Spring is right around the corner, and there’s no better excuse to give your house a thorough clean. Besides a sparkling reboot, clearing clutter and cleaning out will provide you with a sense of control while improving your everyday surroundings and helping everyone living inside it thrive. Ready to attack those piles of clutter and dusty bookshelves? To help, we turned to Jennifer Wang of Nest S.O.S., an NJ-based home organizing and staging business, to share her team’s go-to tips on how you can make your space work for you and your family. Read on for their tips and tricks for creating a bright and clean space for everyone this season. (Feature Photo Credit: istock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz)
Here are 7 expert tips for spring cleaning your home
Give it a (timed) thorough clean
A clean home is the first step to making your house a happier place to be. The Nest S.O.S. team recommends general dusting everywhere and a deep clean where necessary – often the mudroom or entryway, bathrooms, and kitchen. They like to make projects like this more manageable in their own homes by squeezing them into 15-minute intervals, setting a timer, and focusing on one particular task at a time. Scrub the floors, saddle, and any trim and molding, getting in there with a toothbrush if necessary. Open up, empty, and wipe down kitchen drawers and cabinets, hitting the corners and spots where crumbs and dust accumulate. And don’t forget often overlooked areas, including your light fixtures, light switch plates, HVAC vents, and the caulking around your bathtubs and showers. To clean at a moment’s notice, you’ll need to have a plentiful supply of your favorite cleaning products in a large bucket, so you can hit the ground running and move your supplies from room to room with ease.
Let there be light
“One of the most important things you can do is to clean all the windows—it will make a huge difference in the way the light streams in and look and feel more spacious and inviting,” says the Nest S.O.S. team. Plus, dirty windows over time can get damaged. Dirt and debris build-up and etch the glass, causing scratches. To prevent this, you can D.I.Y., but for a thorough cleaning, hire a pro. They will produce spotless results and reach those hard to get to windows without damaging the glass.
Organize and edit ruthlessly
Being organized is good for the mind—when you know what you have and where it is, you’re able to easily find it, use it, and return it to a designated place, giving you a sense of order and calm. For closets, edit clothing by color and matching hangers, says the Nest S.O.S. team, so it’s more eye-catching and uniform. The same idea goes for using organizer drawers with bins and boxes. Since you can stack socks, underwear, and t-shirts sideways like papers in a filing cabinet, the organizers make it a snap to see what you have at the ready. You can adapt this idea to other rooms where clutter reigns—especially kids’ rooms and play spaces. Sort toys by type and put them in clear plastic bins on low shelves for little hands to reach and (hopefully) put away. When it comes to staying on top of the clutter, Nest S.O.S. recommends keeping an out-of-the-way bin for donations and continually adding to it. Arrange a scheduled pick-up every few weeks from a favorite charity like the Vietnam Veterans of America, Habitat for Humanity, or Goodwill. Many towns also have an online freecycle forum or a site where you can post your pre-loved items for sale.
Style your bookshelves into a #shelfie
Shelves are places that can accumulate clutter, so keeping them stylish with pops of your own decor can make your space feel more put together. The S.O.S. team suggests starting with books by stacking them horizontally and vertically, layered by color or author and subject. Next, add some artwork. You can add visual depth by placing small paintings or sketches at the back of a bookshelf. Avoid going overboard on pictures of your family at every stage of their lives, which can cause a lot of visual clutter. Instead, pick the most memorable moments and place them in frames that work well together and scatter them within the shelves. Finally, add some finishing touches like sculptures, collections, and other pretty pieces or objects you’ve collected.
Turn your bedroom into a sanctuary
The bedroom is where we rest and recharge, which is why the Nest S.O.S. team says you should pay more attention to it. “It creates a space where you can step away from it all and have peace of mind. And if you’re feeling less enthused about other rooms, making this one a priority tends to motivate you to tackle the rest of your home.” They recommend removing all clutter from your bedroom—tidy up, put away the items you want to keep and donate the rest. Fluff up your bedding and put out soft touches like a throw, decorative pillows, and a coverlet or duvet in a color or pattern you like. Also, prep your bedside table so everything you need to practice a little self-care is within easy reach. Keep an eye mask, lip balm, and a bud vase with a beautiful stem—these small pampering touches, as well as a book or magazine, can make your bedroom feel like a mini-escape.
Add some color to your rooms
Once you’ve cleared stuff out and de-cluttered, give your rooms a once over. Numerous studies have shown that colors can significantly affect your mood, and adding color throughout your house will make it feel fresh. Try pairing a gray with a pop, like a bright and cheerful yellow. This color combo gets a thumbs-up from the Nest S.O.S. team, who often pair a grounding neutral background with splashes of color in moderation when styling a home. They recommend you “choose only one bright hue and use it in multiple places throughout a room. Pillows, plants or flowers, and artwork with a hint of your chosen color are all great ways to do this.”
Create curb appeal
Placing small touches like pots of flowers, hanging plants, and a seasonal wreath outside your home will set the tone for how you feel before you even enter it. Wang suggests purchasing a new doormat each spring since they take a beating each winter, and it’s an easy and affordable update. With warmer temps, consider how you want to use your outdoor space to bring your family the most joy. Think about getting an outdoor screen for movie nights or snap up a variety of lawn games to signal that it’s time to start taking things outdoors again—finally.