Picture of Aimee Flowers

Aimee Flowers

DIY Organizing Tips for a Clean Home this Winter

As the last leaves fall off the trees, it’s time to usher in a new season – winter. From shiny holiday décor, to cozy blankets strewn across the living room, and chunky knit sweaters shoved into your closet, the start of a new season may seem more overwhelming than fun. To help you tidy your home as the seasons change, we’ve reached out to experts for their best DIY organizing tips for a clean home this winter. That way whether you’re just preparing your home for winter or you’re a first-time home buyer looking for a way to organize your new house, these tips will help you get started.

DIY organizing begins in the entryway

Hang wall baskets on the wall for each family member to put their gloves/mitts, scarves and hats into. Label it with their name (or pictures for younger kiddos) so they have an accessible place to put the items as they come in your home. Add a hook on the wall for their jacket in the same place and you have an instant drop zone that they can use easily. – Angie Kikstra, Cozy Minimalism 

To creatively corral the extra coats, gloves and hats of winter fun, try adding a free standing coat rack near your door. You can often find these at very economical prices in a variety of styles to compliment your decor and they offer plenty of space to hang up not only your family’s seasonal gear, but extra space for your guests’ jackets as well. Bonus tip: free standing coat racks work fantastically in the bathroom as well where extra hanging space for big fluffy towels and pajamas is often at a premium. – Lisa Westermann, The Clutter Free Coach

Use lightweight baskets hung on wall hooks to organize your families winter gear, and get it off the floor. Each family member gets their own basket. Make sure the kids baskets are hung low enough that they can reach it easily themselves. – Elyse Gorfain, E.G. Organizing

Use aluminum cooking trays for winter boots by the entry door. You can also use chalk wet erase markers to label shelves for hats and mittens. We cleared kitchen clutter from the pantry to make room by the door for hats/gloves/boots. – Elizabeth Phillips, CREATE: minimalism

Be decisive about what to keep in your home

Before organizing this winter, ask yourself, “what’s my vision and goal?” Without that, you are organizing blind and it won’t last through the weekend. Then pull all items out, sort, purge, contain like items together, and most importantly, don’t hold onto anything that is just “filler stuff.” There are no rules about what you are supposed to have. That knit hat from your aunt that you’ll never wear? Donate! – Cassidy Nasello, Certified Coach and KonMari Method™ Consultant

To make decluttering and organizing super simple, keep a donation box in a central location (or one on each floor) of your home. Anytime you find a duplicate item, get a new one as a gift, or push something aside for a different one – like that shirt you say you’ll wear, but never do – immediately put it in the donation box. Once the box is filled drop it off and feel good knowing you are freeing yourself from the items you actually never use with very little added effort. – Deanna Yates, Little Green Bow

When you get a new item, be sure to remove the price or information sticker. Your brain has to think about ignoring that sticker every time you see it, and that results in decision fatigue. Help yourself work smarter and harder and strip those stickers! As a bonus, the sooner you do it the easier the sticker is to remove. – Shanley Ten Eyck

Keep your cleaning and DIY organizing simple

Start small – decluttering might feel overwhelming at first. Tackle your ‘junk drawer’ – everyone has one. Go through and toss expired coupons, pens out of ink, rubber bands that don’t snap, purge excess paper clips – and use small drawer organizers to keep things neat and tidy. – Liz Halvorsen, Owner of Mess to Bliss LLC

Clear out your bathroom medicine cabinet.  Safely discard all expired bottles & tubes.  Categorize what is left, and put back in like- with- like sections. – Laura Smith, An Organized Project

Clean stains on carpet, floor and fabric upholstery right when you notice them, before they sink deeper or become permanent. Keep a small spray bottle with water and a drop of liquid dish detergent in a convenient cabinet with a few cleaning rags or cloths. Use a dry cloth to dab, don’t rub, a stain first from carpet or fabric to absorb as much of it as you can. Then spray a bit of the mild cleaning solution, you can let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and blot it up with a damp cloth. Repeat if needed. – Cyclone Professional Cleaners

Nothing makes your house look more cluttered than paper clutter all over your kitchen counters and home office, especially mail. Clean it up by setting up one basket designated as the ONE spot in your house where all new paper goes, and everything in this basket either gets thrown, scanned, or filed. Use two smaller baskets to file mail that needs action now and another small basket for mail you want to keep and deal with later. – Vicki, Next On My List

Clean out your closet for winter

Do a mid-season closet clean out. I recently purged my “keep for someday” bin of clothing and it was life-changing. Letting go of the clutter (clothing or otherwise) that you keep around for “just in case” is incredibly freeing and frees up valuable visual space making your home or closet look much less cluttered. – Olivia, Simply Liv & Co This winter season when pulling down those cozy sweaters and winter gear from storage, take some extra time to pare down for the new year. Go through and sort like items (scarves, hats, gloves), keep the favorites but consider purging the pieces that tend to get pushed aside or are looking too worn. A tip for making tall, floppy winter boots stand up, if you don’t have a pool noodle on hand: our clients typically tend to collect extra shoe bags for travel, just take a few, roll them up to create an insert and make your boots stand tall! – Kari Jane, Simply Organized by Kari Jane

Store your seasonal items together

Organize winter gear or seasonal clothing in labelled plastic or fabric bins and store it in a cool, dry place. Consider using vacuum-sealed bags to help reduce the bulk when space is at a premium. – Arlene Williams, Bona Fide Organizing Whether you are packing up light-weight summer blankets that you used for beds, picnics, or the beach or you are bringing out winter blankets for the beds or the couch, you can organize them very creatively. Rather than leaving the blankets in crumbled messes, you can roll them and stack them vertically or horizontally in a closet, or you can fold them in half vertically, then half again horizontally, or you can fold them in a tri-fold way, or you can combine a fold first and roll the second step. And, for fun, you can organize a flower garden or a zoo, making animal shapes, which is especially fun with baby blankets! – Janet Fishman, J.D.,  President & CEO of HOPE Organizers, Inc. Los Angeles, California

Holiday deals may be tempting, but they can lead to excess clutter

For clutter prevention pay closer attention: Offers arriving on all channels, get three for one, such special deals: we are already overflowing, help! it is so hard to keep an even keel. Watch out for the oh so sweet temptation! It comes with so much fixation, the moment you feel a lack and buy buy buy, days later you will cry cry cry. This season keep your golden nuggets finely tucked away in your pockets. Celebrate your glory and let your spirit shine. It’s all gonna be just fine. – Annette Kurtz If you buy something new, remove something old. Your space is at a premium and it should be prioritized. – Aimee Flowers, HBS Junk Removal Originally published by Redfin

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