Spring cleaning is upon us and many people often dread the idea of it. Here are 16 tips that will make your life much easier.
1. Make a list of everything you’d like to have done around the house. Organize this list in two different ways. First, organize your list by priorities – what do you really want done this year and what do you not care so much about. You should have three sets based on priority – must be done, would like to be done and doesn’t really need to get done. Next organize the tasks in each section by difficulty, creating “hard”, “easy” and “moderate” sets. You’ll work on the easiest tasks in the “must be done” column, then the moderate, then the hard and then you can move on to doing the same thing with what you would like to have done. This system assures that you get the most important things done quickly.
2. Set aside twenty minutes per day for spring cleaning. Commit to doing a little bit of cleaning every day for the entire season and you’ll find that you barely feel like you’re working at it at all but your home will be completely clean and organized before summer is here.
3. Pick one room or closet to start with. This way you accomplish at least one task even if you don’t end up getting around to a full spring cleaning this year. Choose the room or closet that you most wish was organized and plan to do that if nothing else. Most likely you’ll find that getting started with this puts you on track to doing more spring cleaning.
4. Use the “love it”, “hate it”, “like it” system for getting rid of things. With this system, you go through whatever room or closet you’re cleaning and separate everything into the above three piles. Anything in the “hate it” pile gets put in the donation bin without a second thought. Anything that you love gets put back in an organized fashion. The rest can then be sorted through more carefully as to what you want to keep and what should be tossed out.
5. Take this opportunity to put winter clothes and sports equipment away neatly. You’re not going to need that stuff for another year but you’ll be glad next year that you took the time to organize it. Whether you’re putting it in a shed, a garage or a top shelf in the closet, do it in a way that makes organized sense for your home.
6. Go green with your cleaning supplies. If you’re doing cleaning around the house with chemicals, make this year the year that you use natural products and green products so that your spring home truly is healthy.
7. Focus on floors and walls. Doing a wash down of the walls and sprucing up the floors with a steam cleaning for carpets or a polishing for wood floors will do wonders for the appearance of your home. It will feel like you did a serious touch-up to the house even when what you really did didn’t take that long at all.
8. Invest in the right tools for organizing your home. If you don’t already have closet organizers, files for different documents and enough shelving in the kitchen then spring is the time to make that investment so that you can really get things cleaned up around the home. Just having those tools around will make doing your spring organizing so much easier.
9. Commit to making your bed every day. If you don’t already do this, it’s a really great spring goal for making your home feel fresh and clean every single day. A newly-made bed is basically a new start and that’s exactly what spring is all about.
10. Organize your income information. One of the things that we should do during the spring is to get our financial stuff in order. Since we’re still in the midst of tax time, it’s a great time to organize tax information so that next year’s taxes are easier to do. Work with financial software to make this easier.
11. Label, label, label. The key to good cleaning and organization in any busy household is that you get a good label maker, you make sure everything in your home has its place and then you label that place so that things can easily be put back by anyone in the home that uses them. This reduces the burden on you to do all of the spring cleaning yourself.
12. Get everyone involved. Labeling the home isn’t the only way to get everyone else in the family to pitch it. Create games, chore lists and competitions for spring cleaning in your home.
13. Throw out anything that is broken. Go through your home and pick up every single item that is broken. Pens that don’t work. Crayons that are stubs. Cups that are chipped. If anything is truly precious, make it a priority to get it fixed. Everything else should be tossed out, repurposed or given away immediately.
14. Buttons and hems. This is the same as the last tip but it’s specific to your clothes closet. Go through it and pull out every single item that doesn’t fit right or has buttons missing or otherwise needs to be fixed before it can be worn. Put it all in a basket by your sewing machine and set a date for getting it all done. If it’s not done by that date, throw the item away.
15. Decide whether or not you want to do spring cleaning of your computer and cell phone this year. Some people do and some people don’t. If you want to, focus on it. If not, don’t worry about the fact that your computer’s a mess.
16. Be kind to yourself. Many of us feel like we have to get all of our spring cleaning done perfectly and we punish ourselves for not doing that. Spring is about a fresh start and one great thing to do is to start being nicer to yourself. So what if some of it doesn’t get done this spring? Spring will surely come around again and you can do it then.