Spring cleaning is a great idea that can happen only if you commit to a little bit of work and a fair amount of elbow grease.
How do you go enthusiastically from “that’s a great idea; I should do that” to actually starting your spring cleaning? It consists of a few simple stepping stones.
I love this quote by Leo Tolstoy: “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
Despite the quick and unrealistic promise from some professional organizers that you can organize and clean your home in one day, that is misleading, especially if you have a job, family and pets. Start with decluttering things you don’t use, like or need. I’ve always loved this saying: “Out with old, in with new.”
No, the new doesn’t mean shopping, at least not yet.
Why spring cleaning is important
Winter has finally wilted away and spring air and colours are in bloom. While your yard might look uplifting, the inside of your home may still be dark and filled with lethargic energy. When your home is closed off to fresh air through a long wintertime, dust settles, the air becomes heavy and your respiratory health suffers.
Established spring cleaning improves the air quality of your home and makes you feel energetic and happy. Also, in the wintertime, we tend to accumulate more stuff we don’t need, making our home cluttered and unmanageable, negatively affecting our emotional health and physical well-being.
Where do you start?
Choose a room that needs organizing and cleaning. Prioritize by selecting a space that is not functional and brings you stress and frustration every time you enter into it. Focus on what the purpose of that space is and appreciate the progress of your hard work.
Avoid details at this time as they will only slow down the process. Keep this mantra in mind: aim for progress, not perfection.
Create a master list
Create a complete list of the chores that can be done in one week. Also, list the cleaning supplies and help you might need. Cleaning supplies can be vinegar, baking soda, salt, lemon and dishwashing soap. Avoid commercial and chemical-laden cleaners as they negatively affect you and your family’s health.
For all-natural and safe cleaners check out oldcountryclean.com.
Schedule spring home cleaning
Spring cleaning or any other task that is important to you will never be completed unless you schedule the date and time. Be specific about how much of your time you can devote to a task or to your spring cleaning. Let’s say 9 to 10 am if you’re a morning person, or 4 to 5 pm if you’re not. If possible, choose the same time to form a healthy habit.
Select chores you don’t like
If you’re determined to accomplish these with your spring cleaning incentive, not only will they get done, but you’ll be relieved of the guilt from neglecting the chore. These feared, procrastinated chores could be deep cleaning the shower, cleaning the windows, or finally getting that oven clean. Choose your own adventure and be proud of yourself when you get to the finish line.
When you’re doing mundane chores such as cleaning, multitasking is a great way to achieve fast results. While waiting for the washing machine’s final cycles to finish, do something else that doesn’t require a lot of time. This is a great opportunity to clean a window or two, wipe a couple of shelves or erase a few emails you don’t need.
Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in Powell River and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to solutionsorganizing.com.