Since you should probably organize more than once a year when “spring cleaning” comes along, in my house I also have “fall organizing.” I basically use fall as a time to go through the house, and get rid of anything I don’t need, while forcing myself to do a more thorough cleaning as I go.
- Summer Clothes/Shoes – One thing that we seem to hold on to for longer than necessary are worn out swimsuits and flip flops. Make sure to sort through any of these items before you store them away for the winter – if chances are you won’t wear them again next year – just throw them out now. At the same time, when you pull out the warm weather clothes, if there is anything you or your kids grew out of – donate them now – someone who needs these items will be very grateful.
- Outdoors – Similar theory as with the clothes, but sort through both swimming/toy related items as well as gardening items. Anything that looks like you will need to replace next year, toss now, and make a list of things to replace during the year – chances are you’ll get better deals on these items over the winter when they go on clearance too!
- Bathroom – In my house, the counter under the bathroom is a catch all for products – whether first aid or beauty related. Take an hour, and sort through. Anything expired, toss, any beauty item you’ve had for a more than a year, toss. Just using this criteria the space will double!
- Kitchen – Fall and winter are when I do the most cooking, and definitely when I do the most baking. I always try to do a thorough cleaning of the pantry so I know what I have and what I don’t. There is nothing worse than going to make a pie and realizing the spices are three years old – after you’ve already started baking. At least if you’ve already tossed the old items, you’ll know what to add to your shopping list.
- Windows – As much as I hate cleaning windows, they are always on my list during spring and fall cleaning – if for no other good reason than not forgetting to do it every six months! But in reality it is also the time you generally change your window treatments, so why put clean curtains on dirty windows.
Don’t forget to clean as you go – it goes by a lot faster when I focus more on the organizing, less on the cleaning!