This year, for many of us, spring cleaning has taken on a whole new meaning. From constant hand washing to sterilizing everything we or anyone else touches, it may feel as though we are living in a hospital ward, but look on the bright side, our homes will be spotless and our skin exfoliated by the time summer rolls around. When we think of spring cleaning for many of us this simply means cleaning behind the beds and dressers, giving the blinds a thorough wash, pulling out the stove and refrigerator, and basically making sure we get all of those hard to reach places we don’t touch on a regular basis.
However, spring cleaning is really more about out with the old and in with the new. Spring cleaning is all about new life, a household refresh or reset button if you will. It means sorting through the old, getting rid of the unused, and organizing the stuff you plan to keep and use moving forward into the year. This year we have a few tips and suggestions for areas in your home you should consider spring cleaning and organizing to make your space a bit less cluttered and more accessible. Further, there is a good chance you have a bit of extra time on your hands to tackle all of those household chores and DIY projects you’ve always wanted to get to so don’t wait and get started today.
Read More: The Ultimate Quarantine Survival Guide
While you may not be on the same level as Marie Kondo, this spring is the perfect time to deep clean the rooms in your house that usually get ignored. Think linen closets, attics, basements, and garages. It is time to organize all the bins of kids clothes and holiday decorations, sort through the pile of baby gear you no longer need, and simply make the space more accessible to all of those who use it.
With kids, it is tough to keep the clutter organized in the garage between the bikes, scooters, ride-ons, sporting equipment and more. If you toss in a bit of at-home gym equipment it becomes basically impossible to keep track of it all. And if your washer and dryer are in the garage that means even less space for stuff and an even greater need for organization and efficiency since you likely use those daily or at least weekly.
Tips for garage cleaning include:
Sort and organize the baby gear and items into keep, donate and sell. High-end items like gently used clothing and shoes, infant carriers and strollers can be sold at children’s consignment shops or on Facebook Marketplace for a little extra cash. These places will usually take gently used maternity clothing too. Donating the other items to a thrift shop or your child’s preschool is a good way to get rid of the stuff that may be a bit more worn, but items with holes, rips, and major stains should just go in the trash.
The same applies to all of the kids’ old bikes and toys. Donate anything that is in good shape and toss the rest. Now is not the time to be sentimental and save every ride-on toy your toddler ever owned. Just think of the other families that will enjoy that balance bike your child has outgrown or the gently used push toy.
Bins, bins, and more bins. One of the most important steps to garage cleaning and organization is giving everything a designated space. This spring let Clevermade help you clean out the garage or storage closets with their collapsible crates with lids. These awesome heavy duty crates are easy to use, easy to store, and available in 46 liter and 62 liter capacity sizes. Ideal for storing everything from everyday sporting equipment to holiday decor and more, these bins collapse for storage when not in use and include a lid that attaches to the bottom of the crate when stored. Using durable storage bins such as the collapsible bins from Clevermade is more efficient than cardboard boxes as cardboard boxes are more prone to attracting pests and mold.
- Place all holiday items in labeled bins.
- Include items like wrapping paper, ribbon, gift tags, etc. for the specific holidays to decrease the clutter inside your home.
- Place children’s clothing in bins labeled by size and season.
- Store seasonal gear such as ski or snowboard gear, dive gear and more in labeled bins.
- Gym equipment, jump ropes, roller skates, helmets, and other outdoor play items can be easily stored in bins in an easy to access location for optimal organization.
46 Liter Collapsible Storage Bin with Lid – 3 pack | 62 Liter Collapsible Storage Bin with Lid – 3 pack
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Arrange bicycles using a bike rack that can store multiple bikes, along with helmets, kneepads, and all the gear you or your child may need. We love the Heavy Duty Triple Bike Rack from the Container Store. This easy to assemble bike rack is perfect for parking up to 3 adult and/or children’s bikes, including mountain bikes and cruisers. The grided top rack provides storage for gear while the side hooks are perfect for hanging helmets or backpacks. The Heavy Duty Triple Bike Rack provides easy access to your family’s bicycles which is especially important if you use them frequently, and makes it easy for kids to gather their own gear and go.
Collect all the balls and sporting gear into a designated location. Whether the kids in your house play soccer, baseball, or hockey, or even if your spouse plays on a softball team, sporting gear all over the garage can be a mess and a significant contribution to the clutter. Stop tripping over soccer balls and golf clubs every time you open the garage doors by giving these items a designated space. Not only will this clean up your garage space, it will also make the items more accessible and easier to find. The Heavy Duty Triple Storage Bin from the Container Store makes the perfect depository. Not only can you store balls, bats, and more, but you could also easily use this tripe bin for water guns, backyard toys, or outdoor gear. Easy to assemble these nylon and mesh bags let you see what’s stored inside, and equipped with swivel casters you can easily bring the bins out of the garage along with you when in use.
Organize and sort any tools or equipment stored in your garage. This can get tricky as oftentimes it is tough to figure out where and how to store all of those shovels and rakes piled in the corner, along with ladders or lawn equipment, especially if you want it to be easily accessible without having to move other items or climb to reach it. An optimal storage solution for a multitude of different sizes and shape items from tools to bicycles is the Elfa Track Storage System. The Elfa Easy Hang Top Track is an easy to mount track that can be cut to size providing the backbone of your storage system. The ability to then customize your garage space with different size utility hooks, metal pegboards, tool holders, ventilated shelves and more gives you a truly individualized DIY garage storage solution. The Elfa track system is perfect for storing everything from garden tools to sporting goods easily and out of the way.
The Laundry Room
Whether your laundry room is a separate room in your house, or your washer and dryer are part of your garage, setting up and organizing a laundry workstation can keep the clutter to a minimum and help you get through laundry days with ease.
Tips for organizing the laundry room include:
- Spring cleaning is the perfect time to pull the washer and dryer out from the wall and clean behind it. Dust and lint frequently build up there.
- Give your washer and dryer a good clean themselves. Wipe down the outsides to prevent rust and use a simple DIY recipe of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda to clean the inside of your washing machine whether it is a front loading or top loading machine.
- No matter where your washer and dryer are located, set up a laundry folding station or space. A tall table or low shelf will work.
- Don’t pile the laundry baskets on the couch, they’ll stay there forever.
- Fold your laundry at least somewhat as you take each item out of the dryer so that it doesn’t end up so wrinkled it goes right back in the wash.
- Install a shelf where you can sort your laundry supplies – detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, and stain removers into bins or rows.
- Keep a change cup handy for all the loose coins and dollars you’re bound to find in pockets.
Invest in a laundry sorter that will make wash day so much simpler. We love the Heavy Duty 3 Bin Laundry Sorter from the Container Store. Easy to assemble, lightweight and on wheels, the laundry sorter allows you to not only keep your laundry room organized, but also helps you sort the dirty laundry room by room as you go so you don’t end up with a seemingly bottomless pile to sort. The detachable bag is machine washable as well.
Even toddlers and younger kids can help sort the laundry by color or type. Allow them to help out and consider this a practical life lesson while we are all trying our hand at homeschooling during this time; you will be teaching colors, textures, sorting, and a valuable life lesson in self-care as well.
Heavy Duty Triple Bike Rack | Heavy Duty Triple Storage Bin | Heavy Duty 3 Bin Laundry Sorter | Elfa Easy Hang Top Track
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Is there any place more obvious to include in your spring cleaning than the kitchen? Probably the most frequently used room in the house, even though cleaned the most as well, this spring is the time to clean, sort, and sterilize from top to bottom, inside and out.
Tips for cleaning and organizing the kitchen include:
- You know you dread it, but as Nike says “just do it”, empty the entire refrigerator. Yes, the freezer too. Take everything out and wipe down the inside, wash the drawers out in hot soapy water, remove the shelves and wash those too. You should even empty the ice bucket and wash/wipe down all of the parts.
- Change the water filter in your refrigerator.
- Consider adding shelf liners or drawer liners to keep your food and veggies fresh and reduce mess.
- Empty all of the cabinets and give everything a good wipe down.
- Sort the Tupperware. Anything without lids should go in the trash and everything else should be organized with the corresponding lids for ease of use. This is another great task for little kids.
- Wipe down all handles and cabinet fronts as these are the most-touched surfaces in your kitchen.
- Clean out the pantry. While donating unused items to a food pantry (most are still open during this time) is a great way to get rid of unused goods, try and think of new and creative recipes to use what you have on hand rather than venturing out to the grocery store during this time.
- Throw out all of the sponges and purchase new ones.
- Clean out the inside of the microwave and your oven.
- Wipe down the dishwasher and run a wash cycle of vinegar and baking soda to clean and eliminate musty odors.
- Pull the refrigerator and oven out from the wall if you can and clean behind it as dust and food particles frequently become trapped in these hard to reach spaces.
- Empty the crumb tray in your toaster.
- Add a few green plants or an herb garden this spring as these can make your kitchen more welcoming and provide added health benefits.
Read More: 5 Amazing Benefits of Houseplants
Consider updating a few key items in your kitchen to spruce it up this spring. Everyday items like trash cans, dish drainers, and soap dispensers can become dingy from overuse and a few small additions can really brighten up the space. This season we love the Dual Rectangular Step Can and the Steel Frame Dishrack from Simple Human. Their clean lines, simple designs and innovative products make Simple Human an easy choice for home and kitchen updates.
The Dual Rectangular Step Can is the perfect addition to your kitchen this spring as it doubles as both a trashcan and recycling bin in one. Their unique liner rim system takes the trouble out of changing the trash can liner, and the step system makes tossing out the trash simple and hands-free for less spread of germs. The interior is spacious and easy to wipe clean while the exterior includes a liner pocket for easy storage and is coated in an invisible fingerprint-free coating infused with nano-silver particles to prevent the reproduction of microbes and germs.
Another simple update to the kitchen is the Steel Frame Dishrack. With a unique swivel spout to drain any excess water directly into the sink, invisible moisture control, and a rustproof exterior, this dish rack adds to your kitchen rather than acting as an unsightly eyesore. Its design allows for large-capacity storage and the added wine glass holder provides a designated space for that delicate glassware.
While the bedrooms in our homes should be a haven of peace and relaxation they can often become a space full of clutter and disorganization. The feel of a room being lived in isn’t always a bad thing, but when the messes start to pile up this not only tends to make us anxious and leaves us feeling overwhelmed, but it also provides a place for mold, mildew, and germs to hide and proliferate. Piles of clothing, blankets, stuffed animals, or shoes are havens for the very spores and substances we are seeking so hard to keep out of our homes. These very particles lead to decreased air quality, humidity, and even unpleasant odors.
Tips for cleaning and organizing bedrooms include:
- Empty the closets and the drawers. Get rid of the old clothing, store away the winter clothing, and decrease the clutter. In children’s rooms especially, the drawers seem to get overloaded quickly so separate drawers of play clothes the kids can use to dress themselves, and church clothes or school uniforms.
- Pull out the beds, dressers, and nightstands and clean behind them. Mold and mildew tend to grow in these dark, damp, hard to reach places.
- Empty bookshelves and arrange the books so you or your children can actually find what you are looking for. If you have a lot of children’s books consider swapping out books by the season so that your children can always find “new” and inspiring reads.
- Sort through the toy bins or storage in the room, empty them out, keep what you actually use and donate or throw out the rest. This is the perfect opportunity to throw away broken pieces, toys with missing parts, and all of those Chuck E. Cheese souvenirs they had to have.
If you have multiple children sharing a room and you are struggling to come up with space-saving solutions for their clothing and toys as they grow, consider investing in a cube storage system that can double as a nightstand or dresser. We love the easy to assemble, decorative 4 Cube Organizer from ClosetMaid. When combined with their decorative fabric storage bins, this furniture is the perfect addition to the bedroom. Durable and versatile, this sturdy organizer comes in multiple sizes and colors to fit your needs and home decor. For our bigger kids, we love that it doubles as a nightstand as well as providing plenty of space for socks, underwear, kindles, tablets, and more. The fabric bins provide more space than a regular nightstand drawer, and without tracks or hinges that frequently break on kid’s furniture, this storage option is built to last. With the clean and attractive look of ClosetMaid’s cube organizers, storage options for every room in the home are made easy.
Mattresses, bed sheets, blankets, and pillows can be a breeding ground for dust mites and mildew which so frequently go unseen. While weekly cleaning likely keeps your bedding washed and clean, items such as mattress pads or protectors, comforters, pillows and mattresses themselves can use a regular refresh. This spring make sure to remove and wash those mattress pads, comforters and pillows using the hottest setting on your washing machine. Flip your mattress and dust between the frame, mattress and box spring.
Now is also a great time to consider a bedding refresh. Launder and put away that heavy winter comforter opting instead for crisp new sheets, a summery blanket, and/or a quilt. Think lighter, brighter colors and fabrics perfect for spring and summer that will not only keep you feeling cool during those long summer nights, but will also clear out the drab tones of winter and brighten up the room. If pastels aren’t really your thing, consider sticking with modern tones such as whites, blacks, and grays for a simplistic and clean look that surpasses all seasons.
This season we love the Classic Bamboo Bedsheet Set and Weighted Bamboo Blanket from Cariloha Bamboo. Crafted of 100% viscose from bamboo, these sheets are naturally cooler, ultra-soft, and allergy and odor resistant. Perfect for allergy sufferers, bamboo has naturally allergen resistant properties making these bedsheets a comfy, cozy, healthy option.
Pair these sheets with the Weighted Bamboo Blanket for a peaceful night’s sleep. This weighted blanket provides a soothing and rejuvenating rest, especially during this time of high anxiety and stress, as the deep pressure from the blanket weight releases serotonin and endorphins to relax and calm the mind, body, and soul. The blanket’s exterior is a luxuriously soft viscose bamboo fabric that is odor, allergen, and toxin resistant for an all-around better quality rest.
The Air and HVAC Systems
Spring is a time rebirth and new life, but for some all of the environmental changes also mean seasonal allergies from pollen, dust mites, and blooming gardens galore. Add to that the fact we are still in the midst of flu season and now the COVID-19 pandemic and one begins to understand the importance of caring about the air quality in our homes. A deep and thorough spring cleaning is not complete without accounting for all of the places that these pathogens, mold and mildew spores, and dust mites live, and ensuring we pay attention to our HVAC systems that are dispersing them throughout our homes.
Tips for Improving the Air Quality in Your Home Include:
- Thoroughly clean and disinfect all air vents in your home with a spray cleaner or soap and water.
- Clean all blinds, machine wash curtains, and dust window frames. Frequently these spots are ignored because they are hidden behind the curtains.
- Dust fans, including removing and wiping down the inside of the light covers. This is the perfect time to replace lightbulbs as well.
- Change all air filters in your home and opt for an allergen-specific filter to try and trap them most particles possible.
- While a full air duct cleaning may not be possible right now, it is something to consider later on in the season.
- Finally, most HVAC systems have a drain line that needs to be flushed occasionally to prevent build-up, mold, and mildew. Check your specific system but using just water, or vinegar can help clean out the drain line to keep your system at its optimal performance.
Ideal for improving the air quality in specific rooms throughout your home, especially bedrooms where allergy sufferers sleep, is the Honeywell True Hepa Whole Room Air Purifier with Allergen Remover. When deciding to invest in a high-quality air purifier, make sure you research and find one that will actually get the job done for the room size you require. Further, make sure you can purchase replaceable filters, or that the unit comes with washable filters that can be frequently cleaned.
The Honeywell True Hepa Whole Room Air Purifier with Allergen Remover captures up to 99.97% of microscopic allergens that pass through the True HEPA filter. Its activated carbon pre-filter helps remove unpleasant odors, captures dust, lint, fiber, and pet hair, and freshens the air circulating throughout the room. With 4 cleaning levels, an automatic shut-off timer, a filter change indicator and reset, control panel dimmer, and easy to use touch controls, Honeywell’s True Hepa Whole Room Air Purifier is perfect for rooms up to 465 square feet. Finally, this ENERGY STAR qualified Whole Room Air Purifier with Allergen Remover operates quietly making it the perfect white noise machine for sleep. Better air quality makes for a better night’s sleep, and there is nothing more important for someone who deals with the discomfort of seasonal allergies throughout the day.
While some of these tips may seem redundant, there is literally no better time than now to tackle your spring cleaning and home organization. Take this pandemic as an opportunity to get your household in order while also teaching your children good and healthy habits for life. Once you’ve handled the majority of these tasks, consider putting one major cleaning project or room into your regular rotation to keep everything in tip-top shape. Once you’re done, sit back, relax, and enjoy the cleaner, lighter, brighter, more organized space you’ve created – trust us, it’s worth it!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on How to Homeschool During the COVID-19 Crisis.