5 Ways to Jump Start Spring Cleaning Season
Spring is just around the corner (hello beautiful flower arrangement, iced coffee and light sweaters!) and you haven't even thought of "Spring cleaning" yet. Quite frankly, you might have been thinking of Spring since the day after Christmas (which is fair) for the glimpse into warmer weather alone.
Or you just don't like cleaning and consider putting everything from a room into the drawers or closet and call it a day with a "wash my hands of this I'm done" mentality.
Or maybe you're like me and have been doing a little tidying up here and there and feel like a boss for it.
That's great, but I think you can do better than a load of laundry and loading the dishwasher this time of year (preaching to myself, ya'll).
One of my obvious personality traits is that I am a clean freak. I honestly cannot go about my day if there are dishes in the sink or the bed is not made. But I know some of you can relate. And for those of you who think I'm a mad woman, this one is for you.
But you shouldn't just do it because everyone else is getting clean and organized (because that's lame). What's the point of "spring cleaning"? Any excuse to clean I'm on board. But it's a good way to really organize all the items you've kind of just tossed into the drawers. It's also super beneficial to get a chunk of those pesky house projects done around the same period of time rather then spreading it out throughout the year (if you can help it-there are obviously some things that need to be accommodated immediately, unless you like having a leaky roof for months on end).
The best reason?
Decluttering and cleaning up our homes actually declutters our minds, too! Prove me wrong on this one over a cup of coffee, I'm all for it.
This big picture check-list will help get that "must do it all today" hustle dragon to calm down. If it doesn't get done in a week or however long you had planned because life happens, don't beat yourself up for it. When the plan is made, you can always go back to where you left off.
1) Be Prepared
You know that song from the Lion King (best Disney song ever)? I sometimes interpret it to mean we need to be prepared when taking care of some house cleaning business. Let's face it, whenever we clean, there is going to be a good amount of decluttering involved, which is why there is a need for more supplies than your simple all-purpose cleaning spray and paper towels. It's no small feat, so here's what you'll need:
-Bags on bags on bags: For trash, donations, and miscellaneous
-Organizational totes, boxes, or clear containers: big and boxy, flat and storable, clear, colored - whatever fits your style, storing access and makes your organizational guru happy (we all have one, whether they speak too much or hardly ever).
-Spray + Paper Towels: If you have a carrier to better carry these things around, awesome. If you're like me and try to carry everything in your arms from one room to another for the sake of making it in one trip, awesome. Be sure to pick our the cleaner that doesn't contain toxic ingredients and won't cause red, watery eyes and head aches (when in doubt, go as unscented or as lightly scented as possible).
My go to is Mrs. Meyers Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner (lemon and lavender scents are heavenly!). If you want next level, I've heard from a few friends and family members that DoTerra's On Guard Cleaner Concentrate
mixed with water does wonders. It costs more upfront, but lasts a lot longer.
-Note Pad + Pen: When you're cleaning out a lot of things, you realize what you need. Keep a list with you to keep track of what you'll need to grab during your next store run
-Water + Snacks: Don't be stupid, stay hydrated and keep some good snacks nearby. Having this on hand will lessen your temptation to take a five hour long water break.
-To Schedule Out Breaks: This one is so important. It doesn't seem like something you need to "block out" time for, but it is. Either you get into a rhythm and you don't want to stop or you're barely making progress with your tossing of things from one drawer to another, planning 15 minute breaks to sit, lie down or go on a walk does a lot of good. If you're the busy body, it forces you to acknowledge where you are and embrace the fact that your body can't continue boss mode without some decent rest. And if you're on the lazier less motivated side, it gives you that push with a goal in mind that you like more then the cleaning itself.
2) Put On Some Background Noise
You know, the kind of music that doesn't make you want to sleep. You sing along to it and maybe even do a little shimmy (or break out in a full dance and song like you're playing live). Good music helps make the time more enjoyable and can even make the cleaning go at a faster pace.
3) Take it One room at a time
It is so easy to start making progress in the living room, but then when you are bringing in some of what actually should be in the bed room, you start to do some cleaning in there at the same time thinking this way of multi-tasking will save you time. WRONG. Do yourself a favor and stick to that one room you're in. If you have items that should go somewhere else, put them in a box or just start a pile for that room and wait until the room you're making definite progress in is complete before diving on in to the next challenge. No need to put that extra stress on yourself.
4) Divide & Conquer
This kind of takes my schedule breaks advice onto a new level. Spring cleaning does not get done in a day. I don't care who you follow on social media or what amount of space a small box can hold says about their perfect kitchen. It takes time to get good results. I am personally really bad at remembering this, and that is why I need to write it down and stick it on my fridge and bedroom mirror. You're not a failure if you take up to a few weeks to get your home to feel like home to you. It confirms the fact that you're imperfectly human and that's better than any fabulous looking square you can get.
5) Be Mindful
When deciphering whether or not to get rid of or keep something (be it clothes, a gift, wrapping paper) consider these things: how often you've used it or had it out in the last 30 days, the expiration date (p.s. toiletries expire), and is there someone you know who would like this more than you. We tend to go to the extremes and either limit what we get rid of out of fear we'll wish we hadn't or go too far and get rid of half of our house. Be practical, but also be mindful (and if you need to, there is no shame in texting a friend, outside advice is hardly ever a bad idea).
There you have it! Spring cleaning is not limited to dusting the hidden areas and deep cleaning the carpet, it's an opportunity to gut out a lot of areas of your home and get rid of what you just don't need.
Key take aways: think minimalistic and space savers
Learn something new? Be sure to share what helped you or what system you've come up with to help you take care of Spring business a little differently!
p.s. don't forget to celebrate your awesome achievement with a refreshing iced tea or latte and get a fresh bundle of flowers at Trader Joe's or farmer's market for your Spring ready home.
Grab some clear totes for seasonal clothes and other items to easily store under the bed or top shelf in the closet (they're also extremely handy for kitchen cupboard storage and organization)!
Snacks to Power You Through
RX Bar or Favorite Snack Bar
Dark Chocolate Covered Raisins
Juice Box (hero) (Trader Joe's White Grape Juice is amazing, no shame)
Looking for some businesses to follow in the organization + decluttering world? I've got a couple great ones for you:
-Simplified: founder Emily Ley will be starting their annual Ruthless Declutter Challenge on March 11, 2019. She also has incredible freebies and organizational supplies for sale here. Go get organized!
-The Home Edit: I drool every time I see a new project done by this team of fabulous women, Clea and Joanna. Just go to their website and you'll know what I'm talking about. If you're in need of some easy storage ideas and what you'll need along the way, head on over to their site.