Spring is officially here according to the calendar. Seeing the flowers start to peek out of the ground gives me the urge to finish up my winter projects so that I can get outside as soon as Mother Nature allows. One of my least favorite activities is “spring cleaning.”
As soon as the calendar said it was spring, I can remember my grandmother would start her spring cleaning. I don’t know how long she spent spring cleaning but she did things like washing walls, windows, and curtains, as well as, polishing the woodwork and furniture.
Spring cleaning dates back to the time when heating systems used coal and were not as efficient as today’s systems. The black soot that covered everything made it necessary to clean things each spring to get rid of it. I am sure that is when my grandmother started her little ritual. I happen to have a different idea of how to “spring clean.”
Now, if you’ve been following me for a while you know I often use the term “baby steps” because I believe that even baby steps in the right direction will still get you where you want to go. So in keeping with that theme, we are about to launch a month long action plan that will provide ideas for simple organizing projects that can be done in 20 minutes or less. Each week we’ll tackle a room together in short bursts. Check out my facebook page for extra tricks and tips during the week.
The kitchen is often the busiest room in the house so we will start there. Take a look around. Is your kitchen a calm, organized gathering place, or is it a chaotic, cluttered mess? No matter what the state with a few helpful hints you can get it under control. Some common kitchen dilemmas are things either do not have a place or are not stored in a logical place. For example, do you have the things you use for cooking near the stove or do you need to walk across the kitchen to get them? Countertops are valuable “real estate” and should be occupied by things you use daily. Other less frequently used things such as the waffle iron, breadmaker or mixer should be stored in a cabinet or area away from the things used daily. Dishes and glasses should be stored close to the dishwasher so that you can quickly unload them directly into the cabinets.
This week’s 20 minute action step is to clean out the refrigerator. Depending on the size of your family, clearing out the shelves in the refrigerator may take longer. Set a timer and work for the 20 minutes, if you choose to continue, fine. If not, no guilt. You did your 20 minutes. Check expiration dates and the state of condiments you don’t use very often. This is great to do the night before your trash day (just in case there is food that needs to go out). Wash down each shelf and then the sides and bottom of the refrigerator. Try to group things together when you put them back in. Make an area for the drinks, the condiments and the leftovers. If you are losing things in the back of the fridge there are plastic bins that will contain things and are easy to pull out. Change the box of baking soda or whatever you use to keep it smelling fresh and you are done. There’s a short video on organizing your fridge at the Container Store. Check it out. Then join the conversation, what would you like to tackle this spring? Use the comment box below.