Maybe you’ve noticed that a lot of your spring-cleaning efforts are directed less toward cleaning, and more toward organizing. And while it does feel good to get the house clean, tackling the clutter can be more of a challenge. Here are five tips to help you bring order to your New Jersey home this spring.
Be Ruthless With Your “Stuff”
When you pull things out of your garage or closets, take a hard and honest look at it before putting it back in. When is the last time you actually used or wore that item? If it’s been a year or more, why are you still hanging on to it? If it’s still in good shape, sell it or donate it so that someone can actually use it. If it needs repair (and you’ve been waiting for more than a year to repair it)—get rid of it. Don’t be held prisoner by “stuff” that you don’t even use.
Divide and Conquer
If your entryway is often cluttered by hat’s gloves, scarves, dog leashes, and the like—divide your entryway storage area by types of items and conquer the clutter. You can do it by type of item (gloves in one drawer, hats in another, dog toys and leashes in another), or by individual. If it’s a casual entryway, you may even want to label the drawers or use attractive baskets. If you don’t like the idea of labeling, just make sure everyone knows what goes in which drawer or basket.
Create a “Visible” Pantry
How many times have you ended up with three partial boxes of spaghetti noodles, or bags of rice because you just didn’t see that there was a box open? Get some airtight glass jars and store staples such as pastas and beans and rice in them so that you can see exactly how much you have on hand. You can do something similar with boxes of snacks; take them out of the big carton they came in and store them in wire baskets that let you see exactly how much you have left.
Repurpose Old Furniture
Sometimes you “outgrow” older pieces of furniture—such as a chest of drawers. Maybe that piece of furniture is just out of style. Before you pitch it or donate it, think about repurposing it for your garage. You can label the drawers and use it to store gardening supplies and tools. It may not be a piece you want in your bedroom anymore, but it could be perfect for keeping your garage organized.
Keep Things Naturally Clean
Beyond organizing, there are things you’ll want to clean. But cleaning doesn’t have to involve harsh or toxic chemicals. Here are a few natural cleaning products you may want to try.
- Vinegar is very versatile and can to cut through tarnish, remove soap scum and prevent some bacteria from growing on your kitchen surfaces.
- Baking Soda is great for freshening your carpet and rugs. Simply sprinkle a small amount on rugs or carpets and let it sit for 10 minutes or so before vacuuming it up. It’s also great for removing stains and odors from your kitchen.
- Lemon Juice can be used in a variety of ways to remove dirt and rust stains on numerous surfaces throughout the home. Read: Cleaning with Lemon: 10 Surprising Ways to Make Your Home Sparkle
- Bring Borax into the bathroom. If you have fungus or mold that you’re trying to eliminate in your bathroom tub or toilet, borax can work wonders.
- Olive Oil isn’t just for cooking! It’s also great for re-hydrating wood or to minimize scratches. You can even combine olive oil with lemon juice to create a natural furniture polish.