The snow has melted, the winter coats have been put away, birds are chirping, and the sun is shining–it’s time for that annual spring ritual of cleaning your home.
It’s also the perfect time to get organized and declutter your home and workspace, and at the same time, improve your health and well-being. That piled-up clutter can impact your mind and body as well as mess with any plans to have guests over! You will be able to sleep better and gain mental clarity. The added bonus is the satisfaction of donating unused items to a charity so others can benefit.
It can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Not everyone is a fan– but here are some tips to ease you into taking it on, and get you out enjoying the warm spring air in no time!
- Follow a plan:
Work from the top down, inside to outside.
Pace yourself. Do one room at a time. Or just part of a room, like a closet, or drawer. Set aside a few hours each day to tackle the cleaning jobs, leaving some time to put your feet up, enjoy some spring sunshine and relax.
Multi-task, have laundry going while sweeping the floor for example.
Do the easy stuff first, take out the garbage and recycling, gather up the laundry, etc.
- Get the right tools:
Invest in good rubber gloves to deal with the dirty stuff.
Gather up the cleaning tools, dusters and cloths, and garbage bags, you will need. Use a decent mop with a squeeze mechanism for wringing it out plus a heavy-duty pail with a measuring scale.
Use washable, reusable microfiber cloths instead of paper towels.
A high-quality HEPA vacuum is one of the best cleaning products you can arm yourself with. It will remove dirt and dust, allergens and impurities in the air. Make sure you put all those attachments to use getting all the dust bunnies out from under furniture, cobwebs and get into all the corners.
There are even apps you can download for your phone that help you organize and set up tasks and create checklists. For iPhone there is “Cleaning Checklist”, and “Spotless”. The Android choices are “FlyHelper” and “Spring Cleaning Checklist”.
- Don’t do it alone
If you know someone that is willing to help it will make the job more fun and any decisions easier to make with an arbitrary opinion.
Enlist the help of your partner for all the heavy stuff. Spring cleaning can include a lot of reaching and lifting and be quite exhausting.
- End the clutter!
Begin each room, by doing a quick sweep, collecting items that need to be sorted or put away into a bin, to be dealt with later.
Going through piles and piles of stuff, making decisions on what to keep and what to toss, and dealing with memorabilia can be difficult and emotional. Sometimes there are things we just want to hang on to, even if we don’t have the storage space for it. My brother-in-law is a good example of this. He has 75% of his home’s basement filled from floor to ceiling, with boxes filled with memorabilia, from old cameras to worn-out hockey skates. His wife is not too enthusiastic. She is always apologetic to their children since they will one day deal with it. Ease the guilt of getting rid of stuff by donating to a charity like the Canadian Diabetes Association.
When you’re done, make sure there is a place for everything so that clutter doesn’t build again. Add shelves, and hooks for hats, gloves, and bags. A disorganized home can increase your stress level.
- Hire a professional
for things like carpet and upholstery cleaning, and window cleaning if you have hard to reach ones.