Just a couple more days now and spring will be here! So not to dampen your mood, but I need to interrupt your musings about bright skies, warm breezes, fresh scents, and birdsong, for just a moment. I feel it’s my responsibility to encourage you to do some spring cleaning and share with you some tips to make it quick and painless. Is that okay? In fact, I think these tips should be able to motivate the majority of you to get maybe even get excited about spring cleaning!
Alright, roll your sleeves up just to read this. I mean business here. We gotta get this done! There are a million spring cleaning checklists and tips lists at your fingertips on Google, so I’m not going to get fussy about how to go about cleaning. I’m going to focus on motivating you to get it done.
First thing is you have to want to do this. Your living space, whether it’s an apartment, townhouse, or family home, has to be screaming out: I need a hug! If this is the case, second thing is to categorize your living space. If you’re a borderline hoarder there will be considerable work and planning to do prior to implementing this plan, which I will address at the end of this post. If your home is cleaned regularly, but could use a thorough cleaning, organizing and freshening after a long winter, this is the plan for you.
Please follow these 12 steps, and let me know if I’ve given you a kickstart!
- Choose a one-hour time one day or evening within the next week. You’ll need some peace and quiet and your calendar and computer or a sheet of paper and a pencil.
- During your one hour, get out your calendar and pick 2 full days sometime within the next month to devote to spring cleaning and yourself.
- Make a list of rooms you want to clean.
- Get up with a piece of paper and walk through each room. Take very brief notes on up to 3 things that need to be done in each room. E.G. Living Room: clean, remove old books from the shelf, get curtains cleaned.
- Reviewing the full list – highlight those things that are not basic cleaning and categorize. E.G. Items from living room and laundry to take to thrift store. Couch in basement goes to 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. You should have 2 lists in one now.
- Next, identify resources needed to take care of the highlighted items. E.G. Take used clothing to my sister; Call for junk removal or borrow truck to go to second hand store. Schedule these arrangements into your day over the next few weeks. It should take no longer than a couple of minutes for each task.
- As your hour comes to a close, imagine something you could do for yourself the following day when your house is like new again. It may be nice to just “be” in your space watching movies or reading in a pristinely clean house. Or you could go on an all-day outing, with the knowledge that nothing awaits your attention when you return home. Plan something fun during this time.
- Now go get a jar or a box and set it on the kitchen counter. Each day between now and spring cleaning, put your spare change in the box. This will be your play money for the day after cleaning!
- As your day nears, pray for sun! Sunshine is very important because it makes us feel good. Believe it or not, cleaning inside on a sunny day is more motivating than working inside on a rainy day. In the absence of sun…blast the tunes and get rockin’! You may choose to do both!
- Also as your day nears, keep up on your tidiness, which will help with organizing on the big day.
- On cleaning day, set a goal for a finish time that includes disposing of items that are leaving the house (or at least having them outside and out of the way), and slot each room into a time period on paper. Carry your cleaning supplies with you. Anything that needs to be taken out of the house, must be put “outside” to minimize the risk of it being ignored. Remember, to have the music on and the curtains and windows open (if possible) to let the sunshine in.
- With each room, start by tidying, removing anything for disposal or storage into a box to be taken outside immediately. Then start cleaning.
If your home requires a great deal of work, with excessive amounts of organizing, there are many options for you. One is to invite close family and friends to help you, in exchange for a dinner out, or a spring clean at their home! Another thought is to hire an organizer to help manage the piles. For just about everyone, professional junk removal can be a magical helper as well!
Tania Venn is Director, PR for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. Her other responsibilities include leading the PR team for WOW 1Day! Painting and You Move Me. In her spare time Tania enjoys the outdoors, hiking in summer and skiing and snowshoeing in winter. Tania can be found on Google+ and LinkedIn.