With winter right around the corner, ‘tis the season to prepare your home for an extra indoor time. If you live in a studio or a small apartment for rent, you know that heavy stuff piles up and random things end up cluttering your place. Also, a lot of large items and decorations might find their way into your home during winter, taking up a lot of space. If you want to be prepared for the cold season, we’ve found 3 easy steps to help you get organized. You’ll just need some patience and plenty of upbeat music for motivation.
Rearrange and rethink
It’s best to have a fresh start going into winter. Sometimes, moving your furniture around and experimenting with different layouts might give you the new perspective you’ve been waiting for and the inspiration to clean and de-clutter your home. Think of it as moving into a new home that already has a feeling of familiarity.
A great thing about rearranging furniture is that it allows you to clean even the toughest-to-reach corners. Take the opportunity to remove all the dust and the garbage that hides under the wardrobe, behind your couch, and under the bed. Winter months are mostly closed-windows months, so a dust free home is the first step to a happy winter.
De-clutter and re-organize
This is the major point of your winter cleaning process, so the most efficient way to do it
- Garage: If you’re lucky enough to have a garage, this is going to be one big project that you need to take up. Depending on what you keep in your garage, you should go through the items and decide which ones should go and which ones you need to keep. Once the temperatures drop, you will need the garage for your car’s well-being. Reorganize the layout to be able to keep your tools and your bike, but don’t hold on to things you don’t need. It might be intimidating to start working on your garage; most of the time it is out of sight and this might just be the main reason it gets so crowded. However, you will feel amazing once you get it done.
- Storage space: Just like the garage, any storage space in or outside the house is an opportunity to hide the winter stuff you don’t need during the sunny months. However, the extra space might come in handy now, if you want to store the summer items. If you manage to get this area cleaned up, you’ll have a much easier time going through the rest of the house.
- Hallway: Your coat closet and shoe rack tend to get very messy during fall when you’re trying to work around the changing temperatures. As soon as it gets cold, go through them and put away the coats and shoes that are only suitable for warmer weather. Also, don’t forget to Clear up one spot where you can keep your hats, scarfs, and gloves for when it starts to snow.
- Closet: This might seem terrifying, but it can be very easy if you adopt a “divide and conquer” attitude and separate your clothes into categories. Pack away seasonal items that you will need next spring/summer and donate the items you no longer use, whether that’s because they don’t fit or you just don’t like them anymore. If you have clothes that are damaged, and you don’t plan on fixing them, pack them away and send them to be recycled. Clean out the closet and sort the clothes you keep into categories, for easy access.
- Kitchen: With such low temperatures, it’s nice to have hot, freshly-cooked meals throughout the winter. Still, de-cluttering the kitchen is not just for the chefs among us. Start with your cabinets and throw away everything that is expired or you know you won’t use. Clean and reorganize the remaining items. Take out the foods you put in the freezer so long ago that you forgot about them and be honest with what you will use and what not. Go through your collection of grocery bags and food storage containers and throw away what you don’t use. Try to use fabric grocery bags to keep your drawers from getting crowded and help the environment.
- Bathroom: A lot of makeup and care products expire sooner than we can get to the bottom of the bottles, so it’s time to get rid of them. Go through your sunscreens, hair and skin products, nail polish, samples that you’ve been saving, and throw out the things you won’t use anymore. Declutter among the cloth pieces and cleaning products stored in the bathroom as well. Be careful about disposing of old or expired medicine, as some of these can be dangerous for the environment or for pets going through garbage.
- Office: If you have a home office, you know that paper tends to pile up. Go through your documents and pack used paper to take to a recycling station. Reorganize your pens, highlighters, crayons, and many other office supplies which might be filling up your drawers, for a fresh start and a healthy work environment.
After you dispose of the things you no longer need, it’s time to get your home ready for winter with a thorough cleaning. Go one room at a time and cover all the areas, including under the bed and couch, and on top of the kitchen cabinets. Get as much fresh air as you can inside the house and remember to open your windows regularly, even if the cold air outside scares you. Finally, add some decorations and get your home smelling tasty, and you’ll be more prepared for winter than ever.
De-cluttering is not as tough as it seems, so don’t let your stuff intimidate you. Roll up your sleeves and, once you get started, it will be done in no time. You’ll feel amazing in your squeaky-clean home. Happy cold season, everyone!