Spring might be the season for deep cleaning, but the cold weather means its time to get started on your winter organization projects.
Since winter follows the holidays, “you may be more motivated [to declutter], as you have gotten a lot more stuff,” says Julie Coraccio, professional organizer and owner of Reawaken Your Brilliance.
Not only is decluttering a great indoor activity to replace a Netflix binge session (or two), Coraccio also says it can help kick off the new year on a productive note.
“A peaceful-feeling home will make a bigger difference in your day to day life in the winter,” says Nonnahs Driskill, professional organizer and founder of Get Organized Already.
Winter Organization Ideas
Ready to get off the couch and get your house in order?
Here are five decluttering and winter organization projects to tackle before spring.
1. Declutter Holiday Decor.
Before you box up your holiday paraphernalia and store it out of sight until next year, Coraccio suggests sorting through it first.
Lights, ornaments, decor, gift wrap, and holiday-themed dishes and knickknacks accumulate quickly. While you may value some of these items for practical or sentimental reasons, you might have outgrown others.
Go through your collection piece by piece, and eliminate anything you don’t love or haven’t used in the last couple seasons.
2. Organize Your Pantry.
A neat, organized pantry is especially helpful during the winter months when you may be preparing more meals at home or trying to eat healthier.
If that’s the case, Coraccio says, the first step is to get rid of junk food. You should also toss anything expired and set aside non-perishable items you know you won’t eat for donation.
Group your remaining food into categories that make sense to you, Coraccio says. Organize things by meals, for example, or ingredient type. Whichever method you choose, use bins and labels for easy access and visibility, Coraccio advises.
Don’t fill every inch of your shelves, either.
“If you can’t see what’s in the back of a cabinet,” Driscoll says, “you will not use it up and that can result in a lot of wasted, expired food.”
To help prevent food waste and make dinner decisions easier, designate an area of your pantry for ingredients you want to use up first, whether it’s a jar of marinara sauce or can of soup.
3. Pare Down Your Outerwear Collection.
No winter organization spree would be complete without culling some of your worn out cold weather gear.
To get started, separate everything into categories. Think: gloves, hats, coats, jackets, and scarves.
“Practice discernment here,” says Coraccio.
Take note of which items you wear consistently and which ones you leave stuffed at the back of closet every morning. Save for special-use items, like ski pants, get rid of anything that’s not part of your regular winter rotation.
4. Organize Your Storage Closet.
Whether it’s a closet or just a cabinet, every home has a storage zone dedicated for cleaning materials and random household supplies, like extra batteries or light bulbs.
Decluttering and organizing this area can help you take better care of your home during the winter months and avoid overbuying things.
Use as much vertical space as possible, Driskill suggests. Hang brooms, mops, and step ladders from study wall hooks.
“If there are smaller things in the storage closet (like cleaning supplies or tools),” Driskill says, “get them up onto a shelving unit or hang them on hooks.”
Store anything that’s not hanging in bins. Clear containers work best so you can see what’s inside, says Coraccio.
5. Declutter Your Medicine Cabinet.
Winter — when colds and stomach bugs abound — is an excellent time to organize your medicine supply.
Check the expiration dates of your medicine, says Coraccio, and dispose of anything unused or past its prime. She recommends organizing your daily medications using pill cases labeled either by AM and PM or day of the week.
Store medicine you don’t take daily, like pain relief pills or nasal spray, in a central cabinet or drawer, Driskill says. “Having only one place for things is a big key to staying organized,” she explains.
Using labeled containers, organize your stuff into categories based on symptoms. That way, you don’t need to dig through a pile of bottles every time you get a runny nose.