Spring Cleaning Tips
“Springtime is the season in which we re-open our homes to indoor–outdoor living,” says Brooke Wagner, interior designer and founder of Brooke Wagner Design in Corona del Mar, which specializes in custom residences on the California coast. The first few days of the warmer season are ideal for thoroughly cleaning and re-organizing the home, she notes, from washing windows (let that ocean view beam through) to editing wardrobes. Here, Wagner details her top techniques for spring cleaning.
Three ways you spring clean your own home:
• I clean out clothing drawers and reorganize closets.
• I organize metal folder holders and desks in my home office for better filing and storage.
• I de-clutter storage closets and get rid of anything that has not been used in the last year.
Keep it simple:
The more time you put into organizing on a daily basis, the less overwhelming spring cleaning will be if you wait to do it just once a year. One way to make it manageable throughout the year is to have a good filing system and label storage for easy access and return of items.
Storage doesn’t have to be utilitarian looking:
Invest in attractive interior design and furniture storage. Mudrooms have never been a huge part of Southern California décor, but recently we’ve been working on a lot of mudrooms and think the concept is so great. Even if it just a built-in cabinet that is right off the garage to organize a few items, they can be really useful. A storage ottoman that doubles as a coffee table is great for toys, throw blankets and other items that are used daily. These work great in areas such as family rooms or media rooms to keep them out of site. Large cabinets and hutches are also a great way to store items. You can use variation with these by either using solid wood, seeded glass or antique mirror on cabinet doors to disguise what’s inside. Extra shelving whether it is free standing or part of a bookcase also works great in offices and kids’ rooms.
Be an organized chef:
It’s really important to have good drawer organization systems in your kitchen. When we design a kitchen for a client, we spend time walking through a design layout to decide what will be in each drawer to determine the appropriate size. Sometimes we use things such as dividers for cookie sheets and pullouts for spices to keep things organized.
Pack away “off season” clothing:
I don’t have a lot of extra storage in my home, so I keep extra clothes in big Tupperware boxes under my bed.
Install a bungee system in the bathroom:
One of my favorite things to help keep clients organized in their bathrooms is to put a few outlets on the back of a drawer on a bungee system. This way they can keep their hairdryer, curling iron and other devices plugged in and turned off in the drawer. This reduces clutter on the counter.
To each their own (file):
It’s great to have a separate filing system for each family member, including the kids. I also like to keep a file holder on the desk for each kid so we can easily access paperwork, field trip permission slips, and so forth.
The home organizing essential you couldn’t live without:
We have a huge built-in bulletin board in our playroom that has plenty of room for the kids’ artwork along with current invitations and other paperwork that keeps us organized. We’ve disguised the cork with cute grass cloth wallpaper so it looks nice, too.