It’s the middle of February which means Spring is almost so close we can taste it, while still being just far enough away that we’re starting to think we’ll be wearing gloves and scarves forever. What better way to beat the Winter Blues than get a head start on Spring Cleaning? Studies have shown that a clean living space can greatly improve mental health, and you can also use this as an excuse to finally put away those last few holiday gifts that are still sitting out. If you’re stuck inside for a few more weeks you might as well be productive and make the best of it! Read on for some tips and tricks to make 2019 the year you finally get your act together. If you’re already a tidy person let us know what we missed or got wrong!
Find a Plan That Works
No matter if you just need to do a deep clean or a complete overhaul, before you can start organizing and cleaning you should make a plan that you’ll stick to. If your apartment is already fairly clean take this time to go through things, get rid of items you no longer use or need, and do a deeper clean than normal. You can plan to go top-to-bottom (cobwebs and ceiling fans to baseboards and floors), inside-out (cabinets, closets, and the fridge to counters and surfaces), room-by-room, or whatever other strategy will work for you. If your apartment needs a bit more work it might be best to start with one room at a time or one category at a time (clothing, then books, then miscellaneous items, to sentimental items), donating or selling things you no longer use or need and cleaning as you go.
Optimize the Space You Have
Once you have a game plan you should take a look at the space you have to work with, and if you’re using it best. Do you have space under your bed? Use it! What about at the top of your closets? Are your kitchen cabinets one door slam away from spilling all your plastic containers? Assess your furniture and think about if it’s placed well, or if maybe a quick rearrange would open up the space or make it feel cozier. One oft-overlooked room is the bathroom, with random items being thrown haphazardly into the medicine cabinet or under the sink rather than organized so you know exactly what you have. If you organize properly you may finally use up a lotion instead of having several half-used because they get lost behind other items.
Buy Things to Help
As you’re analyzing how to best use your space make sure you’re thinking about what you have to put in that space and, more importantly, how to put it there. A quick online search will give you tons of advice about what to purchase for any space, whether you’re in a studio or 3-bedroom, or anywhere in between. Don’t forget walls and corners with your organization strategy! Shelves and other vertical storage items can walk the line between functional and decorative, putting your belongings on display so that you appreciate and use them more. You can also find boxes and totes of all sizes to help with your under-the-bed or top-of-the-closet storage woes. If you’re having issues organizing your kitchen think about ways to maximize the space, for example installing a rod to hang the cooking utensils you use most often.
Remember Counters Are Not Shelves
When you’re assessing what you have to work with keep in mind that counters and tables don’t count (unless you’re thinking about jars or other containers to place on them). Nothing can turn an otherwise tidy room into a mess quite like piles of papers or other items on a surface. If you’re guilty of this, think about getting a table or wall hooks to put by the entryway to act as a catch-all so those items don’t even make it to the kitchen counters or dining room table. If your apartment isn’t conducive to having something like that, find another way to combat clutter that will work for you.
Change Your Habits When Needed
Going along with the last point, once you’re finished cleaning and organizing think about what got you into this mess in the first place. If you are someone who tends to pile things on counters and tables make an effort to go through the mail as soon as you get home rather than having it sit there for days. If you tend to hoard clothes or other items commit to every time you purchase a new item something else has to go. Another good rule of thumb to keep in mind is any task that will take less than two minutes to complete should be done then and there. Don’t leave dirty dishes on the table, but instead take them to the sink before going to bed. Put your coat on the hook or in the closet right away rather than keeping it on the back of a chair or, even worse, in a pile on the floor.
Are you particularly proud of your before and after organizational pictures, or do you consider yourself a professional tidier and we missed your favorite tip? Find us on Facebook and Instagram to let us know!