Tackling the Dreaded Spring Cleaning
The spring is upon us! Halleluiah! Let the sun shine, cherry blossoms bloom and your energy soar! Welcome back spring. We missed you!
Now I’m sure you’ve been busy at work since January 1st conquering your resolutions, right? You’ve shed those 10 pounds, found the love of your life and removed any sign of clutter? Really? Good for you! If not, join the club. Millions of us have forgotten what our resolutions even were, (I think mine was to eat less sugar, oops.) But it’s never too late to get started. The spring is indeed a time of rebirth and revitalization and what could be better motivation than a little sunshine, warm weather and those two magical words, Spring Cleaning?The best way to approach spring cleaning in my opinion is head on and with an organized plan of attack. So let’s get started.
1. Come to the realization that spring cleaning is no small task. It takes time, discipline, commitment and some true grit to get through it.
2. Pick a day, a weekend or even a week. Set a realistic time frame. You don’t want to lose momentum so I suggest scheduling a few days close together.
3. Enlist help from family or friends. Ideally all those living in the home should participate. Not only will it help get the job done faster, the home is more likely to remain in order.Now that you’ve committed to spring cleaning, determined the time table and enlisted some help it’s time to prepare for the big event. As you know, before anything else, preparation is the key to success!
4. Determine which rooms need to be cleared out. The first step in the spring cleaning process is to DE-CLUTTER! Out with the old, and eventually once you are settled and aware of what you need, in with the new, more efficient things.
5. Map out your course. Where will you start? The kitchen? The kid’s bedroom? The garage? Which room bothers you the most or accumulates the most clutter? Remember, getting organized is a process and you have to make a mess before you can get it in order. So make sure you won’t need access to that space right away.
6. Place a call to the Good Will & trash removal facilities for a large pick-up. The sooner you remove these items from the home the better off you will be.
Great job! You determined which rooms need to be de-cluttered, you created a realistic plan of attack and you set the wheels in motion to get the clutter out of the house. So what’s next? Why, the actual cleansing of course!7. Go to the first room in the home. Open the blinds for light and the window for some fresh air. It’s gonna get hot in here! Start by placing like items together. It is extremely helpful to see everything you own placed in similar groups. Knowing you own eight wooden spoons, 3 broken vacuum cleaners and 47 cookbooks may help you part with a few.
8. Think about the purpose of each room. Whatever item does not help serve that purpose should be removed.
9. Declare different sections of the room for Keep, Donate, Sell and Trash piles. Place the items in a box or bag for easy removal.
10. Now start sorting. Ask yourself, “Is it functional?” “What purpose does it serve?” “Have I used it in the last six months?” “What is the risk if I give away this item?” “Could someone else benefit from having this more than me?” Remember, the more you remove the more room you have to enjoy your favorite things.
11. Once a trash or donation bag is full remove it from the room. Place all trash outside and put all donations in your car to go to charity. The more present the piles, the more likely you are to get it out of your life for good!
You’re almost there! You’ve placed like items together, you narrowed down what should stay and you removed the trash. Wow! Take a deep breath. The hard work is going to pay off soon!
12. Now survey the room. What is left? Are you happy with the remaining items in the room?
13. If so, find everything a home. If you’re in the closet make sure the hats have somewhere to go. If you’re in the home office, make sure your paperwork is filed away. The idea here is EVERYTHING has a permanent and easily accessible place to call home.
14. Make sure you can see everything you own! I recommend using clear storage containers and placing only like items in baskets. You should never again have to wonder what is in that chest or drawer!Congratulations! You did it! Your room is free from clutter, like items are grouped together and everything has been put into its logical place. Now all you need are a few guidelines for your family to follow and you’ll be on your way! Only two things now remain.
15. Reflect for a moment in the new space. How do you feel? Calm? Relaxed? 10 pounds lighter? Organization is the first step in gaining control of your life. You can do it!
16. Celebrate your accomplishments! Host a long overdue housewarming party, or give your child their first birthday party at home or simply cook a big meal for your family in the newly organized and pristine kitchen. You deserve it!
Patricia G. Masi is a newly married native Washingtonian and an anti-clutter expert. As owner and president of Pristine Living, Patricia can usually be found creating efficient spaces throughout the DC metropolitan area or writing articles alongside her 6-month-old lab Ryder. If you would like to connect with Patricia, please visit her website at www.PristineLivingbyPatricia.com or follow her weekly blogs at www.OrganizeDCMDVA.com.