I’ll admit it: I skipped a lot of spring cleaning this year. Maybe you did too? With my girls heading off to sleepaway camp tomorrow, I knew that I would be focusing my energy on touching literally every bit of my home and getting it organized (plus, it will serve as a nice distraction from how much I miss them!). My husband is thrilled that with our free time I am going to be organizing our home from top to bottom (ha!) but I reminded him that I am not aiming for perfection with this decluttering yet just trying to make a dent in the things I didn’t get around too during spring cleaning. The summer months are the perfect time to open the windows and tackle the areas that have been on the to-do list.
Of course, when I say “total house organization” I’m sure you’re thinking about how daunting that must be, but my approach is to break it up by area and tackle it that way. The end goal will be total organization and decluttering, but I know from years of experience that I’m fooling myself if I think that it will all get done in a day.
So, instead I’m setting aside time to go through each area in my home. I am giving myself a deadline, recruiting my husband to help and giving myself rewards at the end of things!
5 AREAS TO GET ORGANIZED THIS SUMMER
Fridge and pantry. Open all of the cabinets, pull down contents of every cabinet, and touch everything in your fridge and pantry. Look for expired items, items that you no longer want or use, and items that are broken or missing a piece and put them in their appropriate trash or donate box. Check out my previous blog post on organizing mistakes to avoid before you get started in this area of your home.
Garage. There are very few month (in my region, at least) where it’s seasonally appropriate to spend extended periods in a garage. Take advantage of the warmer weather to categorize the contents of what you’re keeping in the garage. If your goal is to *finally* be able to store your car in the garage next winter, be realistic with the amount of stuff that you can store here and plan to declutter or relocate the rest. Here is a previous blog post where I dove a bit deeper into garage organization, including a step-by-step plan to tackle that area of your home.
Storage room and attic. Similar to the garage, these areas are less than glamorous but more likely than not have stuff that you don’t even realize that you own taking up valuable square footage. It’s time to revisit what’s been gathering dust in these areas and decide “yes or no” on whether they continue to stay or its time to go. I did a blog post a couple of years ago on how to organize these spaces, if you’d like to check it out!
Inside of drawers. Let’s tackle those junk drawers once and for all, shall we? Drawers are common culprits for clutter, but when organized properly can be one of best areas to store frequently used items in kitchens, bathrooms, and offices. Pull out all contents from each drawer and categorize the contents. I’m sure you’ll quickly realize what doesn’t belong, what you no longer use, and what you reach for most often. When you’re loading the contents back into the drawer, make sure to give priority placement to those items that you need on a regular basis, and use drawer organizers to keep the categories separated within the drawer to prevent the contents from getting mixed up (making it difficult to find what you’re looking for!). Before you go wild and purchase a bunch of organizing products for your drawers, make sure to read my blog post on how to measure for products before you head to the store.
Kids stuff. Start with discarding what’s no longer functioning (i.e. broken toys, puzzles and games with missing pieces, etc.) and then move on to what’s no longer age appropriate (i.e. books, games, clothing). From there, review what’s left to determine if it should be donated or if should stay, and then categorize and store all the keepers in a way that is easy for your child to access the contents. For more tips on organizing kids spaces, check out this previous post (bonus: it explains how to get kids involved in the process!).