Welcome to the top 5 organizing projects for February. As of the 1st of the month there are only 48 days until Spring !!! I've got spring fever already. Did you know that a 2013 survey showed that over 72% of households in the US engage in some kind of spring cleaning? The trend seems to increase incrementally each year. See, you are not alone.
If you like me you are getting antsy to get your hands in the dirt and start growing those precious seedlings of flowers, fruits and / or veggies or maybe your dirt looks like getting a jump on cleaning the garage or attic or maybe you are ready to make your to-do list for all the exciting possibilities Spring has in store. Let's jump in here and get to our next top 5 organizing projects:
Our 1st item on the top 5 list is to focus on the rest of our closets from January and add cabinets.
"Originally, the cell served primarily as a coal store. Today it holds the boiler, idle suitcases, out-of-season sporting equipment, and many sealed cardboard boxes that are almost never opened but are always carefully transferred from house to house with every move in the belief that one day someone might want some baby clothes that have been kept in a box for twenty-five years. "
Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of Private Life
I read the above quote one day and had to share because OMG I actually do have those baby clothes boxes in my attic. Honestly, I saved them for when my children had children so they could share their baby clothes but now I just visit those boxes simply because I need to reminisce. Psst, I think it's time they go to a better home.Now, I do understand that cleaning out all of those closets and cabinets might be a daunting task though, imagine how surprised you are. and see all the space available and how neat everything is stacked, hung, boxed and / or stored. I try to just work on at least one cabinet and closet per day. That way I do not feel overwhelmed.
This seamlessly leads to the 2nd item on the organizing list: Pots, pans, brooms, sheets, towels, or boxed items found in the back of the closet that you have absolutely no idea as to what is in them. And let's not forget the kids' closets. Here is where the fun really begins because now we can separate it all into marked keep, discard, and donate. Keep a blank pad of paper near you at all times so that you can make your own list of what needs replacing or mending. Last year I found that there were a few mechanical items that needed to be donated like the Roomba we never used and the fish cage for the BBQ and I was able to repurpose old kids' t-shirts by collecting enough to have a comforter made from them. "Everybody wants to save the Earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes."
PJ O'Rourke, All the Trouble in the World
The 3rd item is to specifically organize your shoes. I'm talking ALL shoes. Girls, it's important to make room for the new sandals and flip flops so let's get excited ! I store my summer shoes in a large, rectangle wicker basket during the winter and I use an adjustable shoe rack on the floor of my closet for the current season of shoes. Rotating my seasons keeps me focused on the present and allows me to pay close attention to what shoes will need repair and what will need to go once that season is over. I have to admit that it is a very thrilling time for me when I rotate my shoes because it means I am always looking forward to the outfit possibilities. Lately I have been enjoying a song by Old Dominion called "Shoe Shopping". Check it out while you go through your shoes. It's quirky and fun.
"Above all, believe in true love and know that men are like shoes. A couple is like a left and a right foot, and out there is your perfect fit. have to break styles in, sometimes you feel like something that is unstylish but comfortable, and sometimes a style - as much as you like - just does not suit you and will never fit. "
Camilla Morton, How to Walk in High Heels: The Girl's Guide to Everything
The 4th item may not apply to everyone, especially if you filed your taxes in January but around my house most of the tax documents finish their trek to my mailbox by the end of January so my husband is ready to begin the process of sorting it all out and getting the information ready to be filed. If this is you then maybe this is the year to begin creating filing folders or bins specifically for tax prep. Creating a filtering system, clearly labeling files for collecting receipts through the year, scanning specific documents like pay stubs so that you will not have to save each and every one of them. Staying on top of this mound of paperwork from the beginning of the year will be a blessing come tax time next year. Print this document to help you know what to keep and for how long.
The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but do not have to pay taxes - naturally, no one wants to live any other way. "
And just like that here we are at the 5th item on our organizing list for February. Item 5 is kind of a fun item and ties back to my own antsy disposition relating gardening. Sometime around the 15th of February, and in some locations even earlier, certain seedlings can be planed in a starter garden. If you have southern facing windows where sunlight comes in all day that is the ideal spot for your starter garden. If you like me and go crazy with seeds then you know that the indoor starter garden area runs out of usable space. In cases like these where you just do not have enough room for all the seeds you will be starting you can use special light kits that set up neatly and effectively to help those seedlings get the best possible care. The fun part of this project other than planting is going to the store or ordering from a favorite catalog all the precious flower seeds and food seeds you would like to have growing in your garden this year. This is a great project for the kids to help out. My kids used to love watching their seedlings grow. It's the next best thing to a pet.
I hope you enjoy the discoveries and space you will find this month.
See you in March!
"It was such a pleasure to sink one's hands into the warm earth, to feel at one's fingertips the possibilities of the new season."
Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden