Spring is in the air! Do you feel it? As we speed into March, these mini bouts of warmer weather get me excited about reorganizing and cleaning my own house. The sun is finally lingering a bit longer in the bright blue spaces between the clouds. I don’t know about the rest of you, but towards the tail end of winter I tend to lose my mojo. Cloudy days, mud and ice start to strip my motivation, especially for mundane tasks like laundry and cleaning the house. This means that by the time March rolls around, there’s a lot to do to get this place spiffed up and back to my standards. This little period of spring-like weather is just what I need to get my home and attitude back into shape for the next season. Here is how I intend on springing into action at home this month!
We often underestimate the planning phase of any household project, but I have found that coming up with a very simple plan of attack before getting started can prevent anxiety and save hours of wasted time. Planning will help to break apart larger tasks into more manageable pieces, ensure that all needed supplies are on hand and give you a visual map to track your accomplishments. Some things to ask yourself include:
Once you have answers to these key questions, map everything out on a sheet of paper and hang it in a visible spot on the fridge or family communication board.
The dust bunnies must give up their stronghold before we can even think about organizing, so the first plan of action is to deep clean everything. Implement this 6-step process to zip through a deep clean of each room with ease:
Certain rooms might require unique steps, such as scrubbing the bathtub, but the ceiling-to-floor process described above should help you to identify and conquer everything within each space.
Once the cleaning is done, there will be more surface area available for sorting, categorizing and organizing the storage spaces in each room. These include closets, drawers, cabinets and even the refrigerator. One by one pull everything out of each space and evaluate the contents for obvious trash and donations. Pile the remaining items into categories based on what they are and what purpose they serve. Wipe down the inside of the cleared space, and if your current system works, put everything back where it came from.
If the current system isn’t working, come up with a new system by evaluating the activities that occur in each room and storing needed items in close proximity. For example, in the kitchen, coffee mugs, condiments and grinds should ideally be stored together, as close to the coffee maker as possible. I address spaces like closets, the pantry and the dreaded junk drawer (yes, I have one too) on their own schedule throughout the year, so won’t necessarily touch them when I spring clean. You might want to implement a similar schedule to prevent your spring-cleaning process for becoming too cumbersome.
Remember that plastic bin? Now is the time to sort through and determine homes for its’ contents. With the rest of your home clean and organized, it may be easier to see the potential in those temporarily stowed items. If not, out they go! If you decorate for St. Patrick’s Day or Easter, this is a great time to pull out and display those decorations. I also use this time to switch out the wreath on my front door, pull out a few pieces of patio furniture and crack open the windows to bring in that fresh spring air.
Regardless of your talent or appetite for organizing, just remember that with a little elbow grease, and maybe some help from the family, you ARE capable of spring cleaning and organizing your home. By following the process in bite sized chunks (maybe one room a week for instance) and celebrating your accomplishments along the way, you might just find yourself standing in a clean, clear and spring-ready home in no time. Good luck with your own spring-cleaning adventures!