Even though South Florida has only two seasons—hot and hotter—the ritual of spring cleaning helps you organize your life and enjoy the serenity that comes from living in a clean and orderly home. Because it takes a lot more “stuff”—warranties, electronic devices and all the cords and accessories to come with them—to live a normal American life than it once did, finding space for all of it can be a challenge. However, proper strategies and a few inexpensive purchases can keep your home tidy and organized year-round.
1. Filing System
Homes are often cluttered because people lack storage space for the reams of paper that cannot be thrown out, like tax returns and bank statements. The best cure for this clutter is one or two good filing cabinets and a package of file folders. Once you have set up your filing system, make it a habit to spend 15 minutes per week filing statements, bills and receipts. It is a difficult habit to acquire, but prompt filing saves you from spending endless amounts of time sorting through envelopes looking for that important piece of paper you hope you didn’t throw out.
2. Organized Desk
While you are buying a filing cabinet, invest in a set of desk accessories to keep writing supplies organized. Few experiences are more frustrating than sitting down to pay bills and realizing you can’t find a pen or envelopes or stamps. A desk caddy and some drawer organizers will eliminate that problem once and for all.
3. Donate or Consign
If you have a closet full of clothing you never wear, like those holiday gifts that are not “you,” try selling it on consignment. You will gain both closet space and a little cash at the same time. If you have books you will never read again, consider selling them online or donate them to a thrift store for a tax deduction.
4. Plan of Action
After you have gotten that mountain of paper under control and cleared some space in your closets, divide your house into small, easily manageable sections and work on one at a time. You may want to clean the bedrooms first because a clean bedroom is more restful. Afterwards, work on the bathrooms because they are small and you will have a sense of accomplishment afterwards.
5. Professional Organizers
If your home is beyond self-help and in need of professional help, contact an organizing service to help you unbury your house. As part of their services, these companies sell products to help you organize your belongings and give advice about how to keep your house in shape. You may also want to hire a professional cleaning service to help you clean your house. Once it is clean, an hour or two a week can keep it looking neat and clean throughout the year.
Here are some local places to help you get started:
18713 S. Dixie Highway
Hours: Mon and Thurs -11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat -10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun -Closed
Wood You offers high-quality wooden filing cabinets and bookshelves. All of the products are unfinished, which allows you to finish them in colors that match your décor. The prices are reasonable and the staff is knowledgeable.
Hours: by appointment
Beth Levin founded Closet Queen, a business that helps you clean and organize your closets and storage areas. The before-and-after pictures on her website attest to her ability to organize even the most cluttered homes. She will also help you find consignment shops that will sell your discarded possessions or thrift shops that you can donate them to in exchange for a tax deduction.
Fashionista Consignment Boutique
3135 Commodore Plaza
Coconut Grove, FL
Hours: Mon to Sat -11a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fashionista Consignment Boutique is owned and operated by a mother-daughter team that specializes in selling designer clothing. Not only can you sell clothing that no longer “works” for you, you can also acquire new clothing at reasonable prices.
941 N.E. 79 St.
Miami, FL 33138
Hours: by appointment
Maid Green uses only natural products free of volatile organic compounds and other harsh chemicals. The company is committed to earth-friendly practices and employs professionally trained staff that has been licensed and bonded. It offers both residential and commercial cleaning services.