10 Top Spring Organizing Tips (05.20.15)

Spring MagnoliaHere in the northeast the forecast is for a beautiful few days leading into the Memorial Day weekend. Yay! We earned it after suffering through the polar vortex last winter!

Here are 10 top spring organizing tips, some or all of which you already know. But knowing and doing are not the same. Because people lead busy lives, sometimes a nudge to get these tasks on the to-do list is helpful. Consider this your gentle nudge.

  1. Give the car a thorough decluttering and cleaning – inside, outside and the undercarriage – to get rid of any leftover chemicals from road salt.
  2. Check your gardening tools, equipment, fertilizer, planting pots and so on. Fix or replace anything that’s broken. Make a list of items to buy. Secure chemicals so children and animals can’t access them.
  3. Declutter the garage and shed, then organize what’s left. Spring is a good time for this type of project when it’s not too cold or hot.
  4. If you haven’t already done so, change your clothes and coat closets so in-season items are easily accessible and out-of-season items are in less accessible places. Keep what you like to wear and donate the rest. Put the donation bag right in your car to drop off.
  5. Wash windows (and screens) inside and out to enjoy the views through crystal-clear glass.
  6. Take a tour around the outside of your house. Does the deck need cleaning? Do screens need repair or replacement? Are shutters, gutters or roof shingles loose? Does the driveway need sealing?
  7. Practice your annual family fire drill. If you don’t do this, please start now.
  8. Spring abounds with free or low-cost shredding events. Go through your files and get rid of confidential papers you don’t need. Do a Google search for events in your area.
  9. Spring also brings hazardous waste recycling events. Inventory your supplies and get rid of unneeded oil-based paint, deck stain, CFL bulbs and rechargeable batteries. Do a Google search for locations in your area and a listing of hazardous materials.
  10. Before using your gas grill, check hoses and connections for gas leaks. Refer to the manual for instructions.

Bonus Tip of the Month

Instead of a Product of the Month, I want to share information from Kaitlyn Pirie’s article in Real Simple magazine (May 2015) on how to properly dispose of common products found in everyone’s home – batteries.

“Sort of Bad:” We’re told to toss regular batteries in the trash. But that’s not really a good idea. It’s just less bad. It’s safer than it used to be because, due to legislation, the most poisonous component has been removed. It’s better to recycle them. Ms. Pirie’s suggestion: Before recycling or trashing, put tape around each end to prevent the terminals from touching and short-circuiting, which could lead to a fire.

“Bad:” Rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals that can leach into soil and water.

“Really bad:” Car batteries contain toxic lead. Do not put them in the trash. Instead, give them to retailers that sell and recycle them.

If everyone does a little bit to help our planet, collectively we can do quite a lot!

Notable Quote

Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.  ~Pearl S. Buck

(I was at an event at the Pearl S. Buck house last night so this quote seems fitting.)