I am actually going to list just ONE organizing tip for spring cleaning. Simply put, you can clean much easier in areas that you have decluttered first. That’s it, but what’s the best way to declutter for spring cleaning? Here are five tips.

1. Start with the garage

When my first organizing tip is “start with the garage,” my client’s tend to respond. “Uch, I’ll do the garage later.” Here’s why it’s a great place to start. First, over the winter, one typically finds an accumulation of stuff. Much of this stuff is often low value. Indeed, it is stuff you were planning on getting rid of in the spring. Now is the time! Also, it’s time to get the outdoor furniture out doors. Second, with your new found space, create exit zones. These are to collect items you discard and donate from the rest of the house.

2. Empty closets of clothes

Next, if there are any clothes in your closets and drawers that you haven’t worn all winter, set them aside. Take them down to the garage for donation. Also, take the winter coats to be cleaned before putting into storage. Fewer clothes will help with the laundry. Specifically, you will have less work, stuffing cleaned clothes into closets and drawers.

3. Clear the shelves and bins

It’s a great time to see if you can get rid of magazines and catalogs on your shelves. Are there toys in the playroom shelves and cubby-holes that the kids have stopped playing with? Time to donate! Organizing always starts with editing the excess.

4. Rotate files in file cabinets

After taxes are settled for the year, is the perfect time to rotate files. You can move the tax-supporting for last year from your file cabinet to more remote archive files. You should then shred your tax-supporting material that is older than 7 years. Note: Keep the actual tax returns indefinitely, because they don’t take up too much space. Also, hold until sold. Documents related to the purchase and investment in your home and car,  you should keep until sold. Rotating your files always ensures that you have enough room in you file cabinet for new files. This makes it easier to keep your desktop clean.

5. Empty cabinets of hazardous waste

Check in your sink cabinets, in the bathroom and kitchen for unused hazardous waste.  Also check your garage shelves and cabinets. Most towns only offers hazardous waste pick up just once a year and it starts in the spring. So don’t miss it! Just Google “hazardous waste” and your home town. You can find hazardous waste collection days for Fairfield County here. Typically we don’t clean cabinets very often, so this is a terrific opportunity to make sure you remember.

Organizing always starts with decluttering. There are many benefits to it. In the spring, the benefit you tend to notice the most is that it makes cleaning considerably easier.