It’s that time of year again: spring cleaning and organizing season has officially arrived. We see it discussed on social media, hear about it on the news, and see it in promotions offered at every big box store. There are tips on what you should keep and what you should toss, product suggestions to make your home more organized, and sales enticing you to make the purchases.
If only it were as easy to implement as it sounds, right? What happens when busy schedules, family life, and outside priorities (not to mention the 10,000 other things) get in the way? Plus, if you’re anything like most of our clients, you’ve probably skipped a season or two of cleaning. And that’s ok. Life gets in the way and the task seems too big (and unappealing) to take on.
But, there are ways to get through your spring cleaning, and guess what: it doesn’t have to all fall on your shoulders. Your home is where you family lives, so keeping up with your home should not be expected to a task for a single person. The mess and “stuff” is a compilation of everyone’s contributions and should be treated as such.
My 9-year old identical twin daughters and I were on Great Day Washington earlier to discuss spring organizing tips and to provide real-life examples of how families, including those with young children, can help out with getting organized (and not just create more chaos).
SPRING ORGANIZING TIPS FOR THE FAMILY
Here are a couple of ways to get your family involved with spring cleaning this year:
Many of us don’t have room for all of our clothing inside our closets so spring is the perfect time time clear out and declutter. Take out and touch each item and decide the last time you wore it.
How to get your kids involved: make it convenient! Put a donation bin in your child’s closet so that they can easily toss in clothing as they outgrow it.
TOYS AND BOOKS
Go through the toys and pull out any broken toys, toys with missing pieces, or toys that your children have outgrown and move to the trash, or–if they are in decent condition–move to the donation bag. The same goes for books that are no longer at your child’s reading level.
How to get your kids involved: make it a game! Set a timer and see many toys and books that are no longer in use (or broken) to add to a donation or trash bag.
Pull out everything in your pantry (including spices and oils!) and get rid of anything that is expired or that your family no longer consumes. Take this as a time to categorize everything that is left so that when it goes back into the pantry the like items are grouped together and it is easy to see what you have and what you need for future grocery trips.
How to get your kids involved: make it educational! Have your kids look for expiration dates and toss out any expired food. Task them with grouping the remaining food into food groups and categories to make putting it all back in the pantry even easier.
The garage and basement can easily become full of items that you no longer need, want, or knew that you even owned. Take stock of what you are storing in these locations to avoid hanging on to items that you don’t need and are taking up storage space. It will look much worse before it gets better but I recommend taking out and touching everything that you have stored in these areas. This should involve the entire family.
How to get your kids involved: be a project manager and divvy up the duties! Explain the plan of attack to the family and give each person a job. After the work is done give a small reward for all of the hard work (incentives work!).
Watch the full segment here:
I’m curious: what’s your opinion on spring cleaning? Do you make it a priority to declutter every year?
PRODUCTS WE LOVE
ORGANIZATION FOR YOUR LIFE: GOING PLACES WITH KIT AND ACE
I am hosting an interactive workshop with Kit and Ace on Thursday, March 30 from 7-9 PM (1921 8th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001). Join me for a consultation focused on your travel and packing organizational challenges as I cover all things closet, packing, and wardrobe related including: packing tips and tricks for a better travel experience, and how to (realistically) improve the functionality of your closet. Interested in attending? Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Rachel and Company is a professional organizing firm based in Bethesda, MD, serving clients in the Washington, DC area including: Potomac, Maryland Georgetown, the Palisades, McLean, Arlington, and Alexandria, Virginia.