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The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the days are getting longer.  The changing of the seasons not only promises warmer weather, but it also signifies a fresh start.  One of the most satisfying rites of the season is none other than Spring cleaning.

By this time of the year, we tend to let our homes go.  The pile of your child’s schoolwork seems to never end; your bags from Spring Break have yet to be unpacked; your coat closet is overflowing.  Whether you love giving your home the mini makeover it needs or you dread it every year, Spring is the perfect time to organize your home.  Here are four of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your home neat and tidy:

  1. Paper pile-up – You’re home from a long workday and finally get to kick back.  You sift through the mail, but what do you do with it when you are done?  If your coffee tables are suffering from paper pile-ups, it is time for a cleanse.  Grab a recycling bin and finally decide what can stay and what needs to go.  Organize stacks of what you want to keep based on what they are – your child’s homework, your bills, etc.  Buy decorative bins so you can easily sort your mail and papers as you get them!  Keep a separate folder for specific documents or articles you want to cut out instead of saving the whole periodical.

  1. Junk drawer –  The junk drawer: everyone has one.  Whether it is in your kitchen or your home office, there is that one special place where all of your loose odds and ends seem to collect.  Empty the entire drawer and sort the items based on where their rightful home is.  Spare change looks much more attractive in a mason jar or in a pretty dish!  Designate specific drawers for office supplies, kitchen utensils, jewelry, and electronics.  This way, it will be much easier to locate or sort your items in the future.

  1. Kitchen countertops – Kitchen countertops are prone to becoming cluttered with all sorts of utensils and appliances.  Store things near where you use them in the kitchen: plates, flatware, and glasses near the dishwasher; placemats and utensils by the table; pots and pans near the oven.  You may want to show off your new waffle maker, but you could do yourself a favor and save a lot of counter space by storing it neatly away in a cabinet.
  1. Coat closet – If your hall closet is brimming with puffy winter coats, it is time to pare back and organize.  One of the easiest ways to keep your coat closet orderly is by changing out what you keep in it with each season: heavy outerwear, scarves, hats, and gloves in the colder months; lighter jackets and raincoats in the warmer months.  Store your other coats in a bin in the attic or hang them up in your basement during their “off season.”  This one simple trick will save you a lot of valuable space.

What are some of your favorite organizational tricks?  How do you keep your kitchen countertops neat?  Share in the comment section!

Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz
Jane Jozefowicz is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, where she studies Linguistics and Computer Science.  Jane plays trombone and lacrosse and is the biggest animal lover you'll meet!