Is anyone else excited about the arrival of spring? More fresh air, outdoor time, daylight hours, warmer temperatures, open windows…there is something very motivating about this seasonal change!
It’s also great when you can harness this energy to organize, de-clutter and get your home spring–ready.
Before starting, follow this 3-step preparation process to help you manage what is coming up ahead!
Step 1: Organize and de-clutter, deciding what to keep and what is no longer needed or used.
Step 2: Set aside categorized bins and boxes to ease the “letting go” part – recycling, garbage, donation, electronic waste, toxic chemicals, and action (i.e.: return to Mom, fix zipper, find charger, etc.).
Step 3: Just do it! Go to the donation or e-waste centre, take out recycling, return items, etc.
Now you’re ready to tackle the 5 key areas below, and feel the benefits of a spring organizing effort.
1. Closet Clear out
The Front hallway/closet changeover is often the busiest place in the house. Before storing your winter gear (in labeled, clear plastic bins OR at the far end of the closet), go through ALL items and decide what to keep, let go of, or donate, and then place into designated areas/bins. Out with the bulky winter coats, boots and gear and in with the lighter jackets, raingear and boots! Doing this usually means more space in the closet – and less stuff you are not going to wear next year, or any year after that!
2. Clothing De-clutter
Clothes take up a lot of space, time and effort so make sure you, and your family members, keep only what fits and what they will wear, now. Go through your clothing and ask, “Will I wear it? “Do I like it?” “Does it make me feel good?” and determine what to keep, let go of, or donate. Once you know what you actually need, pack all your winter clothes into a labeled clear bin and store. Repeat this process for family members who don’t do this on their own! Unwanted items? Take them to your local donation centre/consignment shop and feel more organized AND less cluttered.
3. Kitchen Flow
What makes us happiest in the kitchen, besides good food? Easy to get & use kitchen items to make the good food! The most functional kitchens are the ones where the appliances, utensils & accessories are close at hand, accessible and easy to use. Make sure everything in your kitchen has a designated home – and put things back where they belong! Group all “like” items together – all mugs together by your coffee maker, all breakfast items within easy morning reach, etc. Donate any duplicate items (can openers anyone?) and keep only what you really need and use. For spring, put your outdoor items (pitchers, bbq gear, etc.) nearby so they are easy to reach and enjoy!
4. Garage Control
Get in there and determine what you need for spring, and let go of any holdovers from who knows when. Put away the winter shovels, de-icers, winter mats, skis, toboggans, etc. to make room for your spring sports equipment, camping gear, gardening & lawn care supplies, outdoor furniture. Use hooks and peg boards on the wall for as many items as you can. Let go of anything that’s broken, or no longer useful in your life now. Curbside recycling is fast an easy! For more expensive items you no longer need, consider selling online or taking them to a local church, school or parent group spring sale.
5. Containing Kids Stuff
Kids clothing, books, sports gear and toys have a unique way of expanding…rapidly! To calm the chaos of too much kids stuff, think about what they actually need and use now, and let go of the rest. Donating unwanted items to a school, daycare, church, or community centre, selling items online, or taking items to a consignment store are all ways to feel more organized. Making a seasonal list of what your child needs, going through their items to see what’s missing, and then buying only what’s needed, is a great (and cost effective!) way to stay organized. Another tip is to create a “kids donation” bin, fill it as things are no longer needed, and donate items appropriately. Kids need less than we think to be happy.
Harnessing the energy of spring to organize, de-clutter, minimize and downsize is a great way to create more calm and order in your life. Best is to simply start and see how good you feel as you let go of things and create systems that work – for you and your family. Enjoy prepping your outdoor items for their spring awakening!
One last bonus tip: buy some fresh flowers to add freshness and colour to spring’s arrival – enjoy!