Hello BHers! It is now officially spring and you know what that means……it’s time for some spring cleaning. It’s no one’s favorite task but the results are worth it, and hopefully by the end of this step-by-step blog, it won’t seem so daunting.
Step 1: Create an approachable plan.
The most important part of spring cleaning is to create a plan that is possible for you to follow. If you are a naturally messy person, you aren’t going to change after one day of organizing. It takes an attitude adjustment to truly shift your perspective on your new clutter-free life. So break out your notebook, and write down some goals that you would like to accomplish. Start with something small and go from there. Think about strategies to help you maintain your goals over time. If you choose an unreasonable goal, you will get frustrated and give in to old habits right away. Now hang your goals somewhere, and take a deep breath because we are about to get started.
Step 2: Find charities to donate your stuff to.
Do some research and find a charity that you care about. Look for charities that would actually benefit from the things that you are getting rid of. Goodwill is always a good option, but there are millions of other charities that need good, gently used items. If you are getting rid of furniture, look into charities that help families find sustainable homes. If you are getting rid of work clothes, look into charities that help people find jobs. Finding charities that you care about will help inspire you to donate and declutter your home. Remember though, one man’s trash is probably also another man’s trash. If you wouldn’t give what you are donating to a friend or family member, maybe it belongs in the trash.
Step 3: Pick a good playlist.
Getting motivated to start cleaning and organizing can be really hard. Music can help get you pumped up to CLEAN! Create a playlist to listen to while you work, and it will be much more fun. When choosing your tunes, pick songs that will help keep your energy levels high and ones you love to sing and dance to. It should be similar to a workout playlist. Feel free to mix it up, and include several genres so after you hit play, you can focus on the important part: spring cleaning.
Step 4: Start small.
Now that you have your cleaning goal, playlist, and a donation plan, it is time to do the hardest part…starting! So get up and get going. There is no need to tackle the hardest task first, but it is important to actually start because once you do, it can be exciting to keep going. Choose one thing to start with whether it be your dresser, kitchen cupboard or coat closet. Go get whatever storage and cleaning supplies you need. If you are going to go through your closet, go get some containers for off-season pieces and trash bags for things you are going to donate. Try to finish everything in the room you’re working on before you move on to the next one. Remember, this is a marathon not a sprint, so plan which rooms you will tackle on which days so that you aren’t overwhelmed.
Start by pulling everything out of wherever you are organizing and putting it in a pile. When your cupboard or closet is empty, give it a good cleaning. Spaces that are constantly full are often times overlooked when it comes to cleaning. Get all the dust out of the closet or wipe off that spaghetti sauce that dripped down the cupboard door a couple of months ago. Now, slowly start putting things back where they belong. Look at each item and ask yourself if you have touched it in the past year. Do you really need that clubbing dress from your senior year of college or that can of soup you’ve never touched? Definitely not. Go with your gut instinct. If the first thing that pops into your head is to get rid of, then throw it in the discard pile and don’t look back.
Remember, when you are putting your items back in the closet, make sure you are following your organization plan.
Step 5: Use products you already have.
If you are already decluttering your space, you may as well give it a good clean as well. When you are cleaning your space, look to use household products that you already have. This can save you money and be environmentally friendly. Vinegar can be used to clean just about anything. You can use it to clean your mirrors and as an all-purpose cleaner. Just mix ¼ cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water. You can also use it to clean the microwave. Heat a cup of water with a splash of vinegar in the microwave for 3 minutes and the caked on mess should wipe easily away. If your sink or stove top needs a scrub, sprinkle baking soda on the surface and use a wet cloth to scrub. The baking soda acts as a mild abrasive and soaks up grease. Just remember to wipe up any residue left behind. While you are going through your old clothes, find old shirts and socks that you no longer want, and use them as rags. Using these tips will have your home sparkly clean in no time!
Step 6: Break out the label maker.
In order to keep up with your organizational plan, it is important to leave yourself reminders about where things are supposed to go. Create some labels that you can stick to your cupboards, containers or shelves that state what should be kept there. That way, when you are about to shove all of your shelf-stable foods into the cupboard and close the door, you have a little reminder of your goal. This can be especially helpful if you live with other people as they may need some guidance for your vision. These labels can be a fun project. They can be as simple or as decorative as you want. Use a label maker or buy some lamination paper and use tape to hang your signs.
Step 7: Invite your friends over.
Now that your home is all clean and organized, invite your friends and family over to see all that you have accomplished. It will also make sure you stay motivated to keep things clean. They will notice how good the place looks and let you know. All the compliments will make you feel good about yourself and remind you why you started this journey in the first place.
Happy Spring Cleaning!!