Now that my kids are older, I let them know that they are going to fully participate in this year's Spring cleaning and so far, I'm amazed and impressed with how much we have truly cleaned out. It feels great! During this process, I have found several great resources when it comes to cleaning out the clutter and getting organized that I can't wait to share with you. I have also found several terrific get organized tools that are helpful, so read on to streamline your Spring cleaning with these ideas below...
Steps To Take To Clean Out the Clutter
I think the hardest part of taking on a Spring cleaning job and get organized project is how overwhelming it feels to even think about it. For this segment, I decided to do something that I've never done before. I hired a professional organizing expert to teach me a few tricks when it comes to getting rid of the piles. Bridget Owens with D.O.A http://www.doainteriors.com/. Interiors worked with me on our master closet. It was a complete mess with little to no organization, so she suggested we start by taking a few before pictures to really study what was in there and what we needed to do to get the big job done in an efficient manner. This was a good suggestion because in the past I would have pulled everything out before making my plans and I would have become overwhelmed quickly. So once we studied the pictures, we could see that we housed a lot of baseball caps, winter jackets, shoes, belts and my supplies for these show segments. So before we even took anything out, we let the pictures be our guide.
Step 1 -- Take before pictures and work from there.
Step 2 -- Clean out the clutter by making different piles for consignment, donation and the items that you want to keep. I was amazed how many boxes I filled for Goodwill. I also consigned several nice pairs of jeans and I filled a trash bags with worn out shoes.
Step 3 -- Do a count in categories of what you are keeping. Count the number of shoes that need to be housed, belts, purses, ties, hats and any other items that fill your closet. Once you have your count, you can move on to finding the organizing tools that you need.
Step 4 -- Determine what storage items you already have on hand to store some of your stuff before you spend money on get organized tools. I love buying organization bins and tools, but they can be expensive, so see what you can already use before you spend the money on those items. For example, Bridget noticed that I had several boxes with chalkboard fronts that I was going to give away because they were my kids' primary colored boxes that they had outgrown. However, she pointed out that my hats could be stored in them with a simple piece of chalk to label the front. She also noticed that my segment supply boxes could be combined and labeled with a label maker for storage and easy access. My husband's current tie holder was working fine, so we saved money on that, too. So using all of these items that I already had on hand was a big money saver.
Step 5 -- Shop for some get organized tools and this part is fun, but these items can add up, so having the professional organizer tell me which tools were the best for the money was very helpful. Here is what she came up with and I love all of it...
Cool Tools For Great Organization
*For my husband's numerous baseball caps, her #1 pick is the PerfectCurve CapRack. This clever device is sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $19.99 and it holds 36 caps with a vertical design that houses three caps to one clip and there are 12 total clips. This holder works and I'm thrilled because his caps before had taken up the entire top shelf of our closet on his side. He also likes it because the caps are easy to clip on and it holds the fitted caps nicely. If you have a lot of ball caps in your family, try this product for sure.
*For our shoes, Bridget recommended the Bed, Bath & Beyond 6-Tier Storage Shoe Rack and this is also my top pick. It is not flimsy like so many other shoe holders can be and it holds a lot of shoes, up to 24 pairs. I also like that the shoe shelves are made of fabric, which looks nice and keeps the sandals and the heels from slipping through the bottom, which happens with other shoe holders that I have tried. I thought that the price was right, too. At $19.99 a box, this is a purchase that I'm thrilled with and it looks nice, too.
*For all of the coats and heavy winter wear that we Phoenicians can now store away, Bridget brought me the Johnson Ziploc Space Bag and these bags work great! We purchased the 6 bag combo that came with three large bags and 3 medium bags for $19.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond. This air-tight vacuum bag works wonders and having these tripled my storage space. Plus they are airtight, waterproof and reusable. We simply packed our winter coats, Halloween costumes, formal dresses and more. Then we sealed with the easy to use zipper and finally used my vacuum to suck out the air. When my hubby needed to take an item out a few days later, we both loved how easy it was to open the zipper, remove the needed item and then close back up. This is such a great invention.
*For my belts and purses, Bridget recommended the Handbag Accessory Over-the-Rod Organizer. This handy contraption holds at least 20 purses and other accessories like scarves and belts. This sells at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $9.99.
*One of my favorite get organized items that the professional organizer recommended for me is the Dymo Label Maker and it is on sale right now for $20 at Walgreens. It is super easy to print out uniform adhesive labels that keep bins and things labeled and orderly once your big super organizing job is done. Labels entice the family to put things back because they easily see where stuff goes once it is time to clean up. I love my new label maker.
*Another clutter culprit are all of the empty hangers that end up taking up so much closet space. To conquer this, Bridget showed me a cool hanger stand to store hangers in that are not in use. I ordered the Standing Hanger Holder Chrome from Amazon.com for $17.92 and I love it. Not only does it keep all of our loose hangers in one place, but it looks nice, too. I would have never thought of this idea, so this is one of my favorite suggestions that the professional organizer gave me.
*I also discovered a cool hanger on my own at Bed, Bath & Beyond called the Real Simple 50 SlimLine Hangers with Built-In Hooks. These functional hangers come with a non-slip surface and an attached accessory bar that house belts, scarves or ties. With this design, you can choose to place entire outfits together on one hanger. I use this to lay out my outfit the night before, which is a big time saver in the morning. I purchased my box of 50 hangers for $19.99.
*Jewelry holders are a great way to keep your jewels organized and to also find those perfect matching earrings or color coordinated bracelets when you are in a hurry. Bed, Bath & Beyond now sells the felt holders that are seen in jewelry stores. I bought The Beverly Hills Organizer brand that houses both necklaces and bracelets on one attractive stand for $14.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
You have probably noticed that most of the get organized items that we suggest are sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond and that store can be expensive. I highly recommend getting on their email and text lists because once you do, you will receive a steady amount of 20% coupons which saves money.
My closet is now clean, organized and functional and I can't get over how much space the professional organizer created for us with her tips and tools. If you are interested in consulting with Bridget, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. I highly recommend bringing in a professional, especially if you have a big and daunting job in front of you.
A Great Get Organized Website
Cozi.com is a great and free website for get organized tips and tools. Check the site for starter to do lists, lists for kids, and how to use their free online calendar to help you tackle spring cleaning. For example, I visited the site to print out a Spring cleaning to do list for my entire family. I love that the list was organized into sections that included the bedroom, entertainment area, entry, the car and more. Plus this entire list, for the whole family, all fit on one easy to glance at page. The list also has checkboxes on the left hand column so your family can check off the jobs as they go. Check out this helpful free website at www.cozi.com. I swear by it and in fact my professional organizer is the one who first told me about this months ago.
What are your best get organized Spring cleaning tips? Share here in the comments section and remember to check my website at www.managedmoms.com for more home & garden tips, recipes, parenting and more. Happy Spring cleaning! It feels so good when you are done!