Life is chaotic and let’s face it: organizing isn’t always our first priority. We make mental lists and prioritize things that need immediate care – who cares if the linen closet goes unkempt for another month or two? What does it matter if it takes a little longer to find anything under the sink due to the haphazard piles of empty bleach bottles! Right?
Here’s the deal: the forgotten spaces are the sneaky ones. The places we neglect are the ones that harbor things like mold, dust, and germs. It might be daunting to think about cleaning and organizing these long-forgotten spaces in our homes, but it’s more daunting to be saddled with things like flies, bacteria, and allergens.
When it’s done, you’ll be able to relax in a way you never have before. And remember: once you organize these spaces, it’ll be a while before you need to do it again!
1. Under Your Kitchen Sink
This is a big one, folks. If you’re anything like the rest of us, you probably stash a lot of items under your kitchen sink. Cleaning products, empty trash bag boxes, maybe even some Swiffer pads or candles. This is one of the places in your home you reach for the most. It’s in a high-traffic area and it’s convenient to grab something here when you need it. The downside? It’s right underneath a bunch of pipes.
Pipes breed mold because they emit moisture. Mold creates allergens. Maybe it’s time to take everything out, wipe it down, and throw out the things you don’t need. Just imagine how great it will feel to easily find everything you need under there!
2. Your Garage (Or Outdoor Storage Closet)
Ah, the garage. It’s so nice to have somewhere to stash the things you no longer have use for (but might have use for in the future.) It’s comforting to be able to throw a box of old photos or toys in there that no longer fit inside the house. As long as they’re in a bag or a box, they’re clean, right? Nope!
Dust, roaches, and other bugs always find their way into small, dark spaces. It’s a good idea to reorganize your sentimental items every couple of years to keep those problems at bay. If you’re one of those people who has your photos, toys, and clothes perfectly itemized in your garage – that’s great! But it might be time to air them out and do some dusting.
3. The Drawer Under Your Stove
Everyone seems to have something that belongs in this drawer. For those of us who don’t have a lot of space, we might use that drawer for pots and pans. Others use it for its (actual) intended use: as a broiler. Either way, it tends to be neglected. Whether you’re housing Teflon or broiling food, it’s time to organize the space.
Clean out any debris with an effective degreaser, and thoroughly wipe it down about once a month. It likes to attract ants, mold, and dust! If you’re using it for pots and pans, it’s smart to look for a metal rack to keep them tidy. This will allow you to easily clean underneath them in the future.
4. Your Bedside Table
If you or your significant other have drawers in your bedside tables, it’s probably time to take a peek at how clean and organized they are. Our bedside table drawers house things like books, chargers, pill bottles… maybe even an old snack wrapper or two. You’re sleeping right next to this drawer, which means you’re sharing its air. If there are any allergens or bacteria breeding in there, you’ll feel it when you wake up in the morning.
Try to organize and clean bedside table drawers each week. It’s also helpful to keep some hydrogen peroxide cleaning wipes on hand so you can do a quick wipe-down when needed.
5. The Areas in Your Kitchen Where You Keep Your Dishes
Whether you’re hand washing your dishes or using a dishwasher, one thing is common once they’re clean: they’re often damp. We put our dishes in their respective places once they’re clean, but we don’t think about the germs that are traveling with them. Moisture and bacteria can adhere to wood, metal, plastic, or glass. This means that wherever each dish is going, mildew can and will follow. You might have cups or mugs back there that have been breeding mold for weeks or even months!
Create a designated space for each kind of dish, and make sure you’re wiping it down weekly with a powerful multipurpose cleaner. It’s also a good idea to place a towel under wet dishes and trade it out daily for a clean towel.