Usually, spring is when you hear a lot of talk about cleaning your home. There is nothing like a little sunshine through our windows to remind us they need to be cleaned. Yes, it’s true that spring cleaning gets all of the attention this time of year, but I have found when you do a little spring organizing it really helps you to keep things neat and tidy all summer long. Let’s get you set up for success with a spring organizing checklist.
As with all big projects I find it’s easiest to break things down into smaller steps or, for this case, rooms. Let’s go over a few of the main rooms that are going to get the most traffic over the next few months breaking things down into quick wins that you can do in a short amount of time.
Spring Organizing Checklist Room by Room
The Laundry Room
This is not a normal room where I begin a project, but in the spring, especially if you live up north where I do, things can get muddy and messy rather quickly. Without an organized area for laundering clothing, your family can turn this small space into a hot mess fast. And if your laundry room looks like a tornado just tore through it, it might cause you to avoid the room altogether rather than getting in there and doing a routine load each day to keep the laundry chore to a minimum.
For the laundry room, washtubs seem to work best. A few ideas are:
Washtubs are my top pick and work great to hold cleaning supplies.
- Laundry pods if you use them. (Remember to keep this bin up and out of the reach of children)
- Fabric softener sheets or wool balls
- To hold extra lids from laundry and fabric softener containers. It’s always nice to have a backup just in case the original gets lost.
- I also like to have a small bin to toss in pocket clutter that may be tucked inside or pants pockets. You can also use magnetic organizers or another grateful to have to keep smaller items contain so you know right where they’re at. You can attach these to the side of your washer or dryer.
If you have the room you may want to consider installing a few shelves or an entire shelving system to hold extra supplies.
- Paper towels
- Laundry detergent and fabric softener
- Stain removers
Have a way to sort laundry either as it comes in or as you wash. The method you choose will all depend on your organizing personality. There are two types of organizers. Those that want easy and those that want pretty. If easy works better for you, then sorting as you wash might make more sense. In this case, all you need is a couple of large laundry baskets. When it is time to wash sort your laundry into 3 baskets. One for towels, one for colors, and one for whites.
If pretty is more your style, you might want to invest in a laundry sorter with a fun print on the front making it more pleasing to the eye. As dirty laundry comes in you can sort it out. Then when it is time to wash you can just grab a presorted load and go.
D/M PRO TIP: You can always forgo the sorting and washing clothes by the family member, yes towels and all. Today’s clothes are pretty durable and most can be washed together. When you wash by family member you can have a hamper in each person’s room and ask them to bring their clothes down on wash day. Once they are done you can skip the sorting by member step and get those clean clothes back to their owner in the quickest amount of time.
Finally, you will want a way to hang up anything that cannot go into the dryer. You can use a drying rack, an expandable clothes hanging rod, or make your own. Just keep in mind the amount of room that you have and how many clothes you will need to hang up.
The Entryway or Mudroom
This is another high-traffic area, especially in the springtime. As you were switching from one season to the next your shoes and outerwear might be doubling as well. Having a system set up to hold all those extras while mother nature is making up her mind will help to keep this area clutter-free and tidy.
For our large family, we like to have a dedicated area for each family member. This keeps things stress free especially when you’re trying to get out of the door at the beginning of the day. When each family member has their own hook, basket, or cubby they will know right where their things are and right where their things go when they returned home again.
Remember to keep your organizing systems age-friendly. A few ideas are:
- For very young children you may want to install a hook and a cubby that is lower to the floor.
- For older kids, you may want to include heavy-duty hooks to hold those book-heavy backpacks.
- If your kids are into sports, then using organizers that will work best with their equipment is the best way to go.
Sometimes you will want to think outside of the box. You can use umbrella holders to hold baseball bats, hockey sticks, or other long equipment. Another idea is to use a storage bench to hold soccer balls, footballs, or basketballs.
Remember the easier you can make it for your family to put things away, the more likely they are going to use the system that you set up.
Last but not least is to have an organizer to hold any car keys, sunglasses, outgoing mail, etc. Try to keep this last-minute organizer closest to the door so it is the final reminder before anyone heads out for the day.
D/M PRO TIP: Hang a picture frame and put post-it note reminders for your family to see before they head out the door. Color code the post-its so your family knows which notes are for them.
Another area that needs a bit of springtime attention, is the inside of our vehicles. Let’s face it who wants to clean out a car in 10-degree temperatures? Now that things are warming up let’s do a quick clean out and set up a few organizers to streamline an area that our families will easily keep up with.
Before you organize let’s go through and remove any trash, recyclables, or things that need to be brought into the home and put away. Go through your vehicle registration and insurance cards only keeping the most recent.
While you are sorting out papers you can set up an inexpensive accordion file to hold these items going forward. A few things to keep are:
- Insurance cards
- Warranty information
- Oil changes
- Emergency info
By keeping things sorted in organized didn’t make it much easier for you to find any papers right when you need them.
When organizing your vehicle you will want to utilize any spaces that you have already. For example, if you have a large center console you can use Ziploc bags to hold similar items so that they do not get lost in a cluttered mess inside. You can also use a plastic container like these to keep things sorted out.
A few items you can keep organized together are:
- Phone chargers for your and your family’s phones.
- First aid kit for any minor emergencies.
- Change and extra cash for last-minute store stops or unexpected toll booths.
Another area you can organize is the backseat. How you set things up will all depend on the age of your family.
- If you have very young children you can set up a bin of small toys.
- School-aged children you can set up a bin of books or coloring books.
- Teens may want chapter books or travel games.
- Pets you can have cleanup supplies, a bowl for water, and a toy or two as well.
- If you are planning a long trip you can do a bin of electronics and movies.
A few other totes you can have set up are:
- Cleaning supplies
- Emergency road care
- Safety gear
- Food, drinks, pet snacks
- Towels and/or blankets
When you live up north your winter garage is nothing like your summer garage. Winter means snow shovels and salt and snow blowers and summer means pool supplies and rakes and lawnmowers.
Each year on our spring organizing checklist we like to do the switch over from winter to summer so that our garage is not so tool heavy and overcrowded.
D/M PRO TIP: If you have larger tools that you use in the winter, be sure to clean them and close them up so that they store better throughout the summer. If you are not sure just what needs to be done you can go online and check with your manufacturer for exactly what you need to do for larger items.
As you were putting things away for the winter make a list of anything that needs to be repaired or replaced altogether. Put this on your summer to-do list to update any items that need a bit of help. There’s nothing worse than being faced with a snowstorm in October and your snowblower is still not repaired from last year.
When you are organizing your garage I find it is best to set things up into zones. This not only makes it easier for you to organize but it also makes it easier for your family to keep things put away.
A few zones that you might want to have in your garage are
- Outside toys
- Gardening supplies
- Yard care
- Auto Care
- Car cleaning
The best organizers to use in a garage are totes, sturdy bins, or wooden crates. Since most items are heavy you will want to incorporate heavy-duty organizers like these. Just know they are a bit pricey but I wanted to show you what they looked liked. Be sure to use a big bold label so everyone in the family knows exactly what belongs where. Remember to always do your best to keep things easy, no matter what age your family is. Easier is always going to be better when you are trying to introduce new organizing systems to your family.
While you’re at it do a check-up on your car. Fill any liquids that need to be filled, check and/or change the tires, and check the windshield wipers both in the front and back. You may want to consider taking your vehicle in to have the air conditioner checked and the brakes as well.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden shed you will want to take some time to go through things before the busy season hits. Remove any supplies that are broken, too bent to fix, or overly rusted. If you’re able to repair it always take that route first but if not you might want to consider replacing the item altogether. If funds are tight, check online at a used marketplace for options.
Either way, the key is to be sure your tools are ready before you need them.
To organize your garden shed or an area in your garage be sure to use the best organize for the tool you are looking to organize.
- Hooks for large hand tools suck as rakes and shovels.
- Bins for small hand tools.
- Shelves for flower pots and soil.
- A locked cabinet for insecticide or fertilizers.
- A bin with drainage for hoses and spray nozzles.
- Full garden tool organizer.
Do your best to keep as much off of the ground as you can so you have a safe area to walk through without the risk of tripping.
Another area in your home that needs a seasonal dose of organizing is the kitchen pantry. If you live up north as we do then your winter pantry is going to be quite different from your summer pantry. Our winter pantry is usually heavy with canned soups and chili ingredients whereas our summer pantry has more for barbecues and picnics.
D/M PRO TIP: As the weather starts to warm up you will want to get any winter food supplies on your menu. This will help you to eat up anything that may not get eaten over the summer. If you have a ton of chili supplies you can make a few batches and freeze them to enjoy later.
Before you get started organizing your pantry you will want to go through things just a bit and check the expiration dates. Either use up anything that is getting close or donate to a friend or family member.
If you have not organized your pantry in a way you love as of yet, here are a few tips to help.
A pantry seems to do the best when it is organized with plastic bins or baskets. Why? Because you can take a bin out to the counter with you to cook a meal and not have to carry multiple supplies in your arms. When you keep this idea in mind you can also find the best way to sort things out. What I mean by that is, if you like to grab all the side dish options that you have when you cook so you can pick the one you are hungry you may want to organize your bins by type of food.
- Side dishes
If you would rather, you can instead organize your bins by ethnicity or theme.
Or if your family has different diets or has food allergies you can organize bins that way.
- Dad’s (or Mom’s, or Jamie’s, etc) snacks
Remember that whatever organizing idea you choose you will want to keep in mind just how easy it will be for your family to stick with it. Bins without lids and large crystal clear labels are always a sure bet no matter what age your family is. Keep it simple so they stick with it.
When organizing your home using the seasons as a reminder to work on key areas is a great way to stay on top of things. Make the switch over from one season to the next and declutter the items you are storing as you go. Next, clean out the area by dusting and whipping things down so you are organizing a clean a fresh area. Finally use bins, hooks, baskets and big labels to keep things put away the easiest way.
Do you have any areas you have a spring organizing checklist for? Let us know in the comments below and we will add it to our list here!