It’s that time of year again: spring cleaning. After a long winter of stale air and neglected cleaning and maintenance projects, it’s time to open those windows and air out those closets. Wendy Tridle, a professional organizer and interior designer based in Lincoln, Nebraska suggested making organization your first project this year. You can start it now, though it’s not officially spring, and it will make your other spring cleaning easier to accomplish.
Organize personal closets first
Start with your clothes, as you’ll want to start switching out winter wear for clothing suitable to the warmer months. Tridle suggests using different colored hangers to organize your clothing by season (with one color that denotes clothing that can be worn throughout the year). Use large, plastic tubs to store off-season clothing out of the way so you have room for in-season clothes in your closet.
Figure out what you don’t use
Part of this process should include weeding out clothing you haven’t worn in the last year. It might be out of style, the wrong size, or worn. Have tubs or bags handy so you can put aside items to be donated and items to be thrown away.
Do the same with the rest of your household items. You’ll be surprised how much stuff sits around gathering dust. According to Tridle, “75% of your house are items that you have not used within the last year.”
Best practices for weeding out expired food
Tackle your pantry next, which might be extra full of the comfort food that sounds so warm and delicious during the winter, but our guilt or growing waistline doesn’t permit us to ever actually eat. Look for expiration dates and throw away expired food first. There’s no sense in organizing food you’re just going to throw away later.
To make things easier on yourself in the future, arm yourself with a black sharpie and write the expiration month and year in big writing across the top of canned or boxed food. This makes it easy to see what needs to be eaten next and what’s already past its prime.
Pantry organization tips
Tridle is a big fan of using tubs in pantry organization as well. She suggested using a label maker to denote what belongs in each tub. “I like this system because you can just open your pantry and if a tub is empty, you know exactly what you need at the grocery store,” said Tridle. “Also, after you go shopping, even your kids will know where exactly the things are in your pantry.”
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Tips from a pro on how to organize your closets before spring cleaning