Spring has arrived. It’s time to open your windows, put on some music and start cleaning!
Whoa, whoa, whoa, back up! Theoretically, spring cleaning could be that easy, but if you dive right in without a plan you will most likely get frustrated, throw your hands up in the air and quit.
Instead, here is a simple step-by-step guide to declutter & deep clean for a more harmonious home.
Seriously, depending on the size of your home, a good and thorough spring cleaning could take days and that’s OK. Setting realistic expectations of how long these tasks will take will leave you feeling focused and accomplished instead of annoyed and frustrated. Be gentle with yourself and keep your eye on the prize!
Get Everyone Involved & Set Expectations
Many hands make light work! If you live with other people, even kiddos, get everyone involved! Give each family member/roommate an area of vested interest (bedroom, playroom, etc.) and make sure that the tasks are manageable for that individual. If you live alone, maybe you could bribe a friend or two (takeout & cocktails?) to come over to keep you motivated!
Before the big day(s), take inventory of all of your cleaning supplies. There’s no need to go overboard, but make sure that you have a functioning vacuum (with attachments), a good multi-purpose cleaner and plenty of rags. You will inevitably come up with a shopping list along the way (supplies for specific areas, amazing storage bins, etc), so keep a pen & paper (or your favorite list making app) handy.
One Room at a Time ... Top to Bottom
A good rule of thumb is to go one room at a time, from top to bottom. Unless you’re really ambitious you can save the attic and basement for another time, but start on your top livable floor and work your way down. Also, start each room from the top by cleaning your ceilings, wiping down walls and then waxing floors/cleaning carpets. Choosing one starting point and going around the room in a circle (ending with the center of the room) is also helpful. It might sound like overkill, but it will assure that no area is left unturned.
Spring cleaning is not for the faint of heart. Yes, of course it is important to hit every surface, but you also want to really dig in. Empty every drawer, cabinet, closet and storage bin (one at time!), reorganize and declutter. Even your “junk drawer”! You’ll be amazed at how much stuff you don’t actually use or need. Your stuff will have more room to breath and so will you!
Out with the Old ...
Create “keep”, “donate” and “toss” piles. Only hold onto items that you use regularly. Discard the rest appropriately by either recycling (ie. all of that paper clutter!) or donating to your favorite (tax deductible) non-profit. There are so many amazing organizations like Dress for Success, The Freecycle Network and the Buy Nothing Project that can give your things new life instead of putting them into a landfill.
Don’t Forget the Little Things
Don’t forget the little things, because more often than not they are really the big things! You may overlook your grout, refrigerator coils or dryer vents on a day-to-day basis, but taking some extra time once a year to reseal and clean will save you a ton of headache and or heartache in the future. These mundane tasks not only save you money, but also keep you safe. Changing batteries in smoke detectors and charging fire extinguishers are also important tasks to add to your spring cleaning list!
Whether you have a front porch, a back deck or something in between, make sure you include your outdoor living spaces while spring cleaning. Clean the outside of your windows, pressure wash surfaces, take outdoor furniture and planters out of storage and most importantly, get that grill ready for some barbecuing!!
Know Your Limit
Every one of us has a super power; an area of expertise. If shampooing your carpets, cleaning upholstery, washing windows or power washing your driveway is not in your wheelhouse, it’s OK to hire someone. Don’t just ignore those areas. You may even want to take your spring cleaning to the next level by hiring a professional organizer. There is an expert for everything!
It’s time to mark your calendar, get your family excited, your supplies purchased and the professionals scheduled. Get ready for some serious decluttering and reorganizing. Keep only what you love and incorporate beautiful storage into your home decor for a renewed sense of space and an amazing sense of accomplishment! It’s time to make each room shine, so that you can enjoy a more harmonious home.