New Year’s Cleaning- 8 ways to get your home ready for the new year!
We’ve heard of Spring Cleaning but what about Winter Cleaning or New Year’s Cleaning? Now is the perfect time to organize, throw out, or donate items you don’t need or use in your home. Eight is the number of new beginnings so here’s 8 ways to begin organization in your home and small spaces.
I would like to say I’m a fairly organized person. I like lists, labels, binders, Tupperware, storage cubes, you name it! After living with roommates throughout college and then living on a cruise ship for several years, I have learned how to declutter and take advantage of small spaces. When working on cruise ships, sometimes I had to share a cabin that was as small as 80-100 sq. ft. with a complete stranger, most likely someone from another country and culture. You quickly learn how to bring/buy only what you need and get rid of what you don’t. For years I traveled with 2 suitcases and a carry on. Can you fit everything you need in your life in that amount of luggage?
Well, let me confess; we all cheated; (some cheated on more than their packing but that’s a whole different blog)….we would buy clothes, souvenirs, gifts, and by the end of the contract we would end up sending a box (or two) home of “stuff” we collected throughout the 6 month (or longer) contract. Another confession, living on the ship did make things a bit easier for us because we wore uniforms most of the time and we didn’t have to worry about cooking. We could have someone do our laundry and clean our cabins as well. Working on cruise ships was one of the best gigs I ever stumbled upon, I’m so thankful for that experience.
Here are some of the things I learned over the years while living in small spaces that help keep you organized and use your space wisely.
Go Vertical! That’s right, if you have limited wall and floor space you need to have shelves and furniture that are more upright than horizontal so you can take advantage of the height in your room. I love books so I needed a way to display my books, even after my built-in bookshelf was full. But I also wanted to display decorative items. So I did both, using a narrow, vertical shelf, by stacking my books….vertically, and then putting a simple piece of home décor in front. So now this shelf is not only practical but decorative as well. You can find contemporary looking, yet practical chrome wire shelves online at The Shelving Store.
Take things out of the box/original container when half used. If you have a granola bar box and only have a few left, toss the box! Or, toss the box right away and store your food items in strategic places. If you are packing several lunches, most likely you will be using half of those items in the box/container they came in. Create a snack box in your pantry so you can just empty out the remaining items instead of having boxes and boxes of food all over with just a few portions in each box.
Take advantage of Tupperware, plastic organizers, baskets, and plastic storage stacking bins. You want something durable, clean and long-lasting instead of using cardboard boxes which wear down, can get wet and attract bugs.
4. Most and Least Used Organization- To piggyback on the previous tip, organize your closet, pantry, garage by how much you use the items. Things you use every day should be within reach, easy to find, grab and easy to put back away. If it’s a hassle for you or the kids to put away, guess what…it won’t be put back in its place properly. My favorite is using baskets. I always have a small basket on the counter near the door to throw my keys, sunglasses, and other important items I use daily. This way you never have to search to find your keys, just throw them in the basket as soon as you enter your home! Clothes can be organized into seasons. Keep your thick sweaters and winter gear out of sight in storage bins during the summer to save space.
5. Use space savers like shelves within shelves. Keep your dinnerware organized by using these if you have limited cupboard space in your kitchen.
6. Use a hanging organizers to store other items (besides shoes), like clothes, cleaning supplies, food, scarves and accessories.
7. Use floating shelves that serve as brilliant décor in your small home because they do not take up floor space and they look very chic! LOVE THEM! This is where I have fun decorating for the holidays!
8. Get Skinny! Instead of buying bulky furniture, try the new modern look, where you have streamlined furniture that doesn’t take up as much space. Once again, The Shelving Store has some fantastic furniture to choose from. Ottomans are also a smart piece of furniture, you can use them for storage, a place to rest your feet, and for seating!
From Cruise Ship Girl to Your Gig Girl, if you need some assistance organizing your home or office contact me at www.YourGigGirl.com