Most of us will dislike the prospect of a spring clean around the home, but it can be very beneficial. Not only do we clear out our drawers and cupboards of unwanted items, but we make space for the new. And there is a certain satisfaction that I always get, when you look at how tidy and clean something is. In this blog post I’m going to be outlining three ways in which I have had a spring clean in my own home, and the ways I like to de-clutter too.
Here is one example of spring cleaning for you. No doubt we all have that one drawer in the kitchen where everything miscellaneous goes. If you have one of these suspects in your house, why not take half an hour on the weekend to go through it and clear it out. No doubt there will be old takeaway menus, receipts, sauce sachets and out of date items that can all be disposed of. Recycle what you can and make some space for this year’s items. Elastic bands can come in handy to separate areas inside the drawer, or an old cutlery tray if you have a spare. It depends what you use your kitchen drawer for, but if you need to divide the items, you can make the space work to your advantage. If you have things like old Tupperware boxes to get rid of, ones without lids can be especially useful. They’re great for storing sauce sachets in or small bits that would otherwise get lost. Line them up alongside your neatly stacked takeaway menus, and fill them with bits you find that need keeping.
Another example that could usually do with going through is your medicine cabinet, or your bathroom cupboard, wherever you keep the majority of your toiletries. Most of us don’t realise how much we accumulate, so here is a handy tip from me to you, for spring cleaning the lot and then keeping it tidy. You’ll need a piece of paper and a pen, a plastic bag for all the bits that need to be thrown away, and another plastic bag for items that can be recycled such as empty bottles and boxes.
First of all you need to empty the drawer, the shelf, the unit or what have you, and lay the items out. (I would do this on an old towel so if anything is sticky it doesn’t make a mess). Make a list of all the things you can keep, that are in date and appropriate. Throw away any medicines that are out of date, same goes for any products that may have gone bad. A good tip is to smell them and look inside to see if they have gone solid or a funny colour, if you aren’t sure then bin them. And cleaning the area down you can put the items back into place, and stick the list you just made on the inside of the door or along the side of the items. That way you won’t need to search the whole thing when trying to see if you’ve got a product, you simply consult the list.
You may also need to make a list now of the items that need replacing, but first ask yourself this, if the products you’re throwing out have been in there a long time, do you need to replace them at all?
My final spring clean idea comes from something I actually do on a three month basis. Kitchen cupboards! It’s a good idea to rotate the items on your shelves, to make sure nothing is going out of date, especially if you have a lot of boxes such as cereal and biscuits that easily go stale. It sounds simple enough, but a lot of people just refill the empty parts of their kitchen when they go shopping and don’t bring the older items out and place them to the front. We are all guilty of this, especially if we don’t have the time due to family and other commitments. But even if you just do this seasonally, you might save yourself some money. And you may also find a nice food or drink item you forgot all about at the back of your ‘adult food only’ cupboard… Making a list of what foods you have while putting them away can also help you to save on your next weekly shop. Towards the end of each month, it can be a good idea to write a meal plan, and use up any foods that might already be opened or close to a use-by date. This all contributes to a clean out and a use up of products we may have had to throw out. Saving money and making space in your kitchen.
Ways to De-clutter and Save Space
As human beings we often accumulate things and eventually run out of space. So if your home is in need of a tidy up then hopefully these ideas will give you some inspiration. And there are ways it can be done without throwing everything out.
If you’re a person like me who keeps a lot of things but wants everything to still be neat and tidy, it can be difficult to find a happy compromise. I have found that making the most of any given space needs to be worked out before deciding where to put things.
So here are my top ways in which to de-clutter, maximise and save space in all aspects of your home.
One example I used recently to save space while doing my yearly wardrobe clear out, was to remove the thicker items and fold them up. I placed all thick trousers such as jeans, and thick jumpers, in a drawer instead of letting them take up hanging space. By folding and rolling them neatly and using good special awareness, you can maximise your wardrobe space. Obviously throw things out if you no longer fit in them or they are too worn, and it’s always good to give what you no longer want to a charity or a homeless shelter too if you can.
Something else that is really handy for wardrobes, especially if you have spare space at the bottom, is collapsible boxes! Ikea is just one of the many places who sell these and I think they are amazing! You buy them flat packed, and then use the zip and folding sides to create the three dimensional box. They come in a range of sizes and colours, and can be used to store all sorts of items.
I use mine for scarves, hats, as well as summer clothes. I also use some smaller versions of them for belts and other accessories that I don’t wear often too.
These great storage solutions allow you to be organised without things getting tangled together. By using a variety of coloured boxes you would always know which box to reach for when you need something.
Another wonderful thing that Ikea do is drawer dividers. These are similar to the boxes I mentioned above, but on a much smaller scale. They can be used to separate items in drawers. Socks, underwear and makeup products are just some of the ways I use mine to organise things in my largest chest of drawers. They can be great also in a bedside unit because that’s one of the places so much miscellaneous stuff can accumulate in over time, they allow for you to organise items in a much neater way.
If you’re after some sturdier boxes, either for children’s items or preferably ones with lids on, then look no further than the ‘really useful boxes’ company. They have a great selection of boxes, some small enough to store buttons and jewellery inside, others so large you can store them under beds or in the loft space. We have a huge number in our house, used in all sizes and for all manner of things. One thing I do love is that they are really strong and durable and also easily stackable.
Another item that I purchased recently in order to save space was a storage mirror from Argos. This fantastic piece of furniture doesn’t take up a lot of room because it has its own stand, and it has a great deal of storage space inside for all manners of jewellery and accessories.
There are many pieces out there for purchase that can be useful in smaller homes, perfect if you need more space for items that you don’t want laying about on surfaces.
I can recommend this mirror very highly for both quality and price, I couldn’t believe how much storage there was inside, it’s size has really been used to maximum effect.
My final way in which I save space is to de-clutter the paperwork in my life once a year. It’s amazing how much space thin pieces of paper take up when put together. If you’ve had receipts and statements for more than a few years you can normally get rid of them unless you have some sort of warranty with an item, such as electronics. We all keep so much and accumulate so many things in our lives, by taking an hour or so every few months, we can maximise our space and clear out what we no longer need.
If you need any more encouragement to have a clear out then look for local charities and shops who are after donations of toys and clothes, and see if you can do your bit for your local area.
I hope you have found some inspiration in this post, and can now creatively save space and de-clutter your homes.