It’s Time to De-Clutter and Get Organized

Author: Alecia Pirulis

As February draws to a close, I feel that familiar itch setting in … the one that makes me want to clear away clutter, organize closets, and tackle the pantry (again!)

. It’s nearly spring … and it’s time for a little deep cleaning.

If you are ready to tackle clutter in your apartment, now is a great time! There’s still enough of a hint of winter (well, in some locations, anyway) that you won’t succumb to spring fever and ditch it all for a day at the park, but there’s enough warmth and daylight that you won’t mind a few trips out to the dumpster.

Step one – make a plan. Decide which projects take priority. Does your closet need a massive redo? Are your kitchen drawers so filled with clutter they won’t open? Are you buried under an avalanche of assorted storage containers every time you open your kitchen cabinet? Once you decide what you want to tackle, put it on your calendar! Setting a date will keep you from finding excuses to put it off, and it will give you time to plan.

You have a target date and a list of projects – now what? Before you begin, think about what storage features you are lacking. My pantry, for example, is a constant source of irritation. It is small and cluttered. I clean it out and get everything organized and a few weeks later, it’s a mess again. I love this idea from Better Homes and Gardens for using bins to create easy weeknight meals in a basket. A bin labeled “spaghetti night” would contain pasta, a jar of sauce, and a loaf of Italian bread. Since I have a very long commute and endless mom-taxi tasks I must deal with every evening, this would be an ideal solution to the “what-am-I-gonna-make-for-dinner” blues. So before I start my pantry makeover, I’ll want to get five sturdy bins and some storage containers.

My closet is also in serious need of attention. If you are also tripping over shoes to get to a rack so full the hangers no longer slide, perhaps you’ll want to focus on this space, as well. Shoe organizers are handy in the closet, and so are storage bins. Take everything out of the closet until you have an empty space. Sort everything you haven’t worn or used in the past year into two piles: toss and give away. Place items back into your closet by type (pants, skirts, suit jackets, etc.). If you have empty wall space in your closet, add hooks (the removable type is perfect). The more hooks, the better – use these for belts, ties, and scarves.