It’s that time of year again . . . Time to declutter, reorganize and finally stop hoarding all those magazines. 🙂 I love a good Spring Cleaning and relish in the opportunity to organize, cleanse and ultimately come back to my priorities (that have wavered during the colder months). But as so many of us have probably experienced, Spring Cleaning is a slow and often tedious process that can easily become overwhelming.
If I allowed myself, I could easily stand in the middle of my house and feel completely overwhelmed by the tasks ahead. I often have this desire to get everything organized and clean in one day. But, if past cleaning experiences are anything to go by, I know that leaping right in and going a million miles a minute only leads to exhaustion and, subsequently, disinterest.
That’s why I’ve decided to approach this year’s Spring Cleaning realistically and a little methodically. Plan it out, take it slow and apply complete mindfulness to the task at hand.
The concept of clutter is somewhat intriguing, and in preparation for my own Spring Cleaning scutwork, I’ve been reading up on the subject. Basically, clutter harbors dull, lifeless, draining energy which, once cleared, gives you more inspiration, motivation, and optimism.
So then why does clearing clutter seem so overwhelming to many of us? Because the simple act of looking at it is draining in itself! Dealing with clutter and clearing it out takes a little self-motivation. But once you start, you quickly realize how satisfying the process can be! Hence, you gain more energy to keep going. It’s also a fantastic way to deal with stress and anxiety — getting rid of the stuff that’s weighing you down.
To give you the motivation you need, here are seven key steps to successful Spring Cleaning.
Make A Plan
Creating a plan is vital to making sure your Spring Cleaning is started smoothly and done efficiently. Don’t start with a list of what you’d like to achieve. This will only lead to disappointment. Instead, work out how much time you have to allocate to your cleaning. With work commitments, upcoming holidays and unexpected events, Spring can get pretty busy. Spend a few minutes penciling in one or two sessions, each for between three to six hours. Anything more than that and Spring will turn into Summer, and you’ll feel trapped in a never-ending list of to-dos. Approach your cleaning with the mindset that every task you finish is just a bonus!
Determine which areas of the house need the most work and what tasks will be the most time consuming. You also want to think about how you want to go about cleaning your home. Are you wanting to tackle one room at a time? Or do you want to use the KonMari method and go through each individual category?
Another huge factor in mapping out your plan is to visualize the end result of your cleaning spree and how you want your home to feel once all is clean.
Preparation Is Key
Jillian Quint at Pure Wow suggests to, “Start by labeling five large boxes with the following categories: Put Away, Give Away, Store away, Shred and Trash. Feels good already, don’t it?” Indeed it does, Jillian. You also want to make sure to have all your cleaning supplies stocked up and ready to go. This isn’t an excuse to procrastinate or to spend big in the cleaning section — but avoid interrupting yourself when you’re in the zone.
Identify Clutter Zones
Identify the clutter zones in your home. This won’t take much thought; it’s usually pretty obvious. For me, it’s my bedroom desk, my nightstand, the kitchen desk and garage. I particularly loathe the clutter in the garage because it obstructs a smooth journey in and out of the house.
Don’t try to combine an ordinary clean with a Spring Clean. And certainly don’t do a regular cleaning in the leading up to your Spring Cleaning. Not only will it distract you from the main task, but you will find yourself cursing the wasted effort of having vacuumed just before de-cobwebbing the ceiling. Once some extraordinary tasks have been done, you’ll find yourself inspired to do the ordinary ones in the coming days.
Use A Timer
Quint also points out that “it’s okay to break things up. In other words, it doesn’t have to be an ‘all-day’ affair. When you’re ready to begin, set your timer for 50 minutes. When it buzzes, use the last ten minutes of your organization session to clean-up the boxes: Put things away, place charity items in the car, move stuff to storage, toss out the trash. This way, things don’t pile up, even if you can’t finish in one sitting.”
Trying to declutter and clean everything all at once will only set you back — leaving you unfocused and overwhelmed, and more likely to just give up. Broke Bobb over at Vogue suggests, “Tackling one room at a time will help keep you focused.” If the idea of taking a whole weekend to organize your home makes you want to go crawl under a rock, start with five minutes each day on something small. Whether it’s going through and organizing your shoe collection or making a more concentrated effort to fold your laundry, small steps definitely add up! Then slowly progress onto the larger, more clutter-filled areas of your home when you’re ready. Remember: You have all of Spring to get your home in order. You don’t have to do everything on your list in one day.
Over the next few days, I’m on a mission to plan out every bit of my Spring Cleaning routine. My aim is to encourage an hour of mindful cleaning here and there so I don’t feel the pressure to set aside a entire day (which, let’s face it, isn’t going to happen for the majority of us). Make decluttering a priority and create set times to do it (an hour here, an hour there). Otherwise, it will never get done.
The key is to take it slowly, but do it daily (even if it’s only 15 minutes). Remember, you have an entire season to declutter, it’s doesn’t need to get done today. Live a less distracted life: Embrace the seasonal clean as a ritual, not a chore.
Need a little motivation? Check out Pop Sugar’s post of 14 tips to pump yourself up for Spring Cleaning!
+How do you prepare for Spring cleaning? What do you hope to accomplish most this year? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!