The clouds have broken, the days are getting longer, the air feels fresher and you want to hit the ground running in this new season — a new chapter, another chance to begin a fresh journey.
But first, spring cleaning.
It comes around every year — the need to spruce up your life, to clean out the remnants of a long (pandemic-stricken) winter, met with the dread that comes with actually having to do it.
How do you get to the joy of the end destination without sorting through the mess that has accumulated over the last five-plus months?
Spring cleaning can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Below are some tips to help you break down the deep clean of the new season into easily manageable chunks.
1.) Make a spring cleaning to-do list
Brain-dumping all the tasks you want to achieve for the day helps alleviate the anxiety of not knowing where to begin — by organizing your tasks onto a piece of paper, you’re able to break them down into sections and responsibilities. While you float throughout the day completing these tasks and inevitably get distracted along the way, you have the list to return to, keeping you on track. Checking items off that list also provides a sense of satisfaction and completion that you’re achieving your goals.
2.) Clean one room at a time
Following your checklist, stay task-oriented and begin to move through your list room by room. Focusing on one area of your living space at a time makes this process far less overwhelming than if you are running from one room to another without ever completing a single thing.
Don’t be too hard on yourself; even if you’re only able to complete one room a day, it’s a start!
3.) Have your cleaning products ready to go
How easy is it to say: “I was going to clean today, but oh man, I’m out of *fill in the blank*”? Make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need ahead of time — hold your future-self accountable!
In addition to this, using cleaning products you actually like makes the process a little more satisfying – I find using more natural, fresh smelling products makes me feel like I’m actually cleaning, rather than just spraying everything I own and then opening windows behind me to air out the chemical smell.
4.) Begin the process of decluttering
I am very guilty of being what I call a sentimental hoarder. I only recently threw away a thank you card from one of my favorite teachers that I received way back in first grade. After recently cleaning out my grandparents’ home, I realized this level of hoarding runs in the family: Budget sheets from the ‘50s, letters from my grandmother’s friends in England, dozens of tape measures and sandpaper piled up in my grandpa’s dresser drawers.
Now, if you don’t want your family members to have to sort through your insane possessions, deciding whether they are important family heirlooms because they too have a condition where they cannot throw anything away, maybe start decluttering now.
There’s a way to do this where you can achieve a happy balance between ridding yourself of all you own and keeping everything you’ve ever bought.
- As you move through each room, set up four boxes labeled Trash, Donate, Unsure and Keep.
- Donate anything you know for a fact you haven’t used within the last four months — for example, that make you say, “Oh yeah, that.” If you haven’t noticed its absence in your life, you don’t need it.
- In contrast , you’ll find some things that you’ve thought about once or twice before but aren’t really that important. Possessions like this can go in the “Unsure” pile. Keep the items in this category for up to three months as a trial run to see if they actually have an impact in your life. If they still go unused, time to donate.
- Take everything you’re wanting to donate to a donation center immediately. These boxes will sit in your closet/bedroom/garage for months on end if they don’t go right away.
Keeping yourself on track and only taking on as much as you can handle are the keys to a successful spring purge. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, break down your list even further. Keep the finish line in sight: a fresh, ready-for-summer living space.