Tips to make spring cleaning a success

  • By Danielle Braff Chicago Tribune
  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 4:40pm
  • Life

The first step toward spring cleaning is organization. Tackle that first and you’re halfway there.

Embrace your inner shover: If you prefer hooks over hangers, dropping over folding and bins without lids, then you’re a “shover,” said Erica Ecker, professional organizer with New York’s The Spacialist.

“Shovers are broad organizers, not granular ones,” Ecker said. “They prefer open space. They believe that less categorization is better for them.”

Two-year rule: If you haven’t used something or worn it in two years, then it’s time to say goodbye, said Nina Smith, of The Container Store. “These items take up valuable space and probably won’t be missed,” she said.

Set up activity zones: This is best for arranging a kitchen. Kitchens have four main areas: Prep, baking, cooking and washing. “Place the towels near the sink, the knives near the cutting boards in the same area that you actually prep, the pots and pans and stove-top gadgets near the stove,” said Karen Duncan, a professional organizer based in Florida.

Sort and purge: “Put like with like so you can easily decide if you really want to keep a specific item,” Duncan said.

Label your wires: Don’t bother spending the money on a cable zipper or a tube to stow your wires, Ecker said. Instead, get a label-maker, punch in the name of the wire (printer or hard drive, etc.), print it out and wrap that label around it near the plug end.

Finally, use grip-twist or gear ties to wrangle the whole bunch into one unit, or individual cable ties to corral excess cords.

Discover secret storage: “Take, for instance, that gigantic lobster pot that you used three times in the last seven years,” Ecker said. “It’s great for stashing one-time items for their annual use like leftover July Fourth, Christmas or Halloween paper goods, she said.

You can also use empty space in pantry, linen and clothing closets for undershelf baskets.

More in Life

Lots to see in Upper Skagit, even if the eagles are elusive

A guided hike through a mossy old-growth forest more than makes up for a lack of raptor sightings.

Shopping cart showdown: Which stores have best food prices?

Jennifer Bardsley compares Fred Meyer, PCC, QFC, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, WinCo and Whole Foods offers.

Take a closer look: Winter gardens share gifts in subtle way

Go on a neighborhood walk this month to enjoy the seasonal beauty offered by a variety of gardens.

                                Daisy Ridley stars as Rey in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend of all-time

The Disney blockbuster became just the fourth film to open above $200 million domestically.

Samish Flats in Skagit County prime turf for winter birders

This spot is great for birdwatching because of the mostly flat land, marshy areas and open water.

Outdoor classes and activities in and around Snohomish County

GET OUT Christmas bird count: Volunteers are needed for the Everett-Marysville Christmas… Continue reading

Relationship do’s and don’ts: Lessons from 40 years of marriage

Paul Schoenfeld reflects on what he’s learned about relationships after four decades with his wife.

Making it through the holidays on 4 legs and 4 wheels

1. Driving safety Here are some travel tips from the Red Cross… Continue reading

The top 10 albums of 2017: From Jay-Z to St. Vincent

This year saw an upward trend in music industry revenue due to the popularity of streaming services.

Most Read