We are getting close to the end of our Spring Clean-Up Challenge! I hope you are all excited about getting ready for spring by cleaning and organizing your house so you can enjoy the summer months outside! These past weeks of cleaning and organizing the house might have seemed like they were going on forever, but with two weeks until May, I feel like the time has flown by!
Over the past five weeks, we have completed cleaning and organizing a lot of areas around the house. Week one was cleaning and organizing the closets and drawers! Week two was cleaning and organizing our kitchen and pantry. Week three was the start of our deep cleaning, where we cleaned the main living areas. Week four got you deep cleaning the bathrooms and linen closets. Last week was all about the bedrooms. This week we are focusing on cleaning up the laundry room, filters, mudroom, office, and any other area we might have missed. Then, our last week of the challenge will be everything outside: garage, cars, windows and yard!
Each week we are going to be tackling one area of the house that needs a spring refresher, making spring cleaning not as daunting as it can appear. Follow along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for motivation throughout the week!
This week is all about the random spaces around your house. I’m talking about the laundry room, office, kids play room, mud room, and any other space in your home that we haven’t tackled thus far. Including:
- Deep clean laundry room
- Vacuum out dryer vent
- Clean out washing machine
- Clean out cleaning supplies
- Schedule HVAC spring check-up
- Change filters in humidifiers
- Deep clean mud room
- Deep clean office
- Organize office space
- Organize mud room space
- Organize toys in play room
Our laundry room is where I store all of the cleaning supplies, vacuum and carpet cleaner. It’s an easy space to store everything I need to clean the house because I have so much space. For my spring clean-up challenge, I am going through the cleaning products and organizing, condensing or discarding of some products. Since the majority of the products I use are natural, I follow these safety guidelines for proper disposal.
I am also planning on cleaning out our dryer vents. This wiki-how has pictures for making sure you do it safely by unplugging your dryer first! If you don’t feel comfortable, find a handyman who will clean out the dryer vents. You should do this once a year to prevent fires starting in your vent.
Our washing machine is connected to the sink. This sink can get filthy with dirt from the washing machine. I have to make sure that I clean the sink regularly and use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to clean the drain of the sink. We also have a mesh cap over the hose that connects the washing machine to the sink. This also needs to be changed frequently to prevent water build-up from all of the link that collects in the mesh.
Last week I shared how I got our mud room organized by using bins to keep everyone’s cabinets nice and tidy. I also took all of our winter jackets and either took them to the dry cleaner or hung them up in the front hall closet, where I store them for the months we are not using them. I also took out our spring jackets and rain boots so they are ready for us to use! I also took all of the shoes off of the shelves and cleaned every shelf to get rid of dirt and grime that was left over from the winter months. I also washed the floors around the garage door to clean up the space and make it feel more fresh, shiny and clean!
Getting the office organized can be a big job! There are so many areas that need to be cleaned out and organized. For us, I have my office/craft space, while my husband has his own office space. I shared how I organized my office space last week, so go check it out for more inspiration!
When organizing my husbands desk, I start by going through every drawer and taking everything out. Next, I will group like items together, such as Post-It notes, paper clips, staples, extra tape cartons, pens, pencils, etc. Now that everything is grouped together, I will put them in drawers with like items. My husband likes all of his cords on the top left corner of his desk, so that is where I will keep all of the cords for his computer and phone. Then he also likes Post-Its and pencils on the top right drawer. I will keep those items in that drawer, so that he will actually keep up with the organizational system I create for him. My tip for organizing is to find a system that you will stick with, so if you always put pencils in a specific place, then keep doing that, but change something else that isn’t working for you. I created a drawer for extra office supplies, one for batteries, one for his “junk”. This is his catch-all drawer for items that don’t really fit into any other category. By using drawer organizers, we can still keep the space organized with it remaining a “junk drawer”.
My office was a different story. I have lots of craft supplies. I decided to go through my supplies and donate, toss or keep my supplies that I know I will be using in the future. I had a lot of stuff that could be donated because it was whatever remained from a project I completed. Once things were cleaned up, I sorted and put things away in drawers and baskets that would work well for my needs while I get my craft on.
I also stored some office supplies in containers in an acrylic tray on my desk, making it easy to grab as I am working, but also easy to move the entire tray so I have more room on my desk. This has been super helpful for me so that I can work effectively, yet move stuff quickly so I can get as much done during nap as possible!
I also use magazine holders to hold my items that I might put in a file folder system. Since our filing cabinet is full, I thought this would be a great way to keep my items separate from our home stuff and keep it easy for me to access since it is located under my desk.
The play room is always a tough room to tackle. The kids get attached to toys and you get frustrated with the amount of toys you have in the house! To get things organized, start when all of the kids are sleeping. Lay out all of the toys you have and put them together. I mean finding every single puzzle piece, every game piece, every part of the fire truck…you get the idea. But I would not recommend putting together every single Lego project that you have. Just trust that all the Legos are there and move on. If you have a puzzle or game or anything with a missing piece, donate it. Many places collect used games and will actually have a missing piece on hand!
Now, sort your kiddos toys into bins. I shared a while ago about how to create play spaces around your home and my biggest thing was to have bins that held all of your kids toys. Don’t buy the cutesy bins that are too small. You won’t use them because they will get so full with toys! I have some bins that are actually laundry baskets. These laundry baskets hold cars and trucks that are in the basement. I chose to use these because they are large, can hold all of the cars and trucks, making clean-up time so much quicker! I can just have the kids through all of the cars and trucks into the laundry basket and BOOM…we are cleaned up.
I also shared how to keep kids books organized. By always rotating the books, you will keep your kids interested in reading and you won’t get bored by reading the same books over and over! Whenever a book gets ripped or a page falls out, I try to fix it right away. If I can’t fix it, I will recycle it. I always hate to do that, but if you are missing a bunch of pages or the pop-ups aren’t popping-up, or the flaps have disappeared, then the story might need to be retired.
And now, we get to start cleaning the house the week. Remember to do a little every day and the tasks won’t seem as daunting. Take your time this week to get every other area inside your house clean and organized! I have been loving the pictures you all are sharing with me! Please keep share pictures with me as I’d love to see how you are doing with cleaning and organizing your way to a happy Spring! Post your pictures to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag me @organizedmamas, and you could be featured on The Organized Mama!