Spring cleaning used to be a bigger concept but now runs pretty much all year round. Not so exciting, right? Yet some of us still feel that nostalgia for it and want the fresh, decluttered, accomplished feelings that spring cleaning brings with it. Whether you love it or dread it though, spring cleaning is most likely on your mind right about now, so let’s get excited!
You can simply Google “spring cleaning checklist printable” and tackle everything on the lists that someone else has made for you, or you can build something customized to your goals on your own. Either way, you’ll need to grab your pen and paper or favorite device and put together a master plan. Decide what you’ll do this year to make a dent in your deep cleaning needs but keep the projects to things that will also make you full of joy once they’re completed.
After that, you’ll need to chunk that plan down into lists of exactly what you’ll do for each space. Lists are exciting, so embrace them. Ticking off each chore after you’ve completed it allows you to see real progress and stay motivated, so keep each chore small and actionable too. Something you can do in a short amount of time if possible because then you can tick something off every day or check off several if you’re on a cleaning spree.
Make a list of everything you’ll need and get to the store before you start. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of a cleaning session and realize you’ve run out of something or need a new feather duster. Also, really think about the equipment you already have on hand and whether it’s just right for the tasks ahead. Who doesn’t love a new, cool cleaning thingy?
For instance, look at your broom. Has it served you well? Perhaps you want a new broom or a better dust pan with a rubber edge that minimizes the dust line leftover. So go ahead and splurge on what you need in the color you like best. Possibly you’ll need a second broom since your indoor broom has finer bristles for crumbs and dirt, but this year you’ll need a stiffer bristled broom for the garage floor or patio. Likewise, if your broom is completely out of shape, you might want a new one. In that case you’ll also want to install hardware that stores your broom with the handle down to protect the bristles from becoming misshapen.
Now’s the time to put together a plan for life to keep things decluttered, clean, and organized for the whole family all year round – like a New Year’s Resolution (that you’ll actually keep). Talk to everyone about your need for a cleaner home and work something out. New chore charts, family clean-ups, cleaning racing games, and rewards might be something fun and exciting and helpful to implement now.
Hit the thrift store, grandma’s house, or your garage and grab some cool, small lidded totes, candy dishes, or vintage boxes that serve as new wave junk drawers. You can use these around your home to quickly toss in tiny toys, puzzle pieces, hair ties, paper clips, lost coins, coupons and more. Whatever ends up junking up every surface that might actually belong in a box that’s hard to get to quickly, the toy box upstairs, your kitchen drawer, the master bathroom across the house, etc. These will serve you all year round as you use them to collect those tiny, annoying tidbits that can’t be tossed out, don’t belong in that room, but take time to put away. The lost and found boxes look like great little pieces of decor and hold these little items until you have time to put them away. Now that’s exciting!
Buy a $12 basket at Target, a $30 basket at World Market, or use a $7 laundry basket – whatever suits you. Again, this will be a trick you start for spring cleaning, but you can use all year. Your choice is to place one or several in a convenient location like the front door area or under the coffee table. It could remain in the shoe closet all year and/or be carried by you throughout the house as you sweep each room for clutter that belongs elsewhere. Some families use a box, basket, or bin in one central location for each family member, like the counter or the stairs. The point is that clutter goes into that bin and is later carried to the right room by someone in the house. Getting people to pick up their own stuff? Exciting.
Maybe not while you’re doing it, but the effects afterward are delicious. Clean, and organized, your rooms look fresh and lighter after a good declutter. Think of the possibilities! Clutter can affect our emotions, so even the most creative and genius people (you know, supposedly they have the messiest homes) need a good decluttering session a couple times per year.
Use your spring cleaning sessions to declutter things you haven’t used in two years, to thin your wardrobe, to move things to the garage for a yard sale, and to bag up for donations. Don’t overthink it! But if you are indeed an overthinker, you can place items in storage and if you haven’t touched them or thought about them for 6-12 months, then out they go without a second thought. Don’t even go through the bins or boxes, just take them to a local donation center. We promise, you’ll be excited to be free and clear of all this stuff!
And finally, our last bit of advice is to get excited about invisible things too. Clean out from under and behind curtains, rugs, furniture and appliances. Move your kitchen appliances a wee bit to get behind and under them, check the tracks on windows and sliding doors, get the cobwebs off the wall behind the curio cabinets, and get the grout clean behind the toilet. Maybe no one will see what’s under there or how clean it is after you’re done, but you’ll know…and that’s super exciting.