“Spring cleaning” is an expression for a reason. There’s something about this season that motivates us to shake off the winter blues and face life anew. Just as nature experiences an annual rebirth, spring is a time for us to once again freshen up our own lives. Bringing order to our homes and other living spaces goes hand in hand with that.
One way to approach spring cleaning is to first take stock of what you already have. And that doesn’t just mean cleaning up those traditional, familiar living spaces like kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms. Let’s also think about attics, basements, garages and even our offsite storage units as places where stuff can accumulate and dirt and grime can have their way. Here are a few suggestions for how to proceed.
This may be a tall order, but start by removing everything from your attic. With a blank canvas, you can really deal with the mess by sweeping the floors, dusting the ceiling and cleaning the windows. Clear out the cobwebs and perhaps even repair anything that needs it, such as damaged insulation or wiring. Once your canvas is clean, be judicious in putting things back in place. Only replace the items you really need, and consider selling, donating or trashing the rest. Once you’ve decided what stays, organize things by category — keepsakes, holiday decorations, out-of-season clothing, etc.
As you did with the attic, remove all your stuff and clean, clean, clean. Then keep only the most essential items and dispense with the remainder. In garages, however, you can maximize vertical space on walls and ceilings as well, so consider storage solutions that help you get items off the floor. This could work for everything from ladders to kayaks to leaf blowers. Pegboards make great storage locations for small and medium-sized tools. Use shelves and individual containers for housing smaller items like nails, screws, nuts and bolts.
Storage units are vital for helping many people keep clutter out of their homes in the first place. But over time, you may discover that the unit itself is starting to suffer from overcrowding. Take the same approach you did with attics and garages and remove, clean, declutter and organize. Consider making a map or schematic of your storage unit that indicates where everything is located and what is in each container. Of course, clearly and accurately labeling your containers will assist you in being able to access high-priority items on future visits.