Let’s make this very clear… I LOVE to stay organized but I’m not one of those women who actually enjoys cleaning the house. Still, I love a neat and tidy home so I put together a Spring Cleaning and Organization Checklist Challenge. It’s 6 weeks long because I found that if I just do a little bit per day it is more do-able! I put together a PDF download so feel free to download and print it out if you’d like to follow along. In this post, I’ll go into more detail on each item.
I’ll be perfectly honest… I have been a bit anxious and get easily overwhelmed these past few months. It’s just a busy time in my life and balance is something I wrestle with on a daily basis. But, isn’t that all of us?!
One thing I noticed is that when I feel most flustered, my home, purse and car reflect that too.. everything was messy. When I felt my best and most in the flow, it so happens that my office is organize, my home is tidy, my car is clean, etc.
Plus, who doesn’t love organized spaces?! With that motivation, I set out to really organize my home this spring. Now, I know most people “deep clean” in spring. They scrub places in their home I didn’t even know needed to be cleaned. That’s great and I should probably do that too butttt my checklist is a bit more focused on neat, tidy and organized spaces.
I find when everything has a “home,” I am better able to keep my house clean! I know it sounds silly but for the past year, I never designated a space for our vacuum. I would sometimes put it in the laundry room. Other times, I kept it in a guest closet. I realized that it actually sat out in the corner of our family room most days because it didn’t have a true home. When I designated a part of a coat closet for it, it all of the sudden always found its way home. Stuff like that is what I hope to accomplish with the spring cleaning challenge!
Okay, I’m going to include a link for the Spring Cleaning Organization Checklist Challenge here and below I’ll explain more about each category and item!
This is my “anyone can do it” approach to cleaning and organizing my home! Awhile back, I read THIS life-changing book on cleaning and organizing. The biggest tip I got from it is to clean and organize by categories and not necessarily rooms. I carried that over here. Also, I set a goal of 6 weeks for this but you can obviously speed it up or slow it down to fit your preference. My other goal is to complete 4 tasks per week. 3 of them are “smaller” which I tackle on a weekday and I leave a bigger task for the weekend when I have a bit more free time to complete it.
WEEK 1: CABINETS (+ DRAWERS)
I like to start with cabinets and drawers because it is instant gratification. For example, cleaning your glass display cabinets feels so rewarding, as they always look so shiny and clean. It doesn’t always take a lot to organise a drawer but pristine result is motivation to keep up the spring cleaning! Just a tip – I take everything out of the cabinet/drawer. Then, I toss what is old or I make a pile of giveaways/donations. Finally, I will put what I want back in with an organized approach.
DAY 1 BATHROOMS: what I have in bathroom cabinets often bounces from one bathroom to another (like cleaning products, extra toilet paper, etc.) so I like to tackle it all at once. I use THESE bins drawers and THESE in our cabinets. They’re inexpensive yet give my cabinets and drawers a very chic, polished feel.
DAY 2 LAUNDRY ROOM: I don’t have cabinets or drawers in my laundry room… just shelves but they get so messy. This is the day I do a clean out and reorganization of the laundry room.
DAY 3 SIDE TABLES + BUFFETS: end table, china cabinets, the butler’s pantry or any random cabinets or drawers you can find, tackle today.
WEEKEND DRESSERS + NIGHTSTANDS: this is a bit more of an extensive project for me because I really like to organize the furniture drawers, especially the dressers. My son’s dresser has an entire system and I used THESE organizers in it. It seems silly to put so much effort into dresser drawers but I swear it saves me a lot of time in getting him (and myself) dressed, putting clothing away, keeping it organized, etc.
*note: do not clean or organize any kitchen cabinets or drawers just yet
WEEK 2: CLOSETS
Again, something I learned from the book I mentioned above… tackle all the closets at once. I don’t just clean the closet and reorganize, but I also ensure everything has a designated space. I used to just throw a bunch of stuff in at the end but I’ve gotten more intentional about creating a “home” for everything.
DAY 1 ENTRY WAY + LINEN: everyone’s house looks a little different so this task may vary. We have a coat closet near our entry way, which I’ll be cleaning on this day. We don’t have a linen closet but I do have another random closet with what should just be linens but it’s jam packed with junk, so I’ll add this in too! Go for any closets in “non-room” spaces.
DAY 2 BEDROOMS: all the bedrooms except the master
DAY 3 MUD ROOM + MISC.: again, because everyone’s house has a different layout and closet situation, I’m leaving this day to be a bit random. For me, I’ll likely be using it to catch up on bedroom closets. In one of the bedroom closets, I keep seasonal home decor. I’m going to organize that with clear storage bins so I can see what’s inside for easier access. I’m thinking I’ll even add a list of what is in each bin.
WEEKEND MASTER BEDROOM + BATHROOM: these closets will probably take a good amount of time so I’m putting it as the weekend task. I suggest going through each item of clothing and putting things in 3 categories: keep, gift, and donate. My friends and I have done clothing swaps since high school, so I have a “gift” pile for that. My Nana (the organization queen) taught me that when you buy a new piece of clothing, something old must go or your closet will become cluttered as you age. I am sticking to that rule!
WEEK 3: KITCHEN
I’m giving the kitchen its own week because of the amount of organizational tasks and how tedious they can be. With the kitchen, I find it best to create a game plan prior to cleaning and organizing. I’ll take inventory of all that I have from plates to serveware and small appliance; then, I create some sort of plan for how I will be reorganizing it all because likely there is a better approach than what you currently have going on (at least there is in my case). I suggest doing that before proceeding with this week!
DAY 1 REFRIGERATOR: everything must come out and very square inch gets cleaned. Then, I come up with some sort of system in the fridge for where I want to put stuff moving forward… general categories work best because the food items change week to week. For example, my bottom shelf is for meat. The top shelf is for leftovers. I have a place where I always keep my son’s cut up food. I have a cheese/deli drawer. I keep all condiments on the doors. I find that some systematic organization helps me with inventory checks and keeps food I can’t see/don’t know I have from spoiling.
DAY 2 CABINETS: all the cabinets except for the ones with tupperware, appliances, food and spices. For me, today will be primarily an upper cabinets organization day… plates, cups, bowls, mugs… ugh why are there so many mugs. I really need to toss things that we collect like my husbands skull mug and chalice from Halloween. Not sure why he still uses it but I don’t know why he ever bought it int he first place haha.
DAY 3 TUPPERWARE & APPLIANCES: my small appliances like the food processor and blender could use a little TLC when it comes to deep cleaning. I also like to go through food storage containers. I lose pieces over time so it’s a good opportunity to toss what doesn’t have a match and establish organization in the cabinets.
WEEKEND PANTRY + SPICES: this task is definitely my most time consuming for kitchen organization and cleaning. I take everything out. I clean clean clean because there are crumbs all over my pantry. I’ll go through each item and toss what is old (and what just shouldn’t be in my pantry lol). For my birthday this year, I got food organization containers. I’ve always wanted them but would never spend the money on it so getting it as all sorts of Container Store goodies from my husband and parents was a real treat! I’ll share a full post on my pantry organization!
WEEK 4: OUTDOOR
My outdoor spaces are probably most in need of deep cleaning and a bit of reorganization.
DAY 1 FRONT ENTRY + DOORS: every place I’ve ever lived has a “dump space” aka the place where we walk in and just dump everything like shoes, purses, keys, etc. I want to establish a designated space for the keys and ensure we have a bin for shoes that don’t make their way to our closets right away. You know what I mean? In addition, the windows, doors, front patio, etc. all really need a deep clean this time of year!
DAY 2 PATIO + PATIO FURNITURE: depending on where you live and how warm it is, this may be something you’ve already done or can’t get to just yet but when you can, it’s a must! You may have seen our new patio (here). Early this spring, we decided to extend out patio and get outdoor furniture. We are out there every day multiple times per day. Even when I lived in my first apartment that has a tiny balcony where all I could fit was one chair and a few potted flowers, I took advantage of it. I am a big believer in creating and outdoor space that becomes a mini retreat. Keep it clean and it really becomes something magical!
DAY 3 CARS: is there anything better than a clean car? My first car was a red jeep wrangler. By the time my sister and I got to it, we had that thing so beat up. True story… I actually back up and took out the side of our garage (which bent the bumper forward) then a few months later my sister bumped into a poll while parking in the Walgreens parking lot (which bent the bumper back into its original position). We still joke about that story! Anyway besides those mishaps, we ALWAYS kept that car interior clean and it felt a lot nicer than it actually was lol. I keep my car tidy but I definitely need to get in there and give it a good detail. I also just got THIS inexpensive trunk organizer from Amazon to hopefully help keep some loose items organized.
WEEKEND GARAGE: this is definitely a weekend task and one to recruit your partner, friend, neighbor or family member to help with. We have a 2 car garage… half is designated as our home gym, half is to park one of our cars and everything else is lined up against the walls. It feels cluttered and tight so I need to get everything out, clean and create an organized space for all the stuff we store in there.
WEEK 5: SURFACES
Now that the main spaces are organized and most everything has a “home,” I like to focus a bit more on cleaning. This week is all about surfaces. In addition to cleaning surfaces, I also like to declutter. When I was a kid, my mom, all my friends moms, and all my relatives were big into “knick knacks” and every square inch of a table or shelf featured some piece of decor. I’m the opposite… I am a minimalist when it comes to decor and love the decluttered feeling.
Surfaces = baseboards, fans, counter tops, furniture, door knobs, switches, floors, etc.
DAY 1 KITCHEN: on a day-to-day basis, I use all natural, plant-based cleaners in the kitchen but a deep clean may just call for some of the tough stuff on the kitchen surfaces lol
DAY 2 BEDROOMS: I designated bedroom furniture on this day because not only does it need a good dusting but also rearranging. For instance, the tops of my nightstands and dressers could use a refresh. I actually swap decor from room to room too! Just the other day I moved the nightstand lamps from our master to the guest room and now the guest ones are in our room. Zero dollars spent. New, fresh feel. I also wash things that I haven’t in awhile – duvet covers, guest linens that may have been sitting for awhile, etc. Oh, and rotate the mattresses!
DAY 3 FURNITURE: furniture like end tables, entry tables, baker’s racks, anything and everything we haven’t yet gotten to!
WEEKEND BATHROOMS: this is a weekend task because there is likely more than one bathroom in your home and there are a lot of surfaces. This isn’t a “fun” day for me but it’s a must do! Most bathroom surfaces are obvious like the sink, shower, toilet but don’t forget the fans, grout and I like to launder the floor mats!
WEEK 6: DEEP CLEAN
Similar to Week 5/Surfaces, I feel this all goes much more quickly and smoothly now that everything else is organized and neat. Time to deep clean the areas that we didn’t the past 5 weeks.
DAY 1 WINDOWS: inside, outside (if you’re really on top of it – this won’t be me lol), window sills, screens, curtains, everything.
DAY 2 APPLIANCES: oven, stove, dishwasher, microwave, washing machine. I like to pull out appliances like the washer/drying and refrigerator to clean behind and underneath.
DAY 3 DUSTING: anything and everything. In Texas, we change our filters regularly but it’s a good time to remember to clean or get new air/furnace filters too!
WEEKEND PAPERWORK: so this task isn’t on a typical spring cleaning list, but it’s one I personally find so important. Anything that is paper- go through, toss, save, and organize! I have stacks of old magazines that I’m saving for who knows what reason… TOSS! I have a “home binder” where I keep all sorts of documents like our AC man’s contact info with his service receipt and various home documents. I have file folders with all of our health bills and various paperwork. All of that stays relatively organized but once per year, it’s helpful to reorganize to keep it tidy.
Okay, so there’s my next 6 weeks of organizing and cleaning for you. Like I mentioned, I love organization but I’m not big on cleaning so I feel that this 6 week challenge and plan will work really well for me. Since you requested I share, I am guessing many of you are in the same boat so hope it helps you and your home too!