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Are you feeling like you may be outgrowing your St. Louis home? Does it seem as though closets, pantries, and drawers are bursting at the seams? The amount of space you have may not be the problem, but how it’s organized. Spring is here and not only is it the perfect time for spring cleaning but also spring organizing. With a little bit of organizing and de-cluttering, you can free up some much needed square footage. Here are a few organizational projects that’ll get you back on track.
Clearing Out the Garage
Spring is the perfect time to tackle the cleaning of the garage. Tackling the garage can seem like a big project, as it’s generally where we put all our things that we can’t find a place for in the house, so be aware that this project may take a couple of days to complete. It’s a good idea to go through the items and arrange them into categories in the driveway. Be sure to check the forecast prior to moving your items outside, as a downpour will surely spoil the project. The categories will depend on the items you have but typically would include items such as camping gear, sports equipment, holiday items, gardening supplies, luggage, or tools. Once you have all of your items categorized, separate them by frequency of use. Obviously, the items that you use the most should be easily accessible, whereas the items that are used annually or quarterly can be stored away. If you want to store your things in containers, take the time to label the containers for easy access when needed. Feel free to create areas such as a built in workbench that houses your tools and hardware, a gardening rack for gardening tools and a space for pots and soil, or a bike rack for the family bicycles. Once you have everything organized, it’ll be a breeze to find what you need.
The Junk Drawer
Everyone has a junk drawer filled with all of those miscellaneous items that just don’t fit anywhere else. Trying to find something in the junk drawer is always an adventure, but there’s a quick fix by organizing it. The best thing to do is to take everything out of the drawer and purge any items that you’re not going to use. Do you really want to store thirty packets of soy sauce in there? Have you ever called the individuals on the ten business cards that have been in there for the last year? Once you’ve determined which items need to go back into the drawer, you can arrange them neatly or add an organizer in the drawer so that everything has its place.
Whether you have a dedicated pantry area or you’re using kitchen cabinets for your dry and canned goods, it’s a good idea to keep the area organized and clean to avoid using expired food or any unwanted pests. The rule of thumb when organizing your pantry is to put similar foods together – store all of your oils together, pastas together, baking ingredients together, etc. This is a good rule to follow, but also consider frequency of use when planning the location of your food. For example, many people organize their spices in alphabetical order, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do but in all actuality, do you use your allspice as often as your garlic salt? Think about the spices you use on a daily basis and store them in the front so they’re easily accessible. And lastly, when adding new food from the grocery store, be sure to rotate your current stock so the oldest items get used first.
Closet space is a hot commodity in any home, and organizing your closet will not only make it easier to find what you need, but it can also free up space. First things first, you need to empty your closet out and separate your clothes into categories like dresses, shoes, T-shirts, etc., together on the bed. Once you’ve done that, decide if there are any pieces that you haven’t worn recently. The general rule of them is that if you haven’t worn it in a year, donate it. Once you’ve narrowed down your keep pile, hang and sort the clothes whichever way works for you – color coded, frequency of use, or by category. You may want to add a shoe rack to the back of the closet door if your floor space is minimal.
Happy Spring organizing!