Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized
Blooming bulbs and Spring breezes signal that warmer weather is on the way.
Sure, many of us will do an all-out session of Spring cleaning, but even small, simple jobs can bring the season's freshness inside.
Shake the winter doldrums out of your organized home with these five easy ideas to swing into Spring.
Let the Light Shine: Wash the Windows!
Sunny days look brighter through clean windows, so tackle the grime that winter storms have left behind on interior and exterior windows now. Whether you're an advocate of the diluted-vinegar-and newspapers approach, or prefer to wield a squeegee like the pros do, choose a bright, still day to clean exterior windows.
Freed from their dark winter coats, clean windows spill sunshine inside, raising everyone's mood!
Catch the Breeze: Open Windows on a Warm Day
Cold weather brings shut windows and tightly-closed doors--which can create a build-up of stale odors in any home. When you live with them, your nose learns to ignore them, but nothing whispers "Spring is here!" like a freshly-aired house.
Solution: let breezes blow! Air out the house one sunny afternoon to bring Spring's freshness inside. Opening doors and windows to catch a breeze will chase away old cooking smells and any stale or musty odors that have built up during the winter months.
After an hour or so, close windows and doors, then tackle surfaces with an electrostatic cleaning cloth to capture any dust or pollen that's settled out in the breeze. Run the vacuum cleaner to remove dust from floors--and enjoy the Springtime freshness!
Blooming Wonder: Bring the Season Inside
Even if the budget won't stretch to regular purchases of cut flowers, Spring's blooming make it easy to spark up a home with fresh blossoms.
Cut small branches from a flowering tree, or gather ready-to-bloom daffodils and tulips from the garden.
Even an inexpensive bundle of cut flowers from the supermarket cooler can bring a welcome breath of Spring indoors.
Displayed simply, in a tall water glass, vase or mason jar, they'll add a splash of Spring color and fragrance to your home.
Fresh Start: Clean Out the Refrigerator
The arrival of a new season is a good signal to clean out stored food in refrigerator and pantry. As farmers' markets and roadside stands open to offer fresh food for the new season, create a good home by cleaning out the remains of winter.
Make a quick check of expiration dates of food stored in refrigerator or pantry, and toss expired foodstuffs.
Look sharp for the last survivors of holiday gift baskets! If you haven't eaten the smoked salmon spread or served the Texas Hot Chili Mix by now, donate these treats to the food bank, so they're enjoyed by others.
Give vegetable storage areas special attention. Bearded carrots, limp celery and shriveled onions can be tossed into a crockery slow-cooker overnight to make vegetable stock--or consign these items to the compost bin. Be ready to store Spring's bounty in a clean and roomy vegetable crisper!
Cull the Cuddly: Wind Down the Winter Warmers
Fall brings no greater pleasure than pulling out fleecy sweats, flannel pajamas and warm blankets--but by season's end, these cuddly favorites are frequently worse for wear.
As warm weather approaches, take a hard look at the family's cold-weather bedding and favorite winter warmers. Separate out the stained sweats, pilled flannel sheets and shrunken loungewear for recycling or donation.
As you return winter bedding and clothing to closet storage areas, make a quick list of any needed replacements.
Look alert! End-of-season clearance sales make it easy AND cheap to replace worn-out linens and faded clothes.
Ready to swing into Spring? Welcome the season from your organized home!