Focus on four key areas to reap maximum results

Since winter seems determined not to go away, it’s understandably difficult to get into spring-fever mode.

I am, however, confident (as you must be, too) that the weather will indeed get warmer, the sun will shine and the flowers will bloom eventually. With that in mind, let’s at least get into a cleaning and organizing mode.

In tackling spring cleaning, concentrate your efforts on four well-used areas —?closets, kitchens, bedrooms and washrooms — and you’ll see great results. Here are my most effective cleaning and organizing tips for those areas:



• Remove all contents from closet.

• Sweep, vacuum and wash floors, walls, and shelves.

• Weed out worn, tired and torn items.

• Replace assorted mismatched hangers with nice, neat wooden ones. (Dry cleaners will appreciate a stack of your recycled wire hangers.)

• Arrange your items in groups — jeans with jeans, sweaters with sweaters, shirts with shirts, etc.

• Within each group arrange items from lightest to darkest colour.


• Dump junk drawers. Wash out the crumbs. Sort items and only keep what is relevant in your kitchen. Get drawer dividers to help keep items sorted and tidy. Properly disburse excess contents such as hardware, sewing supplies and whatever else you have been hiding in there.

• Edit spices because they don’t last forever. If you dare try the smell test, and find a spice has lost its fragrance, pitch it.

• Empty fridge and freezer, and disinfect interior. Toss out expired food and anything that looks or smells off.

• Pull out the fridge and stove and vacuum the backs; also vacuum walls and baseboards.


• With a HEPA filter vacuum, vacuum mattress and box spring.

• Move furniture and clean behind it to ensure you’re not leaving any dust bunnies.

• Dust furniture, baseboards and lamps using a damp cloth.

• Look up at the ceiling — you might as well clean out the spider webs dangling in the corners and the dead bugs in the light fixtures.

• While you’re cleaning the light fixtures, replace burned-out light bulbs with energy efficient ones.


• Completely empty all items from medicine cabinet, vanity and counter.

• Thoroughly clean and disinfect.

• Purge all your old freebies, tired cosmetics, expired meds and creams.

• Group items in sections such as tooth care, nail care, shaving, hair and face.

• Strategically place your grouped items in appropriate, accessible homes.

• Find a remote area for storing excess bathroom items; only keep current everyday items in your bathroom.

Well, that should keep you busy for a while — or at least until the snow completely melts.

For more organizing tips and advice, please view my national web cast at www.lifefest.cabeginning April 1, or visit me in person from April 4 to 6 at Lifefest, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building.

As always, I look forward to your comments and questions. E-mails can be sent to me via

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