If you want to tackle your home this weekend (or month if you have a larger home) here are my best tips to organizing your nest. And if you need a refresher on my homemade cleaning recipes see here and here.
Organizing your closet is the first step to organizing the rest of your home. This goes for dressers too. Get rid of unused clothes and accessories. If you haven’t worn it in a year chances are you aren't going to. If you are hanging onto clothes because they don’t fit anymore, donate them! Plus, you'll love to buy something new for your new look, and others can benefit from clothes you are holding onto. Below is my closet, I have had a few inquiries about the piece that I used to create my vanity/shoe rack- it is actually 4 of these attached together. It sits at just the right height for applying makeup and storing all of my jewelry for easy access each morning.
Go through media cabinets and digitize your CD and DVD collection. You will add so much valuable storage space to your home, and many companies offer the service for you if you don’t have the know how. Pull all of the cushions off your upholstery, and give everything good vacuum. Consider dry cleaning your drapes if they are custom and full of dust, but a good vacuum can do the trick here too.
Bathroom cabinets need a little TLC after a few months. Pull out everything you have in each drawer/shelf and wipe them clean then toss beauty products that have expired. If your medicine cabinet is over flowing try using an over the door shoe organizer to store shampoos and lotions. If you don't have a full door to hang it on, cut it in half and attach to the inside of the cabinet door below your sink. (I love these for holding cleaning supplies in the laundry room, or snacks in the pantry too!)
Pull off all of your bedding and wash it. Vacuum your mattress, and if you have help, rotate it so it wears evenly. Move all of the furniture and vacuum under dressers, nightstands, and especially the bed. If you really want a “fresh start,” consider rearranging your furniture. Sometimes just changing the layout of a room can give you a mental boost of positive energy.
Start with your refrigerator and food storage areas, then move to dish/linen storage areas next. Toss any expired food and donate anything your family just won’t eat to your local food bank. Take inventory of what you have left so you can use this food to prepare meals for the next few weeks. I like to use recycled glass jars to store my bulk foods in, so I can see what I have right away. Go through drawers and cabinets and clear everything out, so you can wipe out any crumbs that have been hiding. Wash any dishes that haven’t been used in 3 months, dust and grease can build up on things that you can’t even see.
Pull out your hoses, gardening tools and make sure everything is in working order, and service any lawn mowers/blowers. There is nothing worse than getting motivated to do yard work and having that motivation squelched by a trip to a repair shop, or garden supply store to replace broken tools. If you store holiday items in your garage consider getting each holiday its own container/box. As you go through the year if you find yourself not using those items to decorate with, donate them. Give your garage a good sweeping and dusting, it’s the room that gets neglected the most.
Take down everything from bookshelves, and dust each item (it may take you an hour but you’ll be glad you did) Remove and discard any ripped dust jackets, or donate any books you don’t need to hold onto anymore- many book shops or library’s will buy them from you. Don’t just shove all the books back on the shelf, arrange them by size and color, laying some vertically and some horizontally. Try mixing it up by layering other items in with your books, like vases, photo frames, and other collectibles Go through your desk drawers and craft bins and toss any pens/markers that are dry. This is also a great time to back up the hard drive of your computer if you don’t do it regularly, You will be in the room organizing, so you will see your computer if there are any warning notices.