pared-down spring cleaning

Every spring, I tend to get the itch to clean and organize, and then I dive in with both feet. Half a day later, I’m staring at piles of boxes and realize I’ve created an even bigger mess in my desire to make everything perfect. Please tell me I’m not alone in this!

Last week, I finally found a plumber who fixed a problem we’ve had with our tub since we moved in five years ago. Five years!! Five years we’ve been living with a tub that didn’t drain well, and I kept putting off the repairs. The whole process ended up costing far less than I’d feared. And it’s been so fantastic to know that this nagging issue has been fixed.

It got me thinking: what else have I postponed fixing or cleaning? Instead of cleaning the whole house this spring, maybe I could address just a few minor, irritating issues. I came up with the following list:

  1. Clean and organize pantry. Discard expired food.
  2. Clean floor of my closet and put away winter clothes.
  3. Replace shower curtain liners.

They’re all pretty basic, easy tasks that can be completed in a short amount of time (especially #3!). I started tackling them a week ago, and I’m happy to say that they’re all done!

Organizing the pantry

About a year ago I posted about our pantry, including how I painted the back wall with bright colors and how my dad and I made a new, fun door. I haven’t cleaned or organized the pantry since then, as you can tell.

We had food containers stuck in every which way, and we had no idea what old, forgotten food was lurking in the back. I emptied the closet, wiped down the shelves, and then organized the bottles and boxes with some help from my daughter. We were shocked to see how much of the food had expired — I hate throwing so much food away! I promised myself to keep things tidier so we don’t waste so much in the future.

We found some duplicates of items we know we won’t use, and we put those in a bag for donation. (For some reason, we had two unopened jars of ghee, even though I’ve never used ghee in my life! Very mysterious.)

Happily, I didn’t need to use any new containers for this project — after we tossed the expired food, everything else fit in the baskets we already had. I’d bought a clear, plastic storage set from Target but ended up returning it because we didn’t need it.

I bought a water bottle holder from the Container Store to house all the Starbucks cups the kids have gathered over the past few months. Apparently Starbucks cups are the new “it” thing for the preteen crowd!

Cleaning the closet

I promised myself that I wouldn’t do a full-scale cleaning and organizing of the closet, because that always ends with piles of clothes everywhere in the room, and the project drags on for days. Instead, I tackled the floor of my closet, which is always full of stuff to donate. One of our kids is diabetic, and we try to keep high-carb food from him, which means it usually ends up stacked on the floor of my closet. Add in the dust bunnies, and it was truly a mess in there. I moved everything out, put the donation bags in the car, and consolidated the containers of food. I also grabbed a plastic bin and put away the heavy sweaters and other winter clothes. After about 30 minutes, everything was so much cleaner!

No photos of the bottom of my closet–I wouldn’t do that to you!–but here’s a glimpse of the wallpaper in the back of the closet. I love the little flashes of color and fun!

Enjoying a clean(er) home

After all that, I ordered the shower curtain liners and opened a bottle of wine. All done with spring cleaning! Time to enjoy the rest of the weekend with my family.

So, what are you doing for spring cleaning? Are you upending the whole house or tackling just a few tasks? If you had to pick just a few spring cleaning tasks, what would they be?

Happy cleaning!

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