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Most of us partake in “Spring Cleaning,” even if it’s not always during the spring. Sometimes it’s in the middle of summer when we have a break. Maybe it’s after school starts in the fall and the kids are out of the house. Or, maybe it’s time to clear things out after the holidays, in the dead of winter, because you have more things now and you’re stuck inside anyway. Whenever you participate in Spring Cleaning, there are a couple key things that we sometimes forget that will make the process all the easier.
1) Break it up into chunks that are related to each other. That might mean you do all the medicine cabinets and the linen closet the same day or time. It allows you to compare all the beauty and healthcare products at once. Less overlapping. Less trying to remember when you organize the next bathroom. Or, things might be easier if you do all the toys at once. Find the missing Barbie shoes. Contain all the Legos in one fell swoop. Then, move on to the clothes or the paperwork.
2) Set aside a realistic amount of time. You have an entire home or office to clear out. This will take some time! Keep in mind that the phone will ring, emails will arrive, pets will need walking and kids will come home from school at some point. And, hopefully, you will keep your sanity. Schedule accordingly.
3) Have a way to get rid of the things you don’t want or need anymore. If you’re passing along hand-me-downs, drop them off or have them picked up the day of or after you’re spring cleaning. Schedule time to drop off donations or to have a charity pick them up. (Note: this usually needs a week or so advance notice). Schedule junk hauling as well. This is especially helpful for those living in areas where the amount taken to the curb is restricted. Get it out of the house as quickly as possible!
4) If this already sounds too painful, have someone with you as a “body double.” A body double is someone physically present to remind you what task you are supposed to be tackling. A friend or family member sitting in the room might do the trick. A neighbor standing next to you sifting through the bags that were hidden under the stairs could work. Or, a professional organizer will help pass the time before you know it!
5) Tell everyone who uses that space what you’ve done. Show them where things are supposed to be put back. Label shelves and bins to make it even easier to remember. Whoever uses it, should be able to easily put it away.
Enjoy your newfound space and relax knowing where all your belongings are!
Posted by Amy Trager, Certified Professional Organizer ®
About the Author: Amy Trager was part of the inaugural class of Certified Professional Organizers and is currently both a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and is the president of their Chicago, Illinois Chapter. As of May 2008, Amy is proud to be a Golden Circle member of NAPO. Amy has been working with her own clients since January of 2006, and she has enjoyed helping people sort through their homes and businesses ever since.
To find out more, visit Amy’s blog.