Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your Home Shine Featured

Spring is upon us, so how are your closets looking? If you answered, ‘Umm,’ or ‘You don’t want to know,’ or if you’re just not into spring cleaning at all, you’re not alone. 

“In my experience, most people are in someway overwhelmed with too much ‘stuff.’  Americans in general over the past 20 to 30 years have accumulated lots of things,” said Lanora Bayer, owner and organizer behind Beautifully Organized. “I've found that once a lot of those things are eliminated, people seem to be happier. I tell folks once it's gone, you'll never miss it.”

Bayer said hiring an organizer should be like any other service. When consumers need something painted, fixed or a health check-up, they see respective experts in the field. So, why not an organizer?

“Closets can be a challenge for most folks. Our closets can quickly become a 'catch all' causing people to feel stressed,” Bayer said. “Just getting it de-cluttered and removing items we no longer use can be very helpful and make us feel so much better.”

Bayer said she has a set hourly fee, but also offers package specials for up to ten hours’ work. It’s a small price to pay for the sense of relief that comes from a home that’s completely in order, she added.

“So many people express to me their desire to have order in their homes and offices. When I help others organize their desired space, I can immediately see that person excited and the weight fall off their shoulders,” Bayer said. “It gives all of us a sense of freedom when we have our personal belongings organized. Our homes should be our place of refuge and tranquility.”

The secret to getting that peace would be to start with manageable tasks instead of becoming overwhelmed with the bigger picture. Focusing on one shelf or drawer at a time can give you motivation to continue until the entire project is tackled. Another approach would be to get your children involved, said Emily Givens, the organizer behind Organizing Plus 123.  

“Right before bath and bedtime, set a timer for 10 minutes and have your kids clean up their rooms, playrooms, etc. Try to do this a few nights a week so their toys don't get out of control,” Givens suggested. “I'm also a big proponent of a ‘crap basket.’ We have one on our staircase, and the kids place items in there throughout the day that belong upstairs in their rooms. At the end of the day, we simply carry the basket upstairs and put things where they belong for a few minutes before bedtime.”

Givens said adding a labeling system can change the way your whole household operates as well. Making sure each container or closet drawer has a label can reduce any lame excuses about not knowing where an item goes. 

Givens also charges an hourly fee, along with discounts or pre-purchasing multiple hours of her time. In addition, she offers initial consultations that involve a home tour, detailed organizational action plans, a tailored Pinterest board, and more.

“One of my mottos is ‘less stuff equals more joy.’ And by no means am I saying you have to become a minimalist. I just know that it is such an empowering feeling to no longer be overwhelmed by your ‘stuff,’” Givens said. “Your home should be a retreat, a place to build memories with your family, and a place to escape the daily grind. But if your home is just another source of stress, then that’s something we need to fix.”

For more information about Beautifully Organized and Organizing Plus 123, visit their webpages at beautifullyorganizedbylanora.com and organizingplus123.blogspot.com. 

If you’re looking to start organizing on your own, pay attention to your mindset. You should be in a mood to let go, said Allison Adams, a local Tuscaloosa realtor and Druid City Living columnist.

“If I am trying to still hang onto the items, it makes it more of a re-arranging than a spring cleaning. I usually have someone there to nudge me to ‘toss it’ and give me the thumbs down,” Adams said. “Sometimes those still end in my keep pile but it is after true evaluation as to whether I want to keep it or not.”

For other cleaning and organizing projects, grabbing some awesome cleaning products can makeover your space and give it an uplifting scent as well. The smell of a room isn’t always a thought, so adding it to your cleaning routine can change the way you feel about a space.

“I love anything that smells lemon fresh but Fabulouso is the go to for many home cleaning groups we utilize during real estate moves. It is inexpensive and cuts grease,” Adams said. “Vinegar and water for wood floors works with our cleaning machine to lift the dirt left behind.”

Lastly, it’s the little details that make the biggest difference. Straightening any stray piles of books or chaos can change how you approach your spaces. 

“I just clipped a magazine picture of stacks of shoe boxes wrapped in newspaper and labeled neatly with stickers on front to store occasionally used items on shelves in the office such as pens, paper, rulers, tape, stickers and all of the many things I am glad I kept when a creative project comes along,” Adams said.   


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Tori Linville

A graduate of The University of Alabama, Tori is a professional in the publishing industry and brings strong writing and editing skills while contributing creative ideas, contemporary concepts, and editorial experience to her varied projects.

Website: www.linkedin.com/in/avlinville

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.



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