LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) — Tomorrow is the first day of spring. So, many folks might have “spring cleaning” on the brain.
But -- where to begin?!
“Oh, the closets. The mudroom. I started last week. I cleaned my home office," said Lyn Roberts of Van Buren Township. “I mean, the Christmas stuff is still sitting at the bottom of the stairs in the basement," she added with a laugh.
"Probably start in the bedroom. You know, got to stay organized in there," said Lucas Kelly from Warren -- a student at Wayne State University. "Got to clean out drawers. Get rid of some stuff. Stay minimalist.”
Taylor Leonard of Detroit said she does not like cleaning, but she likes throwing stuff out.
"I don’t have a strategy. I don’t know if I have a strategy,” she said.
That’s where expert organizer Bridget Stralko comes in.
The Livonia wife and mom runs her own business called Unclutter It
She started it back in 2011.
“I live in a 900-square-foot home, so I have to be organized,” she laughed.
So, teaching others to #declutter is now her mission. And she shares her Before/After pictures online.
Now she has 17,700 followers on Instagram (@unclutterit).
7 CRUCIAL STEPS TO SPRING CLEANING
If you feel overwhelmed with spring cleaning and don’t know where to start, Stralko suggests you start in the kitchen.
“The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where people spend the most time,” said Stralko.
Stralko recommends seven crucial steps to spring cleaning to help chunk it out into manageable projects.
1. Take everything out in groups
First, remove stuff in groups or categories.
“You want to find out what you have, first of all. I wouldn’t take out pots and pans and food. Do one category at a time,” she explained.
If you choose food, take out ALL the food you have. Cover your counter tops, your kitchen, part of the floor if you have to. Seeing everything you have is part of the process.
2. Donate or throw away what you can
“When I’m helping people, we find that they have a lot of expired foods and things they haven’t used for years,” she said. “That’s gotta go.”
If you can donate cookware or small appliances that are collecting dust, that’s going to free up space while also giving those items a chance to have new life in someone else’s home.
3. Clean the space
This may sound like a no-brainer, but once your space is all emptied out is the best time to wipe it down really well.
“It’s free and clear, and you can wipe down the counters and the cabinets. And it just feels better. You get those little particles of food that attract the ants that come out in the spring,” said Stralko.
4. Measure the area
Grab the tape measure and jot down the dimensions of your cabinets, shelves, and drawers.
You don’t want to waste time and money going to the store to buy crates or bins that won’t even fit.
5. Use containers for like items
From sippy cups to snacks, you can put them all in a cute box or basket. Stralko uses mason jars in her cabinet and decorated glass jars and pretty boxes on shelves.
That way, you can discard larger boxes and save space.
6. Give everything a home
“Pots and pans, coffee mugs, wine glasses, snacks, snacks, snacks,” Stralko said as she pointed to one wall in her kitchen.
7. Add labels
And seven, add labels -- so everybody in the household knows where everything goes. It’s especially handy in the fridge.
Stralko wasn’t even using a couple of her large refrigerator crisper drawers, so she ditched them in exchange for four or five clear plastic holders that fit into that space. She labeled each for specific food and drinks… and now it’s super organized.
You can buy a professional label maker for $15 to $30 in stores or online.
This reporter even tried Stralko's method with a couple of kitchen drawers over the weekend (Before/After pics on Instagram: @wxyzalicia), and I'll admit it...I just want to keep going. My husband's on board, too!
Happy spring cleaning!