By Scott and Heather Limeberry
Spring cleaning season is upon us, and for many people that means more than scrubbing and scouring. It also means clearing out clutter and reorganizing problem areas in their homes. A big part of organization anywhere in the house is being able to easily locate and get to the things you need, not the things you don’t. A great way to begin is by going through each space from top to bottom so you can evaluate every item and determine what to keep and what to get rid of.
Work backwards: This may seem counterintuitive at first, but you should begin the clearing out process by tackling your storage spaces first. The idea here is to create more available space so when you move on to the most lived-in areas, there will be storage space available for items you’re removing and storing from those rooms. A big time-saving trick!
Organizer’s rule: When deciding what stays and what goes, many professional organizers swear by this rule: If an item hasn’t been used in over a year, odds are you’ll never miss it. Sort your items into four piles: Keep, Throw Away, Sell, and Donate. The sell and donate piles represent simple ways to achieve decluttering satisfaction while not contributing to the landfill. Unloading your stuff in a garage sale or donating it to charity not only lifts the clutter from your space and mind, but you’ll feel good knowing these items will serve a purpose for someone else. A supply of garbage bags, sturdy totes, and bins will come in handy here.
Storage solutions: Once you’ve cleared the clutter, it’s time to store what’s left in an orderly fashion. Shelves are fantastic options anywhere in the house because they’re so versatile and customizable, so you’re limited only by your space and imagination. Choose from wall-mounted shelves or free-standing units in various sizes, styles, and materials. Just don’t forget the hardware and tools needed if you’re building or installing them. Keep that decluttered vibe going with baskets, crates, or boxes to keep loose items tidy on your new shelves. Free-standing and wall-mounted racks are also helpful for garage or basement organization, because many are built for storing things that are too long or bulky to fit on shelves. There’s a rack, shelf, or bin for just about everything.
Label it: You know the old saying: A place for everything, and everything in its place. A label maker can really help you achieve that next level of orderliness. You’ll no longer put away sheets randomly in the linen closet because labels will remind you that this shelf is for queen sheets, and that one is for king sheets. Labels are visual but silent task masters.
Out of room: You’ve cleaned, decluttered, donated, and organized, but your wish for a streamlined home hasn’t come true. If you’re limited on space or you just can’t part with enough stuff, perhaps a backyard shed is the answer. Be sure to check with your housing addition to see if they have rules about sheds, since you may need approval before installing one. A shed is a perfect place to store lawn care equipment, bikes, or other outdoor items. If there’s room left, all your indoor castoffs can be placed in weather-proof bins and stored there until next year’s big clean out.
Visit your local Do it Best store or doitbest.com for thousands of the best home improvement products, including storage and organization helpers essential for a clean and decluttered home.
SCOTT AND HEATHER LIMEBERRY are owners of Limeberry Lumber & Home Center in Corydon and Limeberry Home & Hardware in Floyds Knobs. They are member-owners of Do it Best Corp., a Fort Wayne-based cooperative of thousands of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout the US and around the world.
(This article is for informational purposes only. Electric Consumer and Do it Best assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of its content, or for injuries, property damage, or the outcome of any project.)