Meditation clears our minds of mental clutter, and we should apply the same principle to our living spaces.
Removing physical clutter can have a calming effect, not to mention the ongoing peace of mind of an organized home. Don’t worry if an overhaul feels daunting — we’ve put together a collection of our go-to tips and some expert advice from professional organizer Ivanka Siolkowsky, a.k.a. The Tidy Moose, to help get things started.
Spring is a great time to “decide which of your belongings are either improving your quality of life, or causing you stress,” Siolkowsky tells HuffPost Canada. “Once you’ve divided them into two categories, this should make it easier to decide what stays and what goes.”
Check out our tips below for achieving spring cleaning success!
Keep a sustainable closet
A little ruthless decision-making can help keep closets organized — quality favourites stay, significantly damaged items go. Siolkowsky suggests considering whether the latter can be repurposed as cleaning rags, (which saves the environment and your bank account), or if not, find a retailer that recycles textiles.
Opt for more durable and well-thought-out purchases in the future to avoid generating waste, and donate adult and kids’ clothes that no longer fit.
IN PHOTOS: Spring-cleaning hacks. Story continues below.
Community organizations like Dress For Success will take donations to outfit women for job interviews, and if you live near Toronto, visit participating TJX locations (Winners, Marshalls, HomeSense) until March 20 to donate new or gently used career attire.
Ceramic and glass jars for pantry staples
Not only are they cute and awesome for holding bulk foods, ceramic, glass, and plastic containers keep your cupboards organized and your food fresh.
Shop at bulk stores and markets for your non-perishables (some retailers will also let you bring your own container) to save the planet and pantry space, and avoid mixing up your staples by using a label maker to keep things neat.
Keep your necessities organized with pretty trays to store useful and frequently reached-for items. We love a sleep tray in the bedroom to hold our eye mask, lavender spray, and glasses, while a hall table tray keeps stray lip balms, hand creams, and hair elastics in one place.
Plastic bins and jars for kids’ spaces
Kids can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from a decluttered space, too. Organize craft supplies and toys in plastic bins, and use plastic jars to display brightly coloured markers and crayons for visual appeal as well as easy access.
We love setting up an age-appropriate snack zone in the kitchen, with kid-friendly containers that are easy to open. Siolkowsky recommends IDesign or dollar store containers made from plastic or bamboo that won’t break.
Vertical storage for hair tools
This handy storage solution keeps things neat and maximizes existing space. Siolkowsky says she prefers door storage like this hair care organizer versus bins or other receptacles, as she finds “the bins just become a catch-all, whereas the door storage comes with compartments for each item (brushes, curling iron, blow dryer).”
An overflowing drawer can become a thing of the past thanks to Siolkowsky’s clever tip of using shoe boxes for storage.
“Use [shoe boxes] in drawers to store items like socks and underwear. It keeps them divided, and contained,” she says. “They’re great because ... they fit perfectly in drawers without taking up too much space.”
And speaking of socks she even has a tip for them: instead of rolling your socks in a ball, fold them. This saves the elastic from stretching out, and you can see all of your socks when you do it this way.
Lazy Susan in the fridge
We love the convenience and ease of a Lazy Susan (a rotating tray) in the fridge to organize favourite condiments. A non-skid surface like the one on this kitchen turntable keeps things safely stored and easy to reach.
Pot lid dividers as storage
These work wonders in the kitchen to store plates, oven mitts, and of course lids, however Siolkowsky has an even more creative reccomendation for this item — she uses them for clutches in the bedroom!
“Depending on the rack, you can fit two clutches per section, and fit all 10 on one rack,” she says. “When you pull out a clutch to use for the night, the other nine don’t fall over because they’re being held up in the rack.”
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