Tips and Tricks for "Spring Cleaning" ANYTIME OF THE YEAR!
SPRING CLEANING is traditionally a Spring activity but with our lives, workloads, and family life being crazier than ever this is not a realistic goal for most people. The excitement for the idea of getting your full home in order can wear off quickly without a proper plan. Let's face it: It's a lot easier to give up if you haven't mapped out a plan of action and decided exactly what rooms or areas of your home you'll be tackling. I’ve compiled a list of Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks as well as Do’s and Don’ts while ALWAYS bringing a healthy dose of realism into the subject!
SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
You can't set an attainable goal without being realistic with your goals and setting healthy steps for yourself to reach them. For instance, if you’ve lived in your home for 15+ years, have kids in college, and you haven’t purged and/or organized your home in years, this is NOT going to be a one-time Saturday job! And surely, don’t expect it to be easy.
PRO TIP: Don't compare yourself to others when mapping your own goals. When browsing the internet (mainly Pinterest) for tips and tricks to organizing your home, you may think to yourself, “Cleaning and organizing looks so easy for everyone else, why isn’t it as easy for me?” Well, this is the starting point of setting realistic expectations for yourself. Pinterest and tips and tricks online are very much like a TV show and are surely NOT a reality for most people. Everyone loves a clean and organized home but most people don’t like the process of getting there.
MAP YOUR PLAN
The only way to ensure you’re successful in meeting your organizing goals is to have a plan in place. For instance, pick days and times you will be most likely to accomplish Spring Cleaning and schedule those times for yourself. If something comes up, which they always do, immediately reschedule your time so that you don’t forget.
Everyone maps out their plans differently but I recommend starting with some easier tasks first, or smaller areas first, and move to the larger/harder areas after you’ve made some positive strides.
PRO TIP: Knowing you’ve already accomplished some organizing and cleaning goals or tasks will help you stay positive during the harder areas.
Stick to your plan, even if it changes
PRO TIP: Changing your plan is NOT a failure. The only true failure is giving up.
Purge/declutter FIRST, organize second, and THEN clean
DON'T THROW EVERYTHING AWAY
In 2013, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash (EPA). I bet the numbers are even highter since that was 5 years ago.
Donate your clothing, old CD’s, electronics, kitchenware, small appliances, or anything else that is not trash that can help local families in need! Make sure you’re only throwing away ACTUAL trash, recycling everything that’s recyclable and ALWAYS donate gently used items!
For items you’d like to give away but would like to keep directly in your own community, join your local Buy Nothing Project on Facebook!
PRO TIP: I wouldn’t recommend Buy Nothing Project to people with hoarding tendencies. Since everything is free you may be tempted to take in a lot of stuff you don’t need.
DON’T only deep-clean and organize your home in the Spring.
This is a big mistake a lot of people make. It is better to set more realistic goals so Spring cleaning isn’t such a large project.
PRO TIP: Try tackling projects every other month or quarterly to lighten the load.
DON’T skip important areas of your home
If you don’t have a plan in place it will be very easy to skip important areas of your home. Areas that need Spring cleaning the most (basement, garage, and closets) may be missed if you’re losing motivation and you didn’t have a plan in place. It’s natural for us to stick to cleaning up the areas that we see the most, but resist this temptation because the areas that need the most attention are the easily cluttered areas!
NEVER be too embarrassed to ask for help
This is for the people who have possibly skipped Spring cleaning for a couple of years or have tried repeatedly and are now frustrated and feel they can't complete the necessary home tasks without some extra help. A good indicator you need a Professional Organizer is if your home is causing you stress and anxiety. Contact me and we can discuss your organizing needs.
I hope you've been able to think about Spring Cleaning a little differently. Staying on top of your home and everything in it is a commitment. This is exactly why having less is beneficial... Don't be a slave to your things...
If you've tried these steps and are still unsuccessful let's chat so I can help you conquer your challenges.