With the current “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order extended to May 4 in Washington State, professional organizing services (along with many other services) have been temporarily halted. While we can’t come to your home and help you organize right now, we can still give you some quick and simple tips on cleaning, decluttering, and organizing! Think of these mini projects as the precursor to your spring cleaning, as most can be done in less than a day. Do you have kids at home doing remote learning? Let them take a recess and give you a hand; it may earn them some extra screen time or the chance to pick this weekend’s takeout dinner!
Remember the “forgotten” places.
Under your bed, your baseboards, under the sofas and armchairs, the fan vents in your bathrooms, the top of your fridge and kitchen cupboards—these are just a few of the areas in your home that most likely don’t get a regular cleaning. Say goodbye to the dust bunnies! Move any furniture that’s in the way, get a good, damp microfiber cloth and the hose attachment for your vacuum, and have a go at these dusty spots.
Put winter away.
Is your entryway or mudroom still looking like it’s February? It’s April…it’s time to let all that winter gear hibernate till next year. Gather up boots, heavy coats, hats, scarves and gloves; clean or wash them before putting them away. If you’ve got a rug or boot tray, give it a good shake outside or a good vacuuming. Same goes for your winter sports gear—skis, poles, ski clothes, helmets, sleds—clean what needs it, and then store them away for next season. Now you’ve got room for your spring stuff!
Let there be light.
Lamps and light pendants looking a bit dim? It’s probably dust (dust is really a pain, isn’t it?). Unplug your lamps and make sure the bulbs are cool to the touch. Wipe bulbs with a slightly damp microfiber cloth, and clean lampshades with a dry cloth or vacuum attachment. Wipe down hardware on the lamps with a damp microfiber cloth. Don’t forget the lights above your bathroom sinks.
Ins and Outs of Windows
Dirt, dust, water spots, dried bugs—these could be dampening the view through your windows. Give them a good clean, inside and out. Lucky for you the equipment you need is likely already in your home: microfiber cloths, vinegar, water, and liquid dish soap! Bob Vila gives an excellent how-to.
Have you ever counted how many doors your home has? A lot! (Pro tip: This is an easy project for older kids and teens. You could even pay them per door cleaned!) Start by cleaning the corners of cobwebs and dust bunnies. Use a damp rag to wipe the top of the door, then wipe down the panels and grooves—yes, all the way down to the floor. If you like, use a disinfectant wipe on the doorknobs. Any hard-to-clean stains may be removed with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponge or a cloth with a bit of mineral spirits.
Get your outdoor space ready.
We are super hopeful that summer will see a return to normal—or even mostly-normal—life, which means enjoying your patio with family and friends. Get your outdoor furniture ready by giving it a good clean. Better Homes & Gardens has a great rundown on different cleaning for different outdoor furniture.
Organize under your bathroom sink.
Bring a paper grocery bag for recyclables, and a wastebasket for garbage. Then sit down and open up the cabinet under your bathroom sink. Go through each item and designate them as Keep, Recycle, and Trash. Return your Keep items to the cabinet; try to organize into bins if you have any. The Recycle and Trash items go to their respective places. Expired or unused medications? Learn how to dispose of these safely.
Give your small appliances some love.
Your coffee machine, blender, food processor, juicer, stand mixer, toaster oven—these small but mighty appliances could probably use a good deep cleaning right about now. Make sure it’s unplugged, remove all small, cleanable parts, and put some elbow grease into cleaning all the parts. It’s also a good time to evaluate how much you use some of these appliances (the electric donut baker, for instance) and decide if it stays or goes.
These are just a few ideas for mini house projects during this quarantine period. Once it is lifted, we would be so happy to help you with your home decluttering and organizational goals! In the meantime, take care of your home, yourself, and your loved ones.