Decluttering is great – but have you thought about these four neglected areas of your home? Find out which spots need essential clearing and cleaning before the new year.
We bring out the mop and vacuum every other day, and maybe dust the windowsill one or twice a month. But the new year calls for really good clean out. It’s time to take care of the areas that truly get ignored in the typical housework throughout the year.
These four areas are frequently used and get stashed with all kinds of different things. Put your gloves on and prepare for an unusual cleaning experience that might make you say, “What is this?”
Declutter the pantry
A neglected part of the house is one we find ourselves using every day – the pantry. This most favourable cupboard (think late night snacks) is hard to keep organised since hands and packets of food are in and out so often. Most of the time there will be a jar of marinade that gets pushed out of sight and goes way passed its use by date.
This one’s pretty simple. Take everything out of your pantry and put it all on your bench or dining table. Give your shelves a good wipe down with disinfectant spray. Open the windows, give them time to air dry and in the meantime, throw out anything that is out of date.
Before putting the remainder of your cans and boxes back into the pantry, consider the foods you want to have quick and clear access to and the ones that have a longer shelf life and are used sparingly. You might even want to consider putting treats in hard-to-reach places if your New Year resolutions include eating clean 😉
Declutter the bathroom vanity
Sometimes we don’t realise how much we squeeze into the bathroom vanity. Loose items on the sink is quite an undesirable look, and random bits get shoved into drawers. What was once the toothbrush stand is now holding a razor, Q-tips and nail clippers.
Keeping your bathroom hygienic is a must – so clear it all out and start from scratch. Like the pantry, lay it all out and be a little less hesitant about what you throw out. Loofahs, razors and toothbrushes are relatively inexpensive and should be changed regularly, so don’t be afraid to toss them.
It’s worth investigating what products have been opened for a long time too. While soaps and lotions don’t ‘expire’ as obviously as foods, long air exposure can make products less effective and sometimes even irritable for the skin.
Declutter the linen cupboard
Ahh, the linen cupboard – otherwise known as the miscellaneous state with the occasional quilt cover. Has your linen cupboard become a storage space for pretty much any random little thing? Well, you’re not alone. Often our towels take up a shelf or two while the rest is a pile of who knows what!
Not everyone has a huge amount of storage space, so it’s understandable that the linen cupboard is used for more than, well, linens. For starters, you need to locate which shelves are ‘linen’ zones and which are for general storage.
When clearing out the shelves, a good indicator of what to keep are things you quickly recognise. Keep your pillow cases, sheets and other regularly-washed items piled in sets. If some of your sheets are worn out, find a better use for them! Rather than throwing them out (straight away, anyway) use them as rags or a protective sheet for the kids’ next craft project. Ghost costume, anyone?
Declutter the garage/shed
If your garage is used for more than just a parking spot, you might be prone to losing track of what shelf is holding which storage box, what suitcase is filled with whose winter clothes, and what tool box is filled with which spare screws.
Over time, the garage can be mounted with things that you forget you even own. Take the time to bring down your boxes one by one and sort through them. If there are clothes that don’t fit the kids anymore, donate them.
Be prepared to spend some time sorting through these spaces though – depending on what you have in there it, might be a weekend-long task!