Spring Cleaning Strategies
Updated: Apr 18, 2018
Ah Spring Cleaning! There is always an excitement about Spring Cleaning that starts in the late winter and very early spring. We look at window sills that need to be cleaned of pollen, blinds, fans blades — things done sporadically around the house throughout the year — but something about Spring gives those tasks a new purpose. This is also the time of year to re-evaluate clothes that have been outgrown and oh, those curtains look a little dusty by the light of a spring day and oh, so much more! So much to do! Such a beautiful time of renewal and cleaning out and…STRESS! Hold the phone ya’ll! How overwhelming is this whole spring cleanout for you? Well, I feel you because, despite my profession, I used to look around and feel the same way. Here are some Spring Cleaning Tips to make the things a little easier and hopefully alleviate some stress.
Get some help! I admit there were a couple of years, when my children were young, that I hired someone to help me! We worked in tandem doing the ‘regular’ house cleaning and deep ‘spring cleaning’ all at the same time with me decluttering as they cleaned. Since having a cleaning service wasn’t part of our regular budget, I made a Spring Cleaning Envelope where I put a little away each month a few months ahead. Saving this way meant no impact on the budget. And what a gift to me!
Break your cleaning into three different blocks.
Day 1. Start with deep house cleaning one day and then make two lists of spring cleaning jobs to spread out over two days.
Day 2. Vacuuming or laundering curtains in the morning. Cleaning windows/window sills/blinds while curtains wash and dry, and then finishing the day with clean windows and hanging dust free curtains.
Day 3 The house is clean, windows are taken care of so move into the closets and purge through everything needing to be cleaned out and any clothes that no longer fit family members. Systematically moving closet to closet and drawer by drawer gives a rhythm and helps keep to the task at hand.
If there isn’t a block of days to set aside time then make a list of jobs and commit to giving an hour a day, or whatever is realistic for you, to do those tasks one at a time until you have completed the list. Check things off the list so you can see the progress.
This time of year is loaded with coupons and deals! Groupon, and mass coupon mailers have coupons for window cleaning, power washing and house cleaning services – that’s where that Spring Cleaning Envelope comes in handy too!
I have two methods to offer for this – both have served my clients well, and it’s really what speaks to you!
Clean the house and put everything away first! Running around from room to room and going through things sitting around as you go may send some of you spinning. Cleaning up first helps many people avoid being overwhelmed by the room where they need to pull out the contents of drawers and closets. When you have a tidy space, then methodically go through drawers, the closet or shelves — and have your donation bag at the ready!
Clean-n-Declutter as you go! Some of my clients stand poised at the door of room with a donation bag in one hand, vacuum and dust rag in the other. With this approach you put donation items in a bag as you go and clean as the space clears up. For those of you who like to spring clean room by room, this may be the way to go.
Make a date on your calendar to take your donation items! Do not let them sit around and gather dust! Making a donation run finishes the job and finally releases the home of unwanted items. Visit my Reference List for places near you in the Triangle Area and Wilmington that accept donations.
IT'S A FAMILY THING
Spring Cleaning aside for a moment — keeping up with a home as a Family Team is part of tending to the business of running a family! I tell my kids this all the time and have for years! As soon as children are old enough, involve them in helping the Family Team.
Teach your children small things, like getting their own clothes out of the laundry basket and taking them to their rooms. Putting them away is another step — clothes may not look pretty in the drawers when they start, but that comes in time.
Give your children a bag and ask them to declutter their own room! Break the room into small projects, such as decluttering a bookshelf, then one drawer, then the closet floor, etc. You would be amazed what kids will let go of when we take off pressure, step back and let them take the reins.
Make a job chart of regular tasks and involve everyone in the upkeep. This does not need to be a grand house cleaning manifesto! Start with a handful of jobs that everyone can do: vacuum your own room, take dirty clothes to the laundry room daily, help unload the dishwasher and sweep the kitchen. These jobs make take time to master, but involving children sends a message that we ALL help run a home.
After you have finished your Spring Cleaning, sit back and reflect on what worked for you and what you would change. File this away for future use as you put your feet up and enjoy a clean and decluttered space! Please feel free to share your favorite Spring Cleaning Strategy – we’d love to hear from you!
Heather Shore is a professional organizer based in Cary North Carolina. She brings peace of mind to her clients one room at a time, with budget-friendly decluttering, no judgment, and a friendly disposition. Peace of Mind Decluttering services the Raleigh and Cary areas, with appointments for clients available in Wilmington for an additional fee.