Spring Cleaning – Part 2
Rookie Mom is seeking help in her search for Spring Cleaning Ideas. I’m hoping some of the things I do to keep our things organized will help her and others.
1.) Getting baby stuff under control. Truth be told, it’s almost impossible to get to place where you will always feel like you have control of kids clothes and toys. I use kids vs. baby because this will always be a challenge, regardless of your child’s age. Having a system helps though.
For toys, I bought 3 big storage bins that live in our basement. When I first bought them, I went straight to the toy room and filled them up with toys my kids don’t really play with anymore. Periodically I bring the bins back upstairs pull out some of those old toys and replace them with the toys that are becoming stale. At that time, I also find toys that I originally thought were worth hanging onto but now get pulled out to be donated or given away to family and friends.
2.) Pantry organization. Here are a couple pictures of what my pantry looks like.
If you can’t tell, I am Tupperware’s dream customer. The biggest advantage of having an organized pantry like mine it that not only is your food neater and more organized but more importantly, it stays fresher much longer. Take my cereal container filled with Corn Flakes. We don’t normally eat Corn Flakes for breakfast. I use them to occasionally make Oven Fried Chicken. The Corn Flakes in my cabinet today are the same Corn Flakes I bought nearly a year ago, still crisp and fresh as they were the day I bought them. My Tupperware stores everything from staple items like flour and chocolate chips (a staple in my house), to cookie cutters (I have 3 bins just for cookie cutters), cereal, rice, granola bars, raisins and more.
And Rookie Mom, since you asked, here’s a little tip about organizing your menu… Purchase an inexpensive day planner calendar and dedicate is just to planning dinners. For each day of the week, write the meal you intend to cook. If you go out, write in the restaurant name too. This will help you plan what to buy at the grocery store. Periodically, I will flip through the calendar for meal ideas too!
3.) Craft clutter control. It’s all about having a system. I recently took over a closet to store all my craft supplies. I bought shelving supplies at Home Depot that I converted into a desk and hung peg boards on the back wall. The beauty is, when I’m not working on crafts/photo albums, I can close the closet so little hands can’t get into everything. Try and find yourself a space you can dedicate to just your crafts.
4.) Closet organization. For mine and my husband’s clothing, we rotate our clothing twice a year into the basement. Spring/Summer clothes come up and winter/fall clothes go down. We have plenty of space in our closet to keep everything upstairs, but I find by doing an official wardrobe swap twice a year, it forces us both to go through our clothes, try things on and donate what no longer fits. I also try to hold true to donating any article I haven’t worn in 2 years. My husband LOVES to buy clothes so he also tries not to buy anything new unless he donates some old clothes. All of these little things help to keep our closets fresh and neat. I’m lucky that my husband is just as organized as I am. We keep our closet organized by both style and color. So for example, all the black pants are together, all the red sweaters together, etc… My brother-in-law also built these great shoe racks to help me keep shoes organized.
For the kids, twice a year wouldn’t be enough to go through their closets and drawers. They outgrow clothes so quickly! In our guest bedroom I keep 2 bins, one for my son and one for my daughter. When I find something in their dressers that not longer fits, I toss it into the bin. When the bin fills up, I go through the clothes and decide what to keep vs. what to donate or give away. The bin is then labeled with the size of the clothes it contains and it goes into the basement. While we are not planning to have any more children, I’m still trying to come to terms with that. Once I have officially come to terms, I suspect I will just donate or giveaway all the clothing but still keep the one bin for each child to collect those outgrown clothes.