Spring has sprung, and with the promise of new life… often comes the urge to throw out the old, clear out the literal and proverbial cobwebs, and de-clutter our lives. Sounds wonderful, right? But in reality, many people get overwhelmed with the actual act of spring cleaning and organizing.
Well, we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Lime and Leaf is all about simplifying our lives and homes. So we’ve brought in our fab friend, Lisa McAllister, a Northern Virginia/Washington DC-based professional organizer (Organize with Dr. Lisa) who’s going to give us all high-level tips on how to “organize your space, curb your clutter, create zones that function efficiently for you and your family, and ultimately help create a more peaceful and efficient home or office.”
- First, make it fun! Spring organizing doesn't have to feel like a chore. Put on some comfy clothes, open the windows to let in some fresh air, turn up your favorite music and get to it!
- Remember that you're not organizing just to organize—simplifying and organizing are the means to an end. Having a less cluttered environment makes it easier to find what you need, thereby decreasing stress and saving time.
- Think about how you work best before you start organizing. If the thought of going through your whole house at once feels overwhelming, break it down into specific jobs: home office one day, bedroom closet the next day, etc. It's not a race!
- Group like with like. This is key! If you love having candles lit all winter, you might find that you have a bunch of half-used candles throughout the house. Gather them all together in one place, toss the ones that are mostly burned or that you don't really love the smell, and then use the rest of them until they're gone before you stock up on spring & summer scents.
- Spring is a great time to go through your linen closet, check your winter bedding, and purge anything that is no longer in great shape. Sheets, blankets, quilts, comforters and towels. Again, group like with like and narrow down to your favorites. The remainders can be repurposed as rags for cleaning, kept in the basement for larger spills, or potentially donated to local pet shelters (they are usually happy to receive old sheets, blankets and linens for the animals).
Another helpful tool? Lime and Leaf’s innovative, new sheet labeling and folding system will change the way your linen closet functions… for the better. The new Make It Easy solution has sheets fold into their own size-labeled pillowcase envelope—now there’s no more searching through topsy-turvy linen closets for the sizes and set you need!
- Be ruthless and honest about your wardrobe as you switch from winter to summer clothes. Make four boxes: Keep, Repair, Donate, Throw Out. If you don't love something, it doesn't fit or it’s no longer in great condition, it's time to let it go. Donating clothing that is still in great shape gives it a second life for someone else. Note: When you are done, take the “Donate” box and immediately put it in the car so you are not tempted to take anything out of it! Schedule in time, just like an appointment, to take the donations to appropriate charities or thrift stores, as well as get repairs or dry cleaning done.
- Since the income tax filing deadline is in spring, this is a great time to go through your files and shred documents you no longer need. Once our taxes are filed, we gather together what we need to keep and check back through older paperwork to see what is no longer relevant or necessary. Online access / payments and paperless accounting can greatly diminish bill clutter as you move forward.
- Use technology! If you have piles of your kids’ old artwork, take pictures of each masterpiece, then store it in an online album. You can make a book of it one day (goals!) But throw away the originals (you can keep one or two if they’re especially sentimental.) If you have nicer items, toys or clothing that you’d rather not donate but no longer use or wear, sell it online or through an app.
- If you have trouble making the decision for something to stay or go, ask yourself, if I were moving, would I keep this? If yes, find a specific place for it within your home; If not, let it go!
Remember, spring is a time for renewal. This process should be liberating, stress-reducing and ultimately leave you with more time to do what you love to do with family and friends.