As we prepare to spring forward, the inner Marie Kondo in us is ready to be unleashed. But fret not! You don’t have to go full on Spark Joy to tidy up your home this season. While we love her “keep what makes you happy” outlook, we know it’s not for everyone.
The secret to a successful spring tidy-up doesn’t lie in a manual. Organization is all about purposefully cleaning up spaces and rehoming your stuff so that clutter doesn’t pile up with nowhere for it to go.
Ready to turn that secret into a reality—and transform your home into a spic-and-span haven that doesn’t stress you out 24/7/365? Read on for five tricks for organizing your home, and even easy upgrades like shades from Factory Direct Blinds, starting right now.
#1. Make a game plan for your home improvement projects
The worst part about DIY isn’t the “doing” part or even the “yourself” angle. The worst part is all the “its” that accumulate while you’re in the middle of the project.
If the thing that’s keeping you from feeling comfortable in your home is the sprawl of power tools on your kitchen counter or the half torn-out tile in your master bathroom, it’s time to organize an end date for these projects. DIY or don’t—at this point, who does the work doesn’t matter. What matters is getting it done so that you can get back to living instead of stressing.
To-do: Make a list of all the projects that you’ve already started. Write out each of the steps that still need to be accomplished. Then, pull out a calendar and plot out when you’ll tackle each step. If you want to bring in a professional, go ahead! Write out the date you’ll call in the calendar along with when they’ll be getting to work.
#2. Get rid of your to-do list reminders
Who needs a glaring reminder that there’s laundry to be done and bills to be paid when you’re finally relaxing after work? Not you!
That’s the real pain of clutter. Seeing it makes you feel guilty about all the chores you don’t feel like doing after a 10-hour workday and a 2-hour commute.
To-do: Create an out-of-sight catch-all spot for all the things that need doing later, but don’t need to be taken care of as soon as you kick off your work shoes. Put it in a place that truly disappears. Think: a decorative box with a lid or a laundry basket in a closet.
#3. Create homes for the stuff that lives on your counter
All that stuff we mentioned above? Well, it can’t live in the forget-about-it box forever. Eventually, you’re gonna need to buckle down and do those tasks. And some of those tasks are going to result in, you know, paperwork and paystubs and random batteries that are going to need to live somewhere other than the box.
Hint: Tackling your box once a week should keep it manageable and prevent you from missing out on important notices or deadlines. If you have trouble remembering to do it regularly, set an alarm on your phone.
To-do: Give the stuff a home! It’s okay to collect random stuff for a few months, sort it into piles and see what types of things need what types of homes. An accordion file might work well for financial papers, while a catch-all bin in the coat closet might be just the thing for random household items.
Not sure what sorts of things should be kept and what’s okay to throw away? We love this guide to all that good stuff.
#4. Nix (or fix) the things around the house that annoy you
People own junk. It is not a characteristic specific to geography, race or gender. We hang onto mystery power cords, extra buttons and that famous pile of single socks that continues to grow.
Our junk drawers are expanding and we can’t
But you know what? If you, like us, are tired of yanking on the wrong blinds cord every morning without fail, your big spring-cleaning binge is the perfect time to kick those suckers out of your life. Hello, cordless blinds (and freshly sharpened steak knives, only one DVD player remote and iPhone cords that aren’t gnarly at the end)!
To-do: Keep a detailed list of all things that annoy the dust bunnies out of you. Add every trivial loose door pull, weird can opener, and cat hair-covered jumper. Your collection of broken pens in the junk drawer? Add those, too. Then, pick an afternoon and either, A. fix it, B. get rid of it or C. replace it.
#5. Pick one big organizational project
If you only remember one trick from this guide, make it this one: You do not need to clean and organize your home from top to bottom every single spring. Stop putting this burden on your shoulders! It’s exhausting.
Instead, pick a thing—but just one thing. One area. One issue. A closet. A bookcase. A worktable. A pantry.
To-do: Sit down and think about what frustrates you most about your living situation. Sure, there’s the big things like rent and your partner’s dirty tissues. But we’re sure there are smaller things, too, that would make you feel a lot better—if they were resolved. Then, make that your big spring-cleaning project.
Why just the one project? Giving yourself a strict limitation will help you prioritize your cleaning, ensuring that you spend time on the area that will impact your life the most. It will also make you think thoughtfully about the way you’re living. Even if you don’t make changes today, this single to-do will plant seeds that you’ll think about in the future. Little by little, you’ll choose to live in a way that makes you happier and healthier—and it will all be intentional.
Ah, the pesky secret of spring cleaning strikes again! That’s right, friends. It really is all about intention. And wiping the dust off the fan blades. Because honestly, y’all, that’s just gross.