The weather is warming up and the sun is making more and more appearances here in Northeast Ohio! Spring is upon us!! And yet, this spring is very different. While we are all trying to do our part to flatten the curve and practice social distancing, I’m feeling a bit stir crazy as I’m sure most of you are as well. I thought I would share with you today my 30 Day Spring Organization Challenge in case you are looking for ways to stay busy and whip your house into shape!
The list I created is made up of the tasks that have been on my to-do list for a while now but can never seem to get to or continue to put off for other things. Now seems like the perfect time to try and tackle some of these and finally get organized!
This is meant to be a guide for you. I want you to feel free to shift and change this up as it fits your needs and layout of your home. Don’t have a basement or garage? Swap out for another space you want to tackle. Need more time to complete a task? No worries! Take the time you need. Some of these tasks may not take the full day to complete. You can take a break or use the time to complete an additional one. And if your goal is to finish them all and need more than 30 days, no judgment here!
So, whether you do them all or just some, tackle them in order or bounce around, this list is meant to inspire you and keep your mind busy as we stay home for the next 30 days.
30 Day Spring Organization Challenge**
Before you get started, I want to make note of a couple of things. First, in a lot of the tasks below I recommend adding in storage to help keep things organized, corralled, and easy to locate once complete. If you intend to source any organizational pieces, just know that you may want to schedule tasks accordingly or plan to finish them up once the items you ordered arrive.
Secondly, because we are all practicing social distancing right now, the intent of this challenge is to stay home and get organized. If you can’t complete some of the activities safety through no contact interaction or get the items you need via mail, just skip it for now and come back to it when you can.
Tackle that junk drawer in the kitchen.
Grab some dividers and organizers that fit inside the drawer. Toss anything you no longer need. Make a list of the items that are low and need to be refilled like batteries, tape, stamps, etc.
Organize and restock the pantry
Throw out anything that has expired. Make a list of the items you are out of or low on so you have it handy for your next shopping trip. Have extra peanut butter on hand? How about making a donation to your local food pantry? Check out this post for tips on donations and a list of recommended items.
Give the shelves and walls a good cleaning. Grab some bins and baskets to help corral like items together like granola bars and other snacks. This will help to visually make the space feel organized and less cluttered. Store pasta and cereals in reusable containers to help preserve and seal in freshness.
Straighten your Linen Closet
Pull everything out and wipe down the shelves and walls. If you have any sheets, blankets, and towels that are still in good shape and you are no longer using, donate. Anything in bad shape pitch.
Fold and organize sheet sets by room and store together so you can easily locate. Any duvets or extra-large blankets that cannot be washed at home, send out to the cleaners.
Make note of toiletries that are low and in need of stocking up. Organize and corral smaller items together in baskets to keep everything visually clean.
Add some fun wallpaper or add a fresh coat of paint if feeling really ambitious 🙂
Curtains and Blinds
Remove any window treatments and give them a proper cleaning. If possible, wash what you can in your washing machine. Send the rest out to the dry cleaners if needed.
For blinds, this article gives you tips and tricks for washing them in the tub or cleaning them in place if you prefer or cannot removing them from the windows.
Carpets/floors and Rugs
This one may be difficult to complete right now depending on the equipment you have in your home and the surfaces you have to clean. We have hardwood flooring throughout and only a couple of rugs that we can move and clean ourselves.
But, if you have carpet and do not have a carpet cleaner, check out this article for some ideas and tips for cleaning your carpets without a steam cleaner. This could be a quick fix for the time being until you are able to have a professional come in or rent a machine.
Clean out and Organize your closet
Donate gently used items you are no longer wearing and throw out any pieces in bad shape. Give your closet a good cleaning. Wipe down the walls, add a fresh coat of paint, or even some wallpaper to create some delight in the space.
What is the space lacking? Need more shoe storage or a place to store purses and bags? Reconfigure or add to the existing system you have to maximize the space and get the best use out of it. Swap out your wire hangers for velvet or wooden ones. This not only gives the space a cohesive, visual appeal but protects your clothes and helps them keep their shape.
For some other great organizational tips check out this article here.
Wash the pillows on your beds
I have to admit this one I am not great at but I found this post on Pinterest with tips for cleaning pillows in a washing machine and I’m thinking about giving it a try! I especially like the tip of adding lavender oil to the pillow once dry before putting it back into its pillowcase.
Any that are beyond repair or no longer work, toss and add a replacement to your shopping list.
Tame that Pile of Paperwork/Mail
Shred private documents and recycle where you can. File away any important pieces for safe keeping.
Create a system for managing incoming mail and documents to help you keep this in check going forward. Will you tackle this daily or once a week? Establish a filing system if needed so key items are easy to locate. This will also make it easier to stay organized. If an item has a home you will be more inclined to put it where it belongs than let it stack up on the table.
Who doesn’t love cute office supplies??? Use this as an excuse to treat yourself to some new items to help you get everything in order. Check out this article for 20 sources for gorgeous office supplies.
Take stock of the bar cart
Throw out any old alcohol (is this a thing?) or expired mixers. Make a list of the items that need replacing or restocked. Wipe down the bottles and make sure glasses are clean.
Restyle the cart and add to your list any accessories that need to be replenished like napkins, straws, stirrers, etc.
Spring clean your guest bedrooms. Wipe down the walls, windows, baseboards, and trim. Vacuum and mop the floors or clean the carpets/rugs.
Dust the furniture, ceiling fans if you have them, and accessories. Straighten and make note of items that need restocking, fixed, or replaced.
Touch Up the paint and fix any dents on your walls and trim.
This is a great weekend project and perfect while we are all stuck at home. Even better if you have a rainy spring weekend and need something to do inside.
Pick a room to start in. Wipe down the area you are planning on touching up. While it drys, grab the wall or trim paint color you need. Pour some into a small cup and grab a brush. Work from one end to the next touching up any spots that need it.
For small dents and nail holes, grab some spackle and fill in the holes. with the putty. Once dry, give it a light sanding until smooth and even. Then you can paint over the blemish.
Sort through magazines and books
If you’re like me you have piles of magazines and books throughout the house. If you can, recycle old magazines you no longer want or need. Gather up the ones you are keeping and store them in baskets or on shelves to keep them contained and organized for reference.
Any books that are out of place put them away in bookcases or on the shelves. Donate to the library any you no longer want.
Pull everything out. Wipe down the walls, shelves, and door. Add a fresh coat of paint or some wallpaper to spruce up the space if you want!
Donate gently used items no longer in use. Send to the cleaners any seasonal items that need to be cleaned or repaired. Add extra storage or organizational pieces if needed.
Wipe down walls, trim, cabinets, doors, and appliances. Clean out the cabinets. Pitch anything that needs to be thrown out. Make note of items that are low or empty and that need to be restocked. Add organizational pieces were needed to help control the clutter.
Clean washer and dryer/vent. If you still have them, use the manuals that came with your machines for reference on the best way to do this. If you do not, you can check the manufacturer’s website or try Pinterest and YouTube for How-tos.
Windows and doors
While you have the window treatments down, take this opportunity to wash the windows and, while you’re at it, the doors. Give them a good scrub, wiping down the hardware and detailing the tracks.
TAckle the basement
This is a big one. Depending on the size and state of your basement, it may be best to try and tackle this over the weekend or a few weeknights. Our basement is unfinished but divided into three sections. We have bins in one area, our laundry is in another, and the third has a workbench with all of Mike’s tools.
Asses your space and the needs you have and what you would like to accomplish. Have bins that need sorting? Go through them and create keep, donate, and pitch piles. I’m hoping that once we are no longer required to social distance, and the weather is nice, I can have a garage sale and get rid of a lot of this stuff we no longer use.
Are you in need of storage or do you want to create space for the kids to play or for family to relax and hang out? Create a plan, make notes of the items needed and get to work!
Organize bathroom vanities and medicine cabinets
Empty the drawers and shelves. Give the insides a good cleaning. Pitch any expired products or items no longer using. Add organizational items where needed to help keep things in order.
Declutter and clean out nightstands, consoles, and side tables
Basically any pieces of furniture that you have in the house that has drawers, cabinets, or shelves, do a scan of them to see if they need to be edited. It’s easy to hide things away in cabinets and drawers, never to be found again. Out of sight and out of mind right?
Take this time to review what you have hidden away! Do you need it anymore or is it just taking up space? Straighten drawers, cabinets, and shelves. Pitch anything no longer needed or consider donating if lightly used.
Dust Ceiling fans and lamp shades
I don’t know about you but I always forget about ceiling fans and lampshades when doing my regular cleanings. They seem to collect so much dust! I usually get to these about once a month or whenever I notice they look a little dusty 🙂
Create a gallery wall
Have pieces of art or photos laying around waiting to be hung? Nows the time! Print out any photos that need to be printed, frame items that need framing, and gather the supplies you need to hang each piece.
To create your gallery you can lay each piece out on the floor to get a feel for spacing and how it will look. Or you can also use paper, cut to size, to create templates of each one. This is a little more work but definitely worth it for those of us who need to be able to visualize the end product. You can move the pieces around until your heart’s content.
Spring Clean the Kitchen
This is another big project that will probably require a full day if not two.
Empty out your cabinets. Wipe down the shelves, drawers and the inside and outside of your cabinets. Use a magic eraser to take off any scuff marks and q-tips to get into the nooks and crannies of cabinets moldings and details to get out the yuck.
Add any bins or drawer organizers that will help to keep things sorted and easy to find. For instance, we added a basket into one of our cabinets to hold lids for pots and pans. They used to be strewn all about inside the cabinet making it hard to locate the one we needed. Any items that are broken or no longer in use, donate or pitch.
Dust and mop the floor, wipe down the baseboards and crown if you have it. Wipe down the faucet and the refrigerator. Clean out the microwave and the oven.
You can do this separately or lump it in with cleaning your kitchen, but make sure your fridge and freezer get some love.
Pull the drawers out and rinse them out. Wipe down the shelves and insides of the fridge and freezer. Toss anything that is expired. Make note of what you are out of for your next grocery trip.
If you need it, add some additional layers of storage to help keep things organized and easy to find. This blog post has some great tips and inspirational photos to get your wheels turning on what you may want and need.
Tackle the garage
If your garage looks anything like ours, you will probably need a couple of days to whip it into shape. Also, the weather may be a factor to consider when you pick your days for this project.
A couple of years ago we decided to give our garage a refresh. We took a weekend in the summer to pull everything out and give the whole space a fresh coat of paint. We went through everything in the garage at the time and threw out any junk or leftover project pieces we no longer needed.
The space stayed in order for a bit but once the seasons changed, it started to get a bit messy. And when we purchased our sectional last summer, both of our old sofas ended up in here for the time being. It’s time to get this space back in order.
As with the basement project, asses your garage and the needs you have. Does your space need a fresh coat of paint? Do you need more storage for tools and bins? Does it need to be swept out and power washed? Take a few days and get this space in order. You will definitely feel much better once it’s done!
There you have it! My 30 day spring organization challenge! I hope if you are looking for something to do during this weird and uncertain time, that this guide is a great resource for you! Don’t forget to adjust and adapt it to fit your needs!
What other home organizational activities do you have on your to-do list?