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10 Cleaning and Organization Projects You Can Tackle Before Spring

There's no good reason to wait until spring to clean and organize your home. Here are some projects to tackle indoors before the temperature begins to rise.

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drawerCabinet Components

Organize Your Dish Drawers

These drawer inserts ($92) come complete with movable pegs, allowing you to customize the arrangement to fit your dishes. By keeping your dishes at a convenient-to-reach height, they are easier to get at and put away. Organize anything with pegboards! Check out another way to use a pegboard in the kitchen.

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clean dishwasher filterFamily Handyman

Clean the Dishwasher Filter

When your dishwasher no longer gets your dishes clean, a food-filled filter is most often to blame. If it’s clogged, water can’t make it to the spray arms to clean the dishes in the top rack. The fix takes two minutes. Simply pull out the lower rack and remove the filter cover inside the dishwasher. (Check your owner’s manual if you can’t spot the filter.) Then use a wet/dry shop vacuum to clean off the screen. While you’re there, slide the nearby float switch up and down. If the cover sticks, jiggle it up and down and clean it with water. Check out these other tips for cleaning your dishwasher.

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Pegboard Storage Lead Featured ImageFamily Handyman

Sliding Pegboard Storage System

Colder, less productive months are a great time to organize all of your tools so that you know where they are when you actually need to use them on outdoor projects. This organizer takes workshop storage to a whole new level, employing both sides of seven pieces of pegboard, all housed inside a compact box. Check out these step-by-step photos, tech art and a how-to video!

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Family Handyman

Clean Your Grout

Cleaning the grout between the tile in your home is a great project you can definitely tackle before the official start of spring cleaning. Make a note to save your worn-out electric toothbrush heads, because they’re great for cleaning the grout between your shower tiles. Just apply a little bit of dish detergent to the head of the brush. This technique works especially well on corners. Check out how to best clean grout.

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behind the door storage shelves laundry roomFamily Handyman

Behind-the-Door Storage

The space behind a door is a storage spot that’s often overlooked. To take advantage of this neglected space, build a set of shallow shelves and mount it to the wall. The materials cost about $40. Get the project drawings here.

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remove tough stains on vinyl flooringFamily Handyman

Clean Vinyl Flooring

Sheet vinyl “resilient” flooring is so easy to clean that it may never require anything beyond damp mopping with a cleaner intended for vinyl floors. But if your floor has marks or stains that still won’t come off, you can use stronger stuff. Isopropyl alcohol, sold as a disinfectant at drug stores, is a mild solvent. It’s the best cleaner for heel marks and works on other tough stains too. On the flip side, vinyl flooring is one of the items you shouldn’t clean with a Swiffer.

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Change and clean dryer filterFamily Handyman

Clean the Clothes Dryer Filter

A common cause of poor drying is a clogged lint filter. The filter may look clean, but it may actually be covered by a nearly invisible film caused by dryer sheets. This film reduces airflow and forces the thermostat to shut off the heat before your clothes are dry. Test your filter by pouring water into it. If the filter holds water, it’s past time to clean it. Scrub the filter in hot water with a little laundry detergent and a stiff kitchen brush. This is the greenest way to dry your clothes.

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attach towel bar laundry sinkFamily Handyman

Attach a Towel Bar to the Laundry Sink

Get those messy rags out of the sink and onto a towel bar so they can actually dry. Shop for an easy mounting towel bar ($20) that you can shorten if you like. We cut the bar with a hacksaw so it would fit nicely on the side of the sink. While you’re at the hardware store, buy stainless steel mounting bolts, washers and acorn nuts to mount the bar. We used 7/8-in. No. 8-24 bolts. These projects help you update your laundry room without splurging.

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tongsFamily Handyman

Dust Your Blinds

Dusting mini blinds is a pain. It’s difficult to thoroughly wipe both sides of the slats without bending them in the process. A pair of kitchen tongs makes it a lot easier. First, cut a rag (microfiber works best) in half. Then, use twist ties or rubber bands to secure the rags around the ends of the tongs. You can close the tongs around each slat and wipe away the dust.

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Cord Rack Featured PhotoFamily Handyman

Create a Grab & Go Cord Rack

This project takes just one hour and provides a simple way to hang up a variety of things, such as extension cords, rope or air hoses. Most importantly, it keeps them up and out of the way. Here’s how to make this clever rack. Next, read about the spring cleaning tips that will help you get it done more quickly.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman

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