Spring is in the air so let’s spring into spring cleaning with some helpful get organized ideas. Getting organized and clearing the clutter clears the mind. That results in less stress. I look forward to my spring cleaning/get organized ritual every March. Here are some of my favorite tried and true tips and a few new ideas that I have discovered to help you spring into spring feeling organized and relaxed. How good does that sound?!
First things first. The hard part. Getting through, sorting through and being through with all the clutter and piles. It can be overwhelming and daunting for sure. I swear by my personal system that I describe below. Try it because after this tedious step is done, the next step of placing things in an organized fashion is fun and feels great. But first the work. Try this…
My Box-It-To-Rocket System Rocks It!
Do you have a personal decluttering system that works for you? I call mine the box-it-to-rocket system. As I clean out, I box different categories of stuff into four labeled boxes that can then rocket off to space (as I like to call this process), which creates more space for me! Get it?! "Rocket" meaning the stuff either takes off away from my home to go to donations, recycling or the trash bin. So, I label four empty boxes with…
I place the empty labeled boxes side by side before I start the decluttering process. As I examine each piece, I then decide which box it belongs in. Once the four boxes are full, I donate one box to charity, put the recycle box in my blue bin, trash the trash and allocate time the next day to store the saved stuff. This process streamlines and simplifies the job by lessening the overwhelming feeling that stops us from starting and/or completing the task. This system also keeps the piles of separate stuff neatly contained in the boxes and off the floor making you ready for the next step.
Now on to the good stuff. Getting things in order. When this next step is complete, you will be amazed of how less stressed you feel. More open space, an organized place for your things, order in your home with less clutter…all of it results in calm and joy! Try using organization pieces you already have on hand and then treat yourself to a few new pieces. Here are some of my top picks…
Favorite Get Organized Finds
*Best Box – Without fail, every year I buy the attractive Best Box year box that prominently displays the year in big bold print all over. Sold at The Container Store, it looks nice and stacks nicely as well. No more looking for a label with the year since this box declares it boldly all over. It holds plenty of letter and legal-size folders, documents or books for filing, storage or moving. It's also perfect for storing children's artwork and photos by year. I have one each for the last six years and it has really helped me to clear out and organize the important papers from the previous year. This box saved me loads of time the year we refinanced our home as I could easily pull important papers from previous years with the easy-to-spot by year boxes. I buy mine every year for $3.49 at The Container Store either at the store or online at containerstore.com.
*Colton’s Custom Creations Horseshoe Hand Crafted Boot Rack - Try this local artisan’s clever boot rack for your all-over-the-place boots blues. I love supporting local business and this smart invention is made by a local 13-year-old horseshoe metal artist! Colton Kempinski’s Colton’s Custom Creations gave us the perfect solution for my husband’s growing collection of boots that were laying everywhere! I purchased Colton’s beautiful hand-crafted horseshoe boot holder, size large that holds six pairs of boots, for $120. A smaller one that holds three pairs of boots sells for $60. Absolutely one of my favorite get organized tools ever. My hubs like this handsome boot holder, too! To order, contact Colton’s mom at 602-686-7890. And speaking of shoes…
Shoe Blues Solutions & Customized Closet Ideas
First let’s attack those pesky shoe stacks. Single shoes. Piled up pairs. They are everywhere! Stacks, racks, hiding under slacks…what to do about the shoe blues clutter?! I have some options. I long for a custom fancy closet like those sold at Ikea, The Container Store, California Closet and more. However, that is not in my current budget. As I worked on a shoe clutter solution, I decided to spruce up my closet to see if I could add a few odds and ends to give myself my own budget closet makeover. Not only are my shoes now organized but being able to find that perfect pair in the hectic morning has helped me to be on time. Here are the tips I tried (that worked!) for my shoes and to customize my own closet on a budget.
*Use stuff you already have on hand to organize shoes like kid storage containers that have been grown out of. I labeled a wicker basket chalkboard sign, “shoes” and that now houses my excess shoes that I don’t have enough shoe boxes for. Use something like this for slippers or flip flops as a handy option.
*Custom Piece Your Closet – If you can’t afford a custom-built closet, try making your own individualized space with custom pieces that you place yourself. For inspiration look at sites like Pinterest, The Container Store Elfa section, Ikea and more.
To do this in my own master closet, I decided to invest in calming cream-colored linen shoe boxes. To get them discounted, I joined The Container’s Store POP savings club. With POP, I used a 30% off online coupon. Plus, I waited until the shoe boxes I desired went on sale and I got free shipping. So, the pricy and pretty linen shoe boxes are regularly $14.99, but I got the sale price of $10.49 plus I had a 30% off POP perk off one pair. Joining a store’s shopper membership program, monitoring the site for sales and using other coupons from sites like Retailmenot.com can all add up to savings on custom pieces. POPS offer a 15% discount with the free membership. My before and after picture looks so much better and has created calm in my life when I am getting ready and dressed in the morning. I love that! Clear plastic shoe boxes also work great and those can be found at most dollar store chains.
*Get matching hangers – I used my Bed, Bath & Beyond 20% off coupon to purchase matching hangers in the attractive dusty rose color. Having matching hangers looks nice. This also enables clothes to be hung evenly and spaced just right for less wrinkles and better care of your garments. I selected the Real Simple suit hanger brand in the light purple color (I think they look more like a dusty rose and I love that). I bought 10 sets of 12 hangers, used my store 20% off coupon and got free shipping, so my total cost was $79. I saved $20 with my coupon and enjoyed the free shipping that the store offers for orders over $39. My new hangers make my closet look open, inviting, bigger and streamlined. I love it!
*Add an inspirational sign to your design – To save money, I walked around my home looking for a pretty sign that I could move to my newly organized closet. I found one in my living room that is the perfect size to hang right about my new linen shoe boxes. I am inspired by the message each morning when I enter my closet. The sign says, “Cherish Yesterday, Dream Tomorrow, Live Today” and seeing that makes me reflect, smile, be thankful and then dive into the new day. If you don’t have a fun sign, they can be found everywhere from Amazon to the dollar stores. Stores like Kirkland’s have some fun and unique signage.
*Use a hanger storage stacker – Get the empty hangers off the racks and place neatly on a storage tower. This looks nice and makes finding the perfect hanger quick and easy. I bought mine several years ago at The Container Store for $29.99…but shop around! As I researched this segment, I found many similar models for under $10! Wish I would have shopped around!
*Pace yourself! Do your organization project in stages. You must pace yourself and realize that the job may take a weekend or even longer. Otherwise you may feel overwhelmed and never even get started. It is like exercising. The hardest part is getting going and then once you do that, you start to like it and the end result looks and feels good. I am halfway done with my closet makeover as I am doing one section at a time and dedicating two hours a day to it over a week’s time. I simply don’t have the time to do it all at once. Doing it in manageable steps is the way to knock it out, slowly but surely. This formula is working for us so far. I am anxious to be done but each completed area is reducing my stress section by section. It is great!
Quick Fix Idea
For smaller spaces like under a kitchen sink, visit organization store websites like Ikea or The Container Store. Containerstore.com has an awesome section called Projects and Inspiration that I checked out. I was immediately inspired. In the online store Under Sink section, a before and after video is shown with a list of the products available for sale to emulate the makeover. Prices and time to complete the project are also shared. For the under-the-sink makeover, it states that the job will take half a day and that the four products needed can be ordered in a bundle online. I decided that I only needed two of the items. I ordered the chrome over-the-cabinet double basket holder and the clear Linus large tote caddy. My total expense was right around $20 with my POPS membership savings. And it only took me 10 minutes to do the complete makeover! That is because I didn’t select the suggested $52 Two Tier Sliding Organizer, which would have required me to bolt it in under the sink. That is a nice piece to have and it is very handy because it pulls out, but I didn’t need it. So, by ordering two of the suggested sink makeover pieces, I got my makeover in half the time and for a lot less money. Look at sites like that to get inspired. Then try what I did and do a smaller version of the recommended makeover. I also had liners on hand to line the bottom of the cabinet floor. The new system looks nice. Now we can easily find a clean sponge quickly, hand soap to refill the dispenser and dishwasher detergent pods. My family noticed and they love it.
And don’t forget to get your heavy-duty spring cleaning done. Here are a few of my favorite finds in that department.
Favorite Spring Cleaning Product Finds
*Baublerella Bling Brush – As I spring cleaned and organized my jewelry storage, I was happy to get to test this product through my blog. The Bling Brush works great to easily and quickly remove beauty product powders, hair spray and other residue from jewelry. No more trips to the jewelry store or working with a messy cleaning dip. I love this product! Get it for $19 at baublerella.com.
*Truce – My awesome gal pal, Amy turned me on to this non-toxic cleaning product line. Amy owns her own all-natural house cleaning/organization business. I love her recommendations every time. Truce smells good, like peppermint. Instead of harsh chemicals, Truce uses ingredients like essential oils, water, hydrogen peroxide and organic castile soap. My favorite is the Truce All-Purpose Cleaner that is mixed with water. It works on everything, doesn’t streak, is antiseptic, non-toxic on skin and smells so good and fresh. Truce can be ordered at truceclean.com. A 16-fluid ounce spray bottle costs $10.49. The 32-fluid ounce refill sells for $17.99. I love and swear by this stuff. Thanks to my friend, Amy! She is an expert. To reach her for professional help, cleaning and/or organization skills consultation call 602-451-5778 or email ImmaculateAmy@gmail.com.
What are your best spring cleaning/get organized tips? Share in the comments section as we love to share what works to make our lives less manic and more managed. Especially when the renewed season of spring rolls around. Be sure to check out my blog at managedmoms.com for more tips, recipes, parenting talk, home and garden makeovers and more. Happy Spring Cleaning!