2018 Spring Cleaning: Ready, Set… Go!

There are usually two camps in the Spring Cleaning arena and that’s the Hate It and the Love It teams. Which one are you on? Regardless of how you feel about it, whether you look forward to it all year, or whether you dread it; whether you go for it with gusto, or you procrastinate all season, both types of cleaners find one thing in common: once it’s done, it feels SO GOOD.   There’s a reason spring is the annual cleaning season and while we don’t know for sure what that is, we assume it’s because you’re cleaning out everything that stagnated during the winter and the major holidays. You’re getting back on your feet in your home, and the sun is shining and the birds are singing to cheer you on. It’s just a great time of year to get it all done! Summer will come soon, kids will be out of school, things will be busy. Shortly after that, the holidays begin again. What better time of year is there than when the weather is just right and not much is calling you away just yet?   So whether you’re a spring cleaning weekend warrior, or you’ll be taking your home by storm for one week straight, it’s time to buckle down and get started. Here’s a fun guide for all that is spring cleaning. Enjoy!    
  1. Planning ahead will help you shine… literally.
Make a master list of everything that needs to get done first. Then read through it. Feel that? That feeling is overwhelming and frustration at the max. Take a breath, this will get easier. First, you need to choose the path that’s right for you.   – Will you clean only one room at a time? – Will you tackle one chore throughout the entire home at a time (ie: cleaning closets)? – Will you start at the front of the house first? – Do you have helpers? – Will you declutter then hire a cleaning service to deep clean? – Will you do 15 minutes a day? The entire weekend? Take a work vacation until it’s done?    
  1. Tackling the tasks can be tedious
Once you know your intended direction, take your master task list and start breaking things up into smaller chores. Essentially, you’ll break it all down into smaller bites that are easier to digest when reading your list. Like the old saying goes, no one says you have to eat an elephant in one bite!    
  1. Don’t get caught up in procrastination
Don’t let yourself get away with not picking up the supplies you need. Or watching a movie marathon on TV. Or picking up a new book you won’t be able to put down. Or taking too long to go through a box in the closet. Or deciding you MUST binge watch a new show on Netflix all the way through. Save those for your reward when you’re done. Just give in to the madness of spring cleaning and your chore list because once you start knocking things off that list, your motivation will rise and your frustration will go away. And having said that…    
  1. Track your progress
Keep your master list and your task trackers moving by crossing off everything you complete. Don’t cheat! You’ll know. But then again, there are some psychological fools you can use to make it a better process. For instance, if you do something more that wasn’t on your list, write it on your list and then mark it off. Sounds crazy, but it helps. Time your cleaning efforts too if you think it will help you to look back and say, “Wow, that didn’t take as long as I thought it would,” or, “Look how far I’ve come in one weekend!”   Another thing to remember is that even if you can’t see it, you will know that under your bed is completely spotless. The cobwebs behind the armoire are gone. The dust you couldn’t see in the fabric on your curtains or your upholstered furniture is gone. Your carpets released an awful lot of dirt, dander, and pollen you couldn’t see but know has been steamed and sucked away. Behind the toilet and refrigerator is cleaner than it’s been since last year. Way to go! You feel more refreshed mentally just knowing what’s been cleaned.    
  1. Speaking of mental health from cleaning…
You might struggle with what needs to be donated, sold, tossed, saved for a yard sale, or burned on a proverbial funeral pyre because you’ve had it so long but aren’t using it and can’t seem to part with it. But ashes to ashes, dust to dust, everything needs to go. So how do you resolve to finally get rid of things? As quickly as you can.   Don’t think too hard, just toss things into boxes and move on to the next area that needs sorting and cleaning as fast as you can. Have someone else come get the boxes if you can’t get them into your car to the donation center immediately yourself.   You’ll be your own hero when you see space opening up on the floors and shelves and closet rods. Your linen closet will besorted and minimal. Your clothes will not bulge from the closet. Your shoes will be a manageable number. Your desk will show you that it does indeed have a top and isn’t just a pile of papers. You’ll feel the light, airy vibe that comes from dust-free shelves, clean windows, empty spaces, and room to grow. You’ll no longer feel guilty about the things you have in the way, you’ll no longer trip over excess, you’ll see floors you haven’t seen all year (or longer). You won’t dread the unannounced visit and instead look forward to the company. Your headspace will thank you.    
  1. You won’t need the gym for a while
Okay, here’s the final silver lining to all the spring cleaning madness: Your Fitbit will love you. Walking the halls, moving furniture, vacuuming the stairs, getting every nook and cranny in your entire home in one short timeframe does indeed count as a workout, Feel the burn! You’ll deserve a frozen yogurt or fruit smoothie after this season of cleaning, for sure.