The calendar says it's spring, but the weather outside says otherwise. Since I would rather stay inside where it's warm (except when there's livestock or dairy cows involved), I've been doing some spring cleaning.
I love organizing. I'm a neat freak. I don't like most things to stay messy for very long. There are times when this can't be avoided though. Spring and fall (and really any busy time) on the farm is a good example. There's too much to do and not enough time, and well, mud may get tracked into the house and not cleaned up very quickly. Things may stay wherever they land for the time being. That's life. So, since I have a few minutes, I decided to start sorting though stuff.
More about what keeps farmers so busy in the springtime here.
Here are a few tips for your spring cleaning adventures, inspired by my own spring cleaning. Good luck!
Start with a visible area. Getting this done first and being able to see it will (hopefully) keep you motivated as you conquer other areas.
Clothes. If it doesn't have sentimental value, you haven't worn it and you don't plan to wear it soon, you probably don't need it. I struggled with the way I looked for years, so I was always holding onto clothes for that "someday" when they would finally look good on me. When I'm evaluating clothes, I ask myself if I looked the way I wanted to and had the perfect occasion for this outfit today, would I wear it. If not, it goes into the give away pile. Old sweatshirts from cow shows, t-shirts from track & field invitations in high school and other things that have value to me can stay, even if I don't wear them all the time.
Jewelry. See the clothes section. If it's really expensive, has sentimental value, I actually wear it or have plans to, it can stay. If I've never worn it and it doesn't have any meaning, it probably should go. Use your own discretion though. Nobody knows your stuff like you do.
Books/Magazines. Ask yourself why you have them. I have a ton of textbooks from various animal science and public relations classes I took in college that I still refer to from time to time so they stay. I also have a huge stack of magazines and newspapers on my coffee table that I'm behind on reading. I skimmed through them for anything I want to keep and tossed the rest. No need to be stressed out by the constant reminder that there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything you want to do (i.e. read every magazine that arrives in your mail box). There are some regular books that I've read that I love and they stay. There are also some that I enjoyed, but have no desire to read again, so they can go.
Kitchen. I have so much kitchen stuff it's not even funny. Most days, drawers won't close and I can't find anything. Why? Because I've somehow accumulated multiple versions of the same thing. I don't need multiples of things, so I started tossing the extras into a pile. Anything that has sentimental value (Mom/Granny gave it to me, etc.) or there's a reason I own it can stay. Now, I can actually find what I'm looking for in a timely manner. This makes cooking much more enjoyable.
Closets. I could write a book about organizing closets. Mostly because that's where I tend to stash stuff that I don't want to go through. Pick a closet and start going through the boxes or whatever you have in there. Same rule: Do I need this? Does this have value to me? Do I actually use it? Would I miss this if it was gone? If you have clothes in the particular closet you are organizing, refer to the clothes section above. I put stuff into containers that are easily stackable. It saves so much space and it looks nicer.
Bathroom. Throw out multiples and anything you don't use. Unless you have a reason for keeping it. Again, no one knows your house and your stuff like you do.
Leave an empty shelf. I read this in a book several years ago and it works. Leave a shelf somewhere completely empty. It sounds silly, but it helps combat the cluttered feeling that many areas of the house create.
Donate. Now that you've sorted through several rooms, you likely have a pile of stuff that you no longer need/want. Depending what it is, some may need to be recycled or thrown in the trash. Other items could be donated to Goodwill or another place. As long as that other place is not in the newly organized closet!
Now that you're done organizing, check out these delicious recipes!
What are some of your spring cleaning/organizing tips?