By Laura Gee, Storage and Organization Contributor

Ahh yes, spring has sprung. Birds are chirping, baseball is back, and barbeques are getting dusted off for outdoor entertaining. In between all of these fun things I’m sure you are feeling that nagging feeling of “yes, I should be doing something productive instead of sitting on my porch drinking coffee” like I am. Spring cleaning does have its pressures much like the ones associated with New Year’s resolutions. So often we vow to do big spring cleaning projects like we vow to do things differently in the New Year. I’m here to help you because trust me, I understand how you feel. I want to help you power through projects so you can get back outside and go play.

First of all, don’t bite off more than you can chew. (Everybody loves a good cliché right?) Well, it is true. Even your big projects shouldn’t get but so big unless you are fully prepared to handle them. Let’s say you want to completely overhaul your entire garage. That’s great! More power to you, but start off simple. Start with one wall of items and pitch, donate, clean, and reorganize that one small area. You’d be surprised at how long it takes to do even a small portion of a garage. Once you’ve tackled that area, move on to the next. After that, then you can start adding in new storage shelves, cabinets, and peg boards. But again, do each remodel one wall at a time to leave your garage functional and so you don’t get overwhelmed. Plus, once you complete a section, you can feel good about your accomplishments and go take a break!

Next, with something like organizing an attic space, again do small bits at a time. Start off by reorganizing and cleaning the areas of the attic you use the most. For example, reorganize the places you keep your seasonal clothes to make the storage space more efficient. While you are up there, you should sweep out the floors and dust off boxes and items. Sweeping, dusting, and picking up bits of trash will keep your attic feeling more inviting and ward off little critters. When reorganizing your attic, remember to do this project early in the morning or later at night because the temperatures will be cooler. Most attics aren’t air conditioned and you can overheat fast.

Closets are another major undertaking people tend to waste an entire weekend on during spring cleaning. There are far better things to do that sit in a dusty closet all weekend. With a project like this, you need to be practical instead of sentimental. Since you can’t really piece out a closet and do parts at a time, you need to just act quickly. Have a “pitch pile”, “keep pile,” and a “donate pile”. If you haven’t worn something or used something in the past six months, it must go into the pitch or donate pile. Don’t hesitate—just do it! It should take you less than 30 minutes to clear out clothes, shoes, and accessories in an average sized closet. The quicker you get rid of things and the more you get rid of, the better time you will have reorganizing and putting things back together. If you have issues with parting with things, remember that somebody else will get more use out of that treasured piece than you have (Can you tell I sentimental attachment to clothes?). Just bite the bullet and quickly clean out your closet. Your regrets will be gone once you start shopping to fill your closet again.

Hopefully you will take some of my tips into consideration with your spring cleaning efforts. Keep your projects small so you don’t feel overwhelmed and don’t spend too much time working when you could be playing. Remember to focus on areas you use most and just mildly work at the others just to keep pests away. Focus on the goals of having organized storage space instead of focusing on your sentimental attachments to items.