Spring Cleaning and DIY Storage Ideas

Okay so Summer is almost upon us.  I’m been slacking on finishing up my Spring Cleaning, but I’m slowly getting there.  Pinterest is an amazing place.  My favourite thing about it (aside from the million upon millions of recipes, and fashion, and fitness pins) is that it can help you transform your space from boring to magnificent.  There are SO MANY great DIY renovation and decoration ideas that I could literally spend my entire day perusing pin after pin, board after board.  It’s enough to make a girl go crazy… and keep her up at night because all she’s thinking about is DIYs; it’s enough to make a girl start tearing apart her apartment in preparation for all the incredible DIYs that are about to happen…  I might be talking about me. I am talking about me.  I have a SERIOUS Pinterest addiction right now.  And it is TAKING OVER MY LIFE BUT I DON’T WANT IT TO STOP BECAUSE I LOVE IT SO MUCH.  But enough about my obvious need for a twelve step program – let’s talk spring cleaning, and lets talk DIY storage, on a budget.  I’m not exactly hurting for cash, but I’m not about to blow a bunch of money on an apartment that I likely won’t be in for more than another year or so, especially when I got debt coming out of my ears, an upcoming school semester (kill me now please) and a house to save up for.  You know when you just get tired of where you live? I’ve been feeling like that for a LONG time, and I got to a point a few weeks ago where I literally wanted to move because I was so annoyed about what my place looked like.  My apartment isn’t hopeless, it isn’t awful or a lost cause, I have a nice space for a great price, I just hate it right now and need to make some changes.  So I want to make some DRAMATIC and DRASTIC changes to my apartment, without spending too much money and not so many that my landlord has a heart attack when I move out – which is why I turned to Pinterest for some help.

Want to know what the first step to making your space great? Clean and reorganize – make better use of your space.  In other words, clean up your shit people.  Figure out what you want and what you don’t, get rid of all the unnecessary crap you’ve been hoarding since your last major spring clean and scrub the life out of all the dirt, grease and grime hiding in every nook and cranny.  Nothing makes me happier than a nice organized clean area with no unwanted junk lying around.  You know that cupboard of yours that is so full of mismatched Tupperware and storage containers that you literally have to brace yourself before opening in case of a plastic lid and container avalanche? Clean it up.   

Organize and maximize your space

If you live in an apartment like me, you likely don’t have the freedom to knock down walls, replace cupboards and rip things apart, and why would you want to? Unless you’re sure this is going to be your place forever you probably don’t want to fork out the cash to do such things. So, where do you start?

Clean out your closet: If you’re like me, your closets can get extremely disorganized – I fill them with crap I don’t need, and all of a sudden, they are bursting at the seams, ready to pop open at any moment.

  • Take everything out and scrub every surface clean.  Vacuum the bottom of your closet and wash it if it is flooring.
  • Purge.  Get rid of everything you don’t want and remove things that don’t belong there.
  • Use boxes and bins to organize your things.
  • Wash all you linens and spare blankets.  Yes, ALL of them.  Even if you don’t have surprise guests over very often, take a sniff of those sheets you haven’t washed since last spring.  Would you sleep with that? No? then wash it.
  • Check expiry dates – all products have them.  Check all your medications, ointments, creams, scrubs and makeup.
  • Replenish your stock – make a list and restock your supply.

Use closet/cupboard doors to maximize storage space:  Utilizing your doors can not only give you MORE storage space but can also give you ease of access to the stuff you use most.


Install shelves, wire racks or even use a shoe organizer on the inside of your kitchen cupboards to organize your spices, or in your bathroom to tidy up your scrubs and lotions.  Use magazine holders to store food packaging items such as plastic wrap and tin foil.  I picked this up for about $5.00 at Staples.

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Make a plan to keep things organized: I know, seems almost impossible.  Every time I clean something, I say to myself  “this time, I’m going to keep it clean, this time will be different,” and if you were to see the condition of my bedroom right now, you would probably be disappointed in my inability to keep my promises – but do everything possible to keep your space organized.  Label your boxes and bins so you’re not constantly throwing things in the wrong spot.


Click the image above to hit up the free printables from lifeinyellow.com.

Utilize Mason Jars to Help with Storage

 I LOVE mason jars. Why? Because they’re freaking awesome, that’s why.  About a year ago I scored BIG TIME, and while tossing a bunch of trash in my apartment building garbage room, I stumbled across an entire box full of mason jars.  Naturally I scooped it out of there, free mason jars? Yes please. I’ve used them here and there for things, but I in general I only give my cupboards a good scrub once a year, so this year I decided to put these lovely jars to use by decorating them all pretty and using them for some much needed cupboard organization. I wasn’t about to just toss these mason jars in my cupboards unlabeled and undecorated, so I picked up some patterned duct tape and Martha Stewart Jar Labels from my neighbourhood Staples store and got to work.  I covered the lids with purple owl patterned duct tape, and surrounded the outside in a thin pink patterned duct tape.

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My cupboards are almost all organized and I’m super pumped about my duct tape decorated mason jars. The great part about it, is that it was very inexpensive to do it! The tape and labels cost about $13.00 and the mason jars were free! Of course you can always buy your jars if you don’t have any lying around.

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I hope this helps! And I sure hope you’re not as behind in your spring cleaning as I am.  At this rate I hope to be done sometime before fall… maybe I’ll call it summer cleaning from now on… hehe. Happy cleaning!!

Spring Cleaning Shenanigans in the Kitchen

Can you believe tomorrow is the first day of Spring?  Neither do I… it doesn’t seem like it – the amount of snow we have here is just silly – and we are being threatened with more as we speak. Uhhhg when will it end!!?!?!?!


So I have a confession: I’m not a fan of cleaning.  You’re probably like, “well, NO ONE is a fan of cleaning”.  But I seriously hate it.  The only time I voluntarily pick up a vacuum, without a complaint or protest, is when I am studying for an exam, because studying is the only other thing in this world that I hate more than cleaning.  So in my years of adulthood, I adopted a rule – if you can’t see it, it’s not messy.  I am pretty good at keeping my living space clean-ish.  If I start getting a clutter, I move that clutter to the closet of no return in our gaming room – we put all our junk in there, and when it gets too cluttered (meaning my boyfriend can’t access his clothes) we clean it out, but most of the stuff in there ends up in the trash or goes to goodwill.  I have never once pulled out my oven to see what’s living underneath it, nor have I done this with my fridge.  I only clean my floors when the dirt is visible.  Dishes don’t need to be done daily.  My bedroom door is usually closed to hide the laundry disaster that encompasses every square foot of the floor. And, honestly, I’m fine with it. As long as no one makes an unexpected visit, I can usually tidy our space in about an hour (minus our bedroom).  Obviously, as you can imagine, my space is in need of a little spring cleaning.  I’ve never done a true spring clean before.  In the past, spring cleaning to me meant washing my duvet and wiping the baseboards.  It didn’t mean cleaning every nook and cranny I could squeeze my hands through.  It didn’t mean dusting every surface and scrubbing the floors. So this year, I decided to take a new approach and vowed to do it right, for the first time ever.  This year I decided I would clean everything – that I would re-organize and make proper use of all my space, and yes, that I would clean under all my appliances.  Well my friends, this is day two, and so far I have managed to tackle my kitchen (minus the cupboard re-organization, which seems more like a weekend job to me).

I assumed my kitchen would be the hardest job.  I’ve never cleaned my oven, never scrubbed down my fridge, and have certainly never checked out the situation below my appliances.  I wasn’t sure where to start, so I of course logged on to Pinterest to figure it out.

Make a game plan

The first step in starting a major spring cleaning overhaul, is to plan it out.  Make a list outlining everything you want to do, and then divide it by room.  Focusing on one room at a time will help you stay on track, especially when you’re as disorganized and distracted as I am.  I found a few sample lists online and then made my own according to what needed to be done in my apartment.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Deep clean your kitchen

Maybe you’re more organized then I am.  That’s likely, since I’m grossly unorganized and avoid housework at all costs.  Either way, if you haven’t given your kitchen a true deep clean since your last bout of spring cleaning, you probably need to prepare yourself for the amount of dirt you’re about to face.  I of course found tones of great cleaning ideas on Pinterest – Here are some ways to give your {dirty} kitchen a {serious} cleanse.

1. Clean that {dirty} sink with baking soda and water: I truly discovered a gem here when I finally used baking soda as a cleaning agent.  I always thought, wait, it doesn’t have bleach in it?  Then I’m not using it. It actually worked BETTER than most of the cleaning supplies i have at home AND it’s not toxic or full or harmful chemicals.  Simply sprinkle the baking soda evenly over your sink, scrub with a toothbrush or sponge, rinse and done! Clean sink.

2. OR, use a lemon and salt: 


3. Scrub that {dirty} fridge: I’m so bad at keeping my fridge clean.  I had to majorly disinfect the thing it was gross.  So I will try to make an effort to keep up with daily and weekly cleaning, not just season cleaning – say no to fridge neglect! Click here for Martha Stewart’s take on hoe to clean your fridge the right way.

4. Reorganize your fridge and freezer: How many times have you cleaned out your kitchen, and cursed yourself because the damn grapes went bad because they got pushed behind that giant Tupperware container of leftovers that no one wants to eat (or something of the sort)?  Crap goes bad in my fridge ALL the time.  Sometimes I just don’t see it. It goes bad, which is irritating for my belly, that got a sudden urge for grapes, and also for my bank account, which screams at me every month when it sees how much money I spend on groceries.  Organize your crap people!


5. Plan out your meals and grocery list: keep you fridge and life organized by planning out your dinners for the week.  Keep a dry erase sticker, note pad, or chalk board sticker on your fridge so you can stick to your game plan.  I use a weekly dry erase planner from Martha Stewart’s Home Office collection.


6. Steam clean that {dirty} microwave with water and lemon: combine one lemon, cut in half, in a bowl of hot water.  Microwave for about 3 minutes, and then allow it to sit, door closed, for another 5 minutes.  This loosen the sticky caked on mess so you can easily wipe it away with water and a little dish soap.


7. Clean that {dirty} oven: I read a lot of different things regarding the PROPER way to clean an over.  I am not lucky enough to have a self cleaning oven, so it was pretty intense trying to get the damn thing clean.  I used odor free easy off (which didn’t quite do the job I wanted) and then did a second scrub with just baking soda and water.  I formed a type of paste, spread it around my over, let it sit, and then wiped.  The dirt came off clean and my oven is sparkly clean.

8. Clean between your oven glass:  I think this was the best trick I discovered on my road to a cleaner kitchen journey.  Click the picture below to learn more about how Ask Anna  did it with nothing more than a hanger and a Windex Wipe.


9. Clean that {nasty} toaster:  Sometimes simply emptying the crumb catcher isn’t enough.  Use a pastry brush to get out all the crumbs in those hard to reach sections that just never seem to get clean.  See the full instructions here.

10.  Keep that {stinky} garbage smelling fresh:  My garbage ALWAYS smells. I hate it.  After completely sterilizing your garbage sprinkle a little baking soda at the bottom so it stays smelling clean.


Of course there are TONES more tips and tricks – these were just my faves.  This site was REALLY helpful and this site had a bunch of homemade recipes AND printables – trust me I will be all over this.

I would love to commit to keeping my house clean and organized all year around – and I stumbled across a great resource for helping you do just that.  It’s stopping the fridge neglect, eliminating the dish pile-up AND helping you avoid the dreaded spring clean.  It has some great FREE printables, so make sure you check out the year round cleaning checklist!  I’m using this as a guideline to help get the house a little more organized and keep it that way!!*

*Note: spring cleaning initiatives are like new years resolutions – hopefully I can keep this one, yikes!!!

Happy Cleaning!!!!