Winter has almost arrived in Southern Maryland — it starts on Dec. 21 — and it’s the perfect time to tackle some chores you might usually put off for spring cleaning. Do them now, though, and you’ll be better prepared for the feast-heavy winter holidays coming and ahead of the game when spring arrives.
Spring cleaning is a generations-old ritual that began back when homes were heated by fireplaces. Homes had to be sealed up tight to keep the heat from escaping, so by the end of winter, homes were filled with soot.
Winter cleaning, on the other hand, has two purposes: Preparing all the spaces you’ll deep clean in the spring and getting your Southern Maryland home ready for holiday guests.
Winter is a great time to clear out all the clothes you’re never going to wear again, those that need repairs you know you’ll never make, and those that have gone out of style.
Make piles to keep you organized: One for dry cleaning, one for things you want to give away, and one for those items that are beyond help and should end up in the landfill.
While you’re working in your closet, organize everything in a way that makes sense to you. Some folks do better when their clothing is organized according to colors, while others group like items together (blouses, slacks, etc.).
Get your shoes up off the floor, even if it means having to buy a shoe rack or hanging holder. If there are folded items on shelves, organize those as well.
Then, stand back and check out your handiwork. Not bad for an hour’s work, right?
Tackle the kitchen cupboards and drawers
When the holidays roll around and you’re preparing a feast for the family, you won’t regret taking the time now to organize your kitchen better. Plus, getting it done now leaves plenty of time to donate what you don’t need to a local Southern Maryland food bank or soup kitchen.
Kitchen cupboards tend to overfill quickly right around Thanksgiving. Then, many people tend to stock up a little more because they don’t want to feel forced to hit the grocery store when the weather turns.
Start with the pantry, since that is the most-used storage area in the kitchen. Be honest about what you will and won’t consume in the near future, and donate any canned items that will expire before you can use them.
Then, go through the rest of the kitchen cupboards, organizing your cooking utensils, pots, pans, and spices. A good rule of thumb is to place frequently used items toward the front of cupboards.
Didn’t they tell us we were headed toward a paperless world? Obviously, it hasn’t happened yet because many of us are buried in paper!
Take some time to go through your home office and all of the papers you need to scan, file, or toss. You’ll find this is also the perfect way to get a jump start on your taxes (your accountant will thank you for it).
And, perhaps you can even schedule those annual appointments (such as visits to the dentist and car services).
These days, there’s very little stopping you from a complete spring cleaning in the middle of fall or winter. We think you’ll find that spreading the work over the course of the year makes each task just that much easier.
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