It's About That Time...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Get ready. It's about that time. Put on your work gloves, tie your hair back (if need be), put on your old, holey jeans. It's time to Spring Clean! I dread this time every year. I know it needs to be done and yet it's always such a daunting task no matter how clean I keep things during the rest of the year. There comes a time every year when papers are overflowing, small objects are roaming freely, and closets are a disaster area! Don't take everything on at once. You'll just get burned out. Pick one area from each room in your house and tackle it. These goodies from The Container Store will help you on your way to a cleaner home. Let's start in the kitchen:

My number one problem in the Kitchen is overflowing cabinets and I bet most of you would agree. How do you find one tiny ingredient in a cabinet full of cans, bags, and boxes? The best investments (and small ones at that) I've made for my pantry are turntables. Pick double stacked or single turntables and nothing will be out of view again! So goodbye to buying those expensive little spices over and over again because they get lost in the cabinet chaos!

I don't have a whole lot of storage in my one bedroom apartment. What I do have is four teetering stacks of DVD's. Every time I try to pull one out of the stack, the rest come tumbling down. I'm heading to The Container Store to pick up an Overdoor Media Rack. My extensive film collection (does Office Space count?) will stay out of sight until I choose to pop some popcorn and lounge on the sofa for movie night.

Closets can be scary. Old clothes, stinky shoes, that renegade sock that lost its mate. When I buy my first house there is one investment that I can't wait to make. A custom Elfa closet system. You know they're serious when it's called a closet SYSTEM. I half expect it to be motorized! Bring in your measurements and create a whole labyrinth of storage to suit you. You'll never be stuck holding one lone shoe sans partner again.

If there's one thing I can't get enough of it's yummy smelling soaps and shampoos. For some reason Head & Shoulders just doesn't wake me up like Citrus Pomegranate Ylang-ylang Body Wash does. So, to stow all of these bathtime goodies, I use a Tension Pole Shower Caddy. It has tons of space for couples or, ahem, single people with an extreme bath product addiction.

Ah, kids. Wonderful, loving... messy, loud, home destroying. Put your kids in their places (or their stuff at least) with some bright and cheery drawers. If you have a place for everything, everything might make it to its place.*

* Will probably only last for a day or the amount of time your children are at summer camp.

Why is it that when you want to hang something you can never find a nail, but when you don't need one they are all over the place? You can ponder that if you want, but I'm just going to fix the problem with See & Store Containers. Fill the containers with little nuts and bolts (literally) and stick them to the magnetic strip. No more frustrating searches through every small container in your house!

You may not have a lot of papers, but it seems like a lot more when they're everywhere. No matter how much paperwork you have, you need a place for it. Come tax time next year you'll thank me! Get a file- small and portable, or a large cabinet. Add some whimsical folders (or very serious ones if you choose), label, and sort. Then, the next time Great Aunt Suzie sends you one of her lovely (what is this junk?) care packages, you can find her address quickly and send her a lovely thank you note!

You are so careful when you break out the good stuff that nobody clinks glasses during the toasts and you haven't invited Bob over since the Great Plate Crash of 1986. Take as much care when your china, glasses, and flatware are in storage as you do when they're in use. Get some storage cases to keep them safe until the next holiday. Just remember to give your clumsy sister a paper plate.

At one point in everyone's life, they will mess up the laundry. Whether it be opening the washer to find a sea of pink where there used to be white or pulling your favorite dry-clean only cashmere sweater in a dryer full of cottons (how did that get in there?!?!), we've all had our moments. Prevent those moments! Invest in three sophisticated baskets lined in cotton for your colors, whites, and dry cleaning. I've been using this system for years and I haven't had one mishap/meltdown since!
Happy Spring Cleaning!

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