If you have a lot of stuff in your home that you just need to get rid of, you may get to the point that you just need to do a spring cleaning cleanout. Although the thought of going through your whole house may make you want to pull your hair out, this may not be as much of a difficult task as you think.
Let’s take it room by room – each one has its own signature solutions to go with each signature mess. Different organisation techniques work for each room. The key is to take it slow and finish one room before you start the next to try and prevent you from getting overwhelmed.
So round up each member of your household one weekend for a big clean out. Here is your easy guide to organising your home, one room at a time:
Fridge, Freezer and Pantry
Before you go through your fridge, freezer and pantry, you will need to try and use up all perishable food items. Throw away anything that is expired or spoiled and pack everything you are keeping into labelled containers that you can arrange in zones in your fridge, freezer or pantry. For example, the bottom drawers in your fridge can house your fruits and vegetables, while the top shelf can is perfect for milk or juice.
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Cabinets and Drawers
Start with your upper cabinets and work your way down to your lower cabinets, drawers and under the kitchen sink. Finish one cabinet before you start the next one to try and prevent the task from getting too messy. As you start removing items, toss anything that is broken or needs replacing and wipe down each empty shelf and drawer.
Get creative with your storage to try and save precious space. Baking trays, chopping boards and pot lids can be stored vertically with the help of office file racks. You can also utilise your wall space and store your pots and pans on a hanging rack.
Your countertop should only be home to the things that you use every day. Move anything that doesn’t belong in the kitchen out of the way. Install a cork board into one of your cupboards for small items or most used recipes and create a family centre for paperwork in one of your drawers.
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Although you may do regular cleans of your bathroom every day, you still should deep clean your bathroom to ensure all bacteria is eliminated and to get rid of hard-to-clean mess like mould. Focus on areas such as shower heads, drains, your shower and your toilet. You may want to replace your toilet brush while you’re at it.
Since you will be taking everything out of the room, you can get into every nook and cranny. Dust out your shelves, drawers and window sills and sweep up behind your cupboards.
Cabinets and Drawers
The best cabinet to start with should be your most used one, which would probably be your medicine cabinet. Here, you should only be storing items that you use every day, or at least regularly so they are at eye level. You can keep all of your cabinets organised using labelled stackable containers so you can keep all of your products organised.
Alternatively, if you don’t have a medicine cabinet and use your drawers instead, your most used items should be in the top drawer. Check your use-by dates and get rid of anything that is out of date or that you don’t use anymore. You can insert tabs or drawer dividers into your drawers to try and prevent them from getting messy and out of control.
Your counter should remain free from clutter, so work out what can go into drawers or cupboards and what can stay on the counter. You can use a small tray to keep the items on your counter nice and neat.
Towels and Decor
You may need to do an audit of your towels and decor to see what needs an update. Perhaps you can install some hooks or shelves to keep all your towels out in the open. As for your decor, is it adding to your space or taking up space? If it’s the latter, throw it away.
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The living room is a space where the family can spend time together, which means it may be the most used room in the house. As a consequence, clutter can be a constant problem. Having a wastebasket in this space may solve this issue by giving family members an easy way to keep the trash off the floor. Also, designating different zones for gaming or playtime can allow items that are normally used in this room to have a home within the space.
Go through all of your shelves, cabinets, bookcases and other storage units in this space and decide what you no longer need. Once you have sorted these belongings in a similar way that you would your wardrobe, you can assess your storage and ensure you are using the right storage for the right items. You may need an extra cabinet for your blankets and extra pillows or you may even be able to get rid of a storage unit and open up the space a bit more.
Cleaning out your wardrobe can be a grueling task all in itself, so it’s often the best place to start when cleaning out your bedroom. Go through your wardrobe category by category and decide what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. When you have made all of your decisions, hang everything that you can neatly without overpacking your wardrobe. Don’t forget to sort through your shoe rack as well.
You may keep extra clothes in your drawers so don’t forget to run through those at the same time as your wardrobe. As for your underwear and sock drawer, get rid of anything that is broken or in desperate need of an update. You can also use an underwear organiser to keep this space under control.
Bed and Night Stand
One of the first things you should do in the morning is make your bed, but if it’s something you tend to skip, you might want to start doing this before you start cleaning. Check your bedding for any stains, rips or fading while you are at it to see if it needs to be replaced. You can also consider if having rolling storage under your bed would work for you to keep more items out of view.
As for your nightstand, it should be kept as clear as possible. Before giving it a good dust off, put away anything that has its own place in your bedroom or throw away anything that you don’t want or need anymore. Don’t forget to give the same treatment to your nightstand drawers if you have any.
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Adding a rack or shelf for blankets, throws or quilts that you use regularly so they are easy to reach for. This will also keep things off the floor. An additional way to help with this is to introduce a hamper for your dirty clothes. This is for convenience so you don’t have to go all the way to the laundry.
Like your bathroom and kitchen, this is an area that you may clean regularly, especially if it includes a sink, but it also needs to be deep cleaned. Make sure you get behind your machines if you can so get rid of the extra dust.
The best way to ensure your laundry stays neat and organised is thinking about how you can make the small space more functional and properly utilising your storage. Sort through what you currently have stored in your laundry and work out what needs to be there and what needs to be moved or thrown out. When you’re ready to put everything back, give everything their own spot so everything is easy to find when you are in a rush.
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If your desk is a place of organised chaos, you might need to find some better storage options to make your work or study space more clean. Install some floating shelves for books, folders or candles and use a stylish tumbler for your pencils and pens. A mug could also do if you wanted to recycle an old one. If you need to keep documents on your desk, you can avoid using a tray or filing cabinet by putting them in a neat pile and under a paperweight.
Drawers, Shelves and Filing Cabinets
Consider whether all the storage you currently have in the room are properly utilised, especially after you have brought back all the items that somehow made their way to other rooms around the house. If you have a filing cabinet that you don’t really need, get rid of it to give you more space. You can use drawer organisers to keep them neat and tidy once you have rummaged through them. Don’t forget to dust every surface, especially your top shelf that may not be in reach during your regular cleaning routine.
This might be a good opportunity to audit and rearrange your outdoor furniture. See if you are able to make some extra room by separating the space into smaller sections. Dress up your chairs with some decorative cushions and pop a potted plant on your table. Make sure you have some storage ready for smaller bits and pieces, like utensils for your outdoor kitchen.
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This could be the space that has the most items that you may not use anymore. Be ruthless and toss anything you can to cut down the amount of things that are kept in there. Build some shelves, if you don’t have them already, and put everything in clear, labelled containers so nothing else gets lost in the mess again.
Words by Jessica Testa
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