President's Day weekend provides the perfect opportunity to declutter and organize your home. On Saturday and Sunday, go through various rooms and remove what you don't need, then begin to organize what remains. When Monday arrives, relax and enjoy the holiday in the comfort of your clutter-free home.
Before the long weekend, purchase garbage and heavy-duty lawn bags, plus bubble wrap. You will use the regular bags for garbage and the thicker bags and bubble wrap for items you plan to donate - because you must transport these bags, you want to ensure the items inside remain intact. Also, let everyone in the household know that President's Day weekend, Feb. 18th to the 20th, will be a cleanup weekend. That way, they can plan to stay out of your way, or be ready to help.
Because of its usually ample storage space, the kitchen often becomes a dumping ground for never-used items, both cooking related and not. Utilize the Keep, Donate, Trash, Organize, and Store method to cut down on clutter.
Start by going through each cabinet and drawer, pulling out items and placing those you never use in either the donate bag or trash bag. Or, if an item can be recycled, send it to the recycle bin.
Look at what remains and decide if, how, and where you store the items makes the most sense. Are like items together? For example, do you store all of your plastic food storage containers in the same cabinet? And are dishes and glassware near the dishwasher for easy unloading? Wipe down all shelves and drawers with a damp cloth, then replace items with convenience in mind. Lastly, make a list of any storage items you want to add to the kitchen. For example, a spinning rack with labeled bottles makes storing and accessing spices easier.
- The refrigerator - Pull everything out of the appliance, throwing out expired food as you go. Wipe down all surfaces, then replace remaining items.
- The pantry - If the expiration date has passed, toss it in the garbage bag. Go through seasonings and spices, as well.
Laundry Room Go through each cabinet and drawer just like you did in the kitchen, placing items in the appropriate bag or in the recycle bin, then wipe down surfaces before replacing items. If your storage space consists of the top of your appliances and/or a small shelf, consider adding cabinets and a closet. There are lots of options that allow for optimal storage in this room, plus you might consider seeking out handyman services for sinks and other plumbing fixtures to make doing laundry easier. Don't forget:
- The washer - Wipe all surfaces you can access with a damp cloth, then add 2 cups of white vinegar to the empty washer and run a complete cycle with hot water.
- The dryer - Pull out the lint screen and give it a long soak in soapy water before scrubbing with your hands to remove any lint lodged in the mesh.
Garage, Basement, and Other Rooms
The methods for the kitchen and laundry room apply to these large storage areas as well. Once you have removed all items for garbage or donation, consider how extra storage can help in these rooms, too. Would countertops and shelving create a desperately needed workspace in your garage? Could your basement benefit from custom-built cabinets for storage of special items? A professional handyman can install any of these home organization solutions, plus racks for storage of items such as bicycles and gardening tools.