Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WFMW: 11 Quick Tips for Spring Cleaning

Continuing on Kristen's theme of spring cleaning and organization, here are a few tips that are really useful for me:
  1. Keep a thrift-store box going year-round.  As I find things we no longer need, I just pop them in the box.  When the box is full, we take it to the thrift store and start anew.
  2. When one child outgrows a size wash the outgrown clothes in question (including stain treatment) BEFORE evaluating what you will keep.  Anything that doesn't come out of the wash good enough for you to prioritize your child wearing again goes in the box. But please keep up on any mending, including things you want to donate.
  3. When buying a replacement for something, DO get rid of the original.  If it's not good enough to keep using, don't keep it! (ahem...worn-out spatulas, I'm talking to you!)
  4. Don't forget to clean out the trunk!  I don't know about you, but the weirdest things wind up in the trunk!  I've found emergency back-up baby clothes that were outgrown three months ago, books, toys, recycling, and thrift-store donations that fell out of the box in transit.
  5. Consider freeing up your linen closet by putting spare sets of sheets in the same room as the bed they go on.  I also keep sheets for our sofa bed in the master closet, since I'm the one responsible for that.  Bonus points if you can keep bath towels, hand towels, rags, and wash cloths in the bathroom and kitchen towels in the kitchen.
  6. Try to keep all overstock in the same place so you don't over-buy in the future.  All of our extra bottles of soap, lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant are in the same drawer.  It also helps everyone else know where to look for stuff. 
  7. Keep dvd's and cd's in disc binders.  Toss the jewel cases (or offer them on Freecycle).  But make sure you want to keep them first.  If you may want to get rid of a cd or dvd, keep the case until you decide.
  8. Store children's books that your children are not yet ready to enjoy or that are too young for your children.  Not only does this limit the mess when your children pull all their books off the shelves (ahem), but it frees up shelf space and helps preserve the books in good condition.
  9. Keep first aid and medical books with cookbooks.  It makes them easier to pick off the shelf, and probably closer to wear you will need them anyway.
  10. Limit how many dishes you own.  I don't know about you, but it's easy for me to put off dishes until I run out of something.  If I don't have a lot of dishes, then I can't let them pile up.
  11. Finally, keep a notepad handy when organizing to make a note of what needs major attention (are you finding rolls of packing tape in every room?), items you need to look for, or parts you need to make minor repairs.
For more tips and tricks, check out Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

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