Ahhh, spring. Birds chirping, new life blooming.
Oh, wait. I live in Minnesota. We have only hit 50 degrees twice so far this spring.
Well, even though spring has not quite sprung here yet (as I write this, we still have piles of snow on the ground and nothing is growing or blooming at all – but, hey – the birds have returned), I am willing it to arrive by starting my spring cleaning.
There is nothing like the warmer days and fresh air to make you realize, “Holy cow – I have a lot of junk and it is all very dirty!”
Here are some ideas to help you through the sometimes overwhelming process of spring cleaning.
One Step at a Time
If you are lucky enough to have a large chunk of uninterrupted time to complete your spring cleaning, more power to you. More likely though, you are trying to fit spring cleaning tasks into already busy weeks where you are not even sure how you will fit in a normal cleaning. It can be easier to take on smaller tasks over a longer time and just do one task per day or one or two rooms per week, something like that. A good example is Crystal’s 30 Day House Cleaning Challenge.
While you are deep cleaning, this is as good a time as any to clear out that clutter. It has been said many times, but it really is effective to remove everything from the area (dresser, bookcase, shelves, floor), clean the space and then sort the stuff. Have one container for items that belong in another room, one for items to donate, one for items to trash and put the keepers back into the area as you go. Limit yourself to the space you have and ruthlessly go through the keep pile until it all that is left fits well in your space.
Switch It Up
Now is the perfect time to add your window screens back in, pack away your winter clothes (at least most of them), change out your purse, etc. As per the next tip, take note of what size your kids are wearing (and what size they will need next), plus any updates you may need to make to your wardrobe. Having a handy list will keep you on task while shopping later.
As you work in each room or area, keep a notebook with you and note items you need or projects you would like to take on in the space. You may want a smaller coffee table, a new rug or to patch a beat up wall and repaint the area. Taking notes allows you to have your ideas in one space, keeps you from forgetting anything and helps you went you are at garage sales, thrift shops or stores. You know what you need and can scoop it up if you find a good bargain. You may also find that something you don’t need in one room can fill a need in another room or come up with an alternative solution and save you from having to buy anything new at all.
Take It Outside
Don’t forget to clean up your outdoor spaces. Spring is a great time to divide perennials, rake up any plant debris, fertilize the lawn and clean up the outdoor furniture. These tasks can be easier before everything is full grown.
Here’s to hoping that by the time I finish my spring cleaning, spring will actually have arrived here!