss out the trash and try to donate any items that you haven’t touched in around 1 year.
If you have kids, then it’s likely that you have a lot of toys lying around the house. Unfortunately, many of these may be untouched and gathering dust. While you should store those that you want to keep inside of plastic bins, others should be donated or sold via a yard sale. If they are old enough, have them help out by placing three separate bins on the floor. One should be labeled “keep”, one should be labeled “donate”, and the last should be labeled “sell”. Although this can initially be difficult for kids to process, with some explanation and understanding, they should get on board with helping.
Library or Book Storage
Books are important resources to have in your home for both kids and adults. However, it’s very unlikely you need every single one that you’ve ever purchased. While you can use some for reference and others for home decor, the excess can be donated. In fact, companies like The Book Fairies, take donated books and reuse them so they are given new homes and never gone to waste. While you should keep any books that you truly love and enjoy, you can feel good about giving your other books to those who will genuinely appreciate having them to read.
Outdoor Furniture and Storage
If you haven’t been outside much due to the colder weather, then it’s likely your outdoor furniture is a little bit dirty. Fortunately, you can clean it up with some soap and a blast of pressurized water. Aside from this, you should clean out any outdoor storage sheds or deck boxes and get rid of items that may have decayed over the past few months. Pool storage is especially important to go through since the moisture in some items can cause mold or mildew when left untouched.
Your bathroom may be harboring more hair clips and ties than you can count. However, if you check your medicine cabinet, you’ll probably also find some expired medications that need to be properly disposed of. In addition to this, you should check for empty shampoo/conditioner and get rid of any razors that have started to rust. Freshen the room up with a new shower curtain liner, a fresh razor, and full bottles of soap.
If you’re like most households, then you toss things in the garage when they don’t fit inside of the house. While this might work for a while, it can result in a garage that is so full it won’t fit your car. To clear this space out, go through everything and decide what you will sell, donate, or throw away. Once everything is out of the garage, set up shelves with plastic storage bins. After that, you can begin putting everything you’re going to keep in the appropriately labeled containers. This will take time and money, but if you are tight on space and want to find things easily, it’s well worth it.