It’s that time of year again!
Soon enough, according to Punxsutawney Phil, winter will be a thing of the past and spring will be here. As the snow melts and we head toward the crocuses and singing birds of spring, many homeowners begin sweeping and scrubbing away the traces of winter in a routine that we refer to as “spring cleaning.” Once it’s warm enough to open windows and let the fresh air in, we’re eager to banish the dust of winter and start over with a newly cleaned home.
If you ask the average person which area in their home most requires spring cleaning, she may be likely to say, “the closets.” When we want to get our living areas decluttered quickly, we tend to toss items that we need but don’t have an immediate home for in the nearest closet. Also, this is the time when we start packing away our heavy winter wear and boots, and bringing out the spring jackets and lighter shoes. All of this can add up to chaos in our closets! If your closet could use some spring cleaning, here are a few tips:
Take Your Time
If you don’t have a full day to devote to whipping your closets into shape, then plan on the task taking several days. During this time, you may have piles of belongings in your bedroom. Don’t do this if you’re going to feel pressured to put everything back; the day before your mother-in-law arrives for a weeklong visit is not a good time to start the process! Choose a time when you’ll be able to put aside a half hour or an hour per day for several days in a row.
Separate and Categorize
Shelf by shelf and drawer by drawer, separate items into the following piles: things to give away, things to throw away, things to put away (in another room or area of the home) and things to keep in the closet. Use a box for each of the categories except for “things to throw away.” For that, you can use a garbage bag. Once a box or bag is full, deal with it right away. Put the things to give away in your car to drop off at your local Goodwill or other charity. Throw out the garbage. Put the items away if they belong in another room. Hang onto the things to keep in your closet until the whole thing has been gone through.
Once everything is out of your closet, give it a good cleaning. Dust off the shelves, vacuum the floor, wipe out any drawers and run a cloth along the clothing rods. If the closet needs to be repainted, consider doing this now. Otherwise, use a sponge to remove any fingerprints. If desired, tuck a lavender or other scented sachet in a drawer or hang one from one of the rods to make everything smell nice.
Put away the items that belong in the closet. If you need more hangers, then go and buy some. If you find that you don’t have enough room to neatly store all of your closet belongings, you have a few options: Find another place in your home for some of your items to reside, invest in custom closets, or come up with a new organization system.
Remember that spring cleaning usually means deep-down cleaning, from the living areas of your home to the hidden areas, such as your closets. When you have every bit of your house clean and neat, you’ll be able to relax and save time otherwise spent dealing with clutter.