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The Ultimate Checklist for Getting Organized this Spring

Working Mother logoWorking Mother 17/3/2017 Houzz

Corral and camouflage bathroom products in pretty bins.

Corral and camouflage bathroom products in pretty bins.
© Photo by Suzi Appel Photography

For busy workmoms, 25 ways to clear out clutter in every room of the house.

Spring cleaning may get more of the hype, but I would argue that spring organizing is even more important. When your belongings are neat and tidy, your home feels cleaner and more inviting, and daily life is easier and more pleasant. If you’ve got the spring cleaning bug, don’t stop there. Take advantage of your motivation and devote a weekend (or two) to clearing out clutter and getting organized.

Entryway

No. 1 Clear out any lingering winter boots and mittens, unread stacks of mail and anything else that doesn’t belong.

No. 2 Add enough hooks, shelves and baskets to hold your belongings when you come in the door.

No. 3 If you have a drawer near your entrance, place a drawer organizer inside to keep small items neat, and be sure to have a recycling bin within reach for tossing junk mail.

Kitchen

No. 4 Move the hardest-working tools (think: wooden spoons, tongs and knives) front and center, and get rid of seldom used, single purpose tools.

No. 5 Reshuffle your cabinet contents to move less frequently used items and entertaining supplies to the least-accessible areas, and your everyday basics within easy reach.

No. 6 Find a casserole dish that belongs to a friend? Or Aunt Sally’s serving spoons? Make a pile of items that need to be returned and bring it to your car.

No. 7 If your mornings tend to be rushed, consider carving out a nook in a cupboard where you can keep all of your morning necessities together. A shelf or two can hold coffee- and tea-making supplies and breakfast favorites, as well as lunch containers if you pack a lunch for yourself or your children.

Laundry Room

No. 8 Recycle old, empty containers and ditch any laundry products you don’t like.

No. 9 Decanting laundry supplies into other containers is not necessary to create a lovely, organized space. Instead, corral the assorted containers on a tray or in a bin. This serves the double purpose of looking nice and making it easier to move everything aside to clean.

No. 10 Give each family member an individual basket to keep clothes separated and make it easier to sort afterward.

Linen Closet

No. 11 If you’ve been accumulating bedding and towels for years without getting rid of any old sets, chances are you have more than you need. Two or three sets of sheets per bed, and two sets of towels per person, plus an extra set for guests, are plenty.

No. 12 Choose the best and donate the rest. If your old linens are in very bad shape, drop them in a textile recycling bin rather than the trash.

No. 13 To keep piles of towels and sheets from toppling over use a shelf divider, and store small items (like extra toiletries) inside labeled cloth-covered storage boxes.

Bathroom

No. 14 Much of the clutter in the bathroom comes from products tried and not liked. These items end up shoved to the back of the cabinet, where they take up precious space and gather dust. Ruthlessly sort through your bath and beauty products, toss out what you don’t use and recycle the containers if possible.

No. 15 Once everything is cleared out, choose baskets or trays to keep the products you use daily neatly contained.

No. 16 If you've been storing medications in the bathroom, move them to a different location, as humidity can be damaging. Choose a place that is cool, dry and out of reach of children.

Papers and Printed Photos

No. 17 Walk through your house and gather up all of the random, unsorted piles of paper you can find, making one stack.

No. 18 Go through this stack with a recycling bin and shredder until it’s all gone.

No. 19 Put upcoming events on your calendar and file important records. If traditional filing cabinets aren’t working for you, consider switching to a more flexible (and portable) system consisting of small file boxes or expanding files.

Books

No. 20 The first edit of your book collection should be books you bought (or were given) that you didn’t end up liking very much. Next, consider pulling out any books you enjoyed, but realistically will not pick up again.

No. 21 If you have friends who would love certain books, put these in a tote bag and put them in your car. Next time you're out and about, drop them off.

No. 22 Donate unwanted books to a local library or Goodwill. Or, if you want to make a little extra cash, bring them to a local used book seller.

Tech Devices and Digital Photos

No. 23 Erase your data from old devices, then drop them in a cell phone recycling bin or return them to your cell-service provider for a credit.

No. 24. Back up your current computer and other devices to an external hard drive, as well as a cloud-based service for extra security.

No. 25 Order a photo book or prints from last year’s digital photos, and create a simple plan for organizing digital photos in the future. Keep them in files labeled with the month, and tag your favorites so you can easily gather them into a book or an album when the time comes. —Laura Gaskill for Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish—online or from a mobile device. Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. It's the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality.

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