Category: Spring Organizing

When Spring rolls around, most people think and talk about “Spring cleaning” which for a lot of people means cleaning from top to bottom.  You know how it is, you clean all of those things that you wouldn’t clean during your regular weekly cleaning routine.

Spring cleaning is a beautiful thing and paves the way into the season, but when you really think about it , it s down to more than just cleaning.  If you really want to pave the way into the season, you have to purge and establish or refine systems that you already have in place.   Over the course of a year our homes and office spaces can accumulate quite a bit of things and it’s important that we weed those things out on a regular basis so that we only end up with things that we like and things that serve a purpose, which is important when you consider that clutter changes the energy in a space, not to mention physically blocks space.  When the space is free and clear of clutter the energy shifts.

As you declutter your space, sort things into separate boxes: give away, sell, throw away and be sure to get rid of old things associated with negative experiences or emotions.  The energy from them slows down progress and makes the energy in the space heavy, which really doesn’t work especially if you leave it in a work space.  Once you’ve decluttered, be sure that everything has a designated space.  Additionally, be sure that you have a system in place that will keep your environment clutter free and create new habits that will support you.  Additionally, look at your calendar and to-do list.  Clutter can accumulate there as well, it just happens to be in the form of unnecessary appointments and tasks.  When you finish decluttering your space, get rid of the unnecessary things on your calendar and to-do list as well.  Doing so will help you spring forward into the season.

Typically with Spring comes the traditional “Spring cleaning” which usually means cleaning the house from top to bottom.  Truthfully, it has to encompass more than the usual cleaning.  With things they way they are now-a-days, most of us aren’t getting in even the traditional Spring cleaning, but we have to do that and more.  These are my Top 10 tips for Spring organizing:

  • Clean and organize every season or at least twice each year
  • Don’t just clean, but declutter!
  • When you declutter your physical space, think about doing the same with your physical body.  The two are related
  • Clear your mental clutter and remember that when you have clutter in your space, it impacts you on a mental level
  • Get rid of the emotional clutter-toxic people; you know, the ones with the drama, vampires, users, and pessimists
  • Consider that when there is clutter in your space, the energy is different.  When the space is free and clear of clutter the energy shifts.  Get rid of old things associated with negative experiences or emotions.  The energy from them slows down progress and makes the energy in the space heavy.
  • Organize your space after you declutter.  Make a space for everything and put everything in its space
  • Create systems and processes to support you
  • Create and incorporate new habits
  • Triage your time.  Discover your time management personality, choose a tool that fits that personality and create a system for managing your time and stop multitasking!

If you live in Michigan like I do, or another state where the warmer weather has now arrived, you’re probably pulling out your spring and summer clothing and putting away the cold weather items.  When you do that, it’s also a good time to organize your closet.  Take a bit of time to look through what you have and remove the things that you no longer want and no longer wear (typically we wear 20% of the clothes that we have 80% of the time).  Put those items into a bag or box and give them away.

If you do this twice a year, for example now and then again when the cold weather returns, your closet will stay organized and free of items that you no longer wear or want.  Here’s another checklist that I like from Real Simple.  It will help you keep your closet organized.

  • Install double rods. You don’t have to get out the power drill or call a handyman to add a second rod to a closet. Do it yourself.
  • Add a valet hook. Install a hook for hanging dry cleaning before it goes into the closet or to plan outfits for parties.
  • Toss wire hangers. If you want to prolong the life of your clothes, don’t keep them on wire hangers. Wood is better.
  • Use baskets. Put all out-of-season purses in a basket at the top of your closet.
  • Put jewelry in boxes. Label the boxes by category to rid the clutter from your dresser.

Spring is here and it’s time to get in the garage.  The problem is that sometimes you can’t get into your garage because everything is in there.  Here’s an organizing check list that I like from Real Simple.

  • Assess the clutter. Start by creating three categories: keep, donate, and toss. As you go through the items, assign each one to a category. If you rarely use a piece, it’s probably a good candidate for the donate or toss pile.
  • Donate or toss. Contact local charities and arrange for a pickup of items to be donated; put the toss items out with the trash or recycling.
  • Edit the keep pile. Sort the items you’re keeping into new categories, such as sporting equipment, power tools, etc. Assign each category a location: Sporting equipment, for example, might go in a wall cabinet or a bin in a corner; power tools might be hung on a system of hooks on a large piece of Peg-Board.
  • Label items. Give anything that is not plainly identifiable a clear label. (Tuck a permanent marker and blue painter’s tape in a zippered plastic sandwich bag and have the kit handy for labeling anything and everything.)
  • Choose the right shelving. Consider installing metal shelving. It’s affordable, easy to assemble, and able to withstand heat and humidity better than wood. Shelves will also keep your valuables safe from any dampness on the floor.
  • Pick plastic storage boxes. Cardboard boxes, no matter how strong, bend and dent with frequent use and eventually succumb to dampness. Waterproof plastic containers protect their contents better, seal tighter, and are easy to carry or shift around on shelves (as long as they aren’t too big).
  • Hang items to save space. Think about putting up pegs or hooks for such items as bicycles, cords, hoses, tools, strollers, and shovels. String up a hammock in the corner of the garage to hold roly-poly gear, like basketballs.

This past weekend I got my hands dirty and it felt great!  I love plants, flowers and gardening.  I started with some of my house plants that needed to be re-potted and then started getting things ready for the flowers and plants I want to put out on the patio.

It’s easy to re-pot my plants outside on a beautiful day, but for those not so beautiful days during our Michigan winters, I set up a potting station for myself to make it easy to store my supplies and empty pots with a shelf that makes it easy to re-pot my plants.  It works really well for me.  I suggest setting one up in your garage, shed  or even your basement.  If you happen to set yours up in your garage or shed, don’t store your clay pots there during the winter.  They crack in cold temperatures.

We all know how those bags of potting spoil can be bulky, hard to move around when they get wet, so I started keeping potting mix in plastic containers with air tight lids.   This way, it stays in one spot, doesn’t spill out and it stays dry.  If I need to move it, I can do so easily without it ripping open.

Keep open containers handy to put fresh cut flowers, veggies or weeds in and store your small utensils on a shelf, in a bin or use a peg board and corral that garden hose.  A twisted, tangled garden hose doesn’t help you at all.  Invest in a wall mounted hose hanger or hose pot and store the hose properly after each use so that you can easily access it and avoid wasting time trying to untangle it every time you need to use it.

Happy gardening!

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