With spring right around the corner, you might be feeling some familiar urges to clean, declutter, and get organized.
It almost feels like this natural momentum to get these projects done is spring’s gift to us – a little extra fuel to do tasks that we don’t normally want to do.
But even with the extra motivation we might be feeling, it can still be challenging to follow through. After all, just because it’s spring, everyday life doesn’t slow down. Maybe you’re balancing work and family, maybe kids extracurricular activities keep you hopping, or maybe you even just feel a little too overwhelmed to know where to start.
As a professional organizer, productivity expert and life coach, I would like to boil this down into an actionable plan.
Want to de-junk from the winter?
Want to feel ready to enjoy a new season?
Want to do more than just think about it? See some real progress in your home?
Then I’m your girl. Here are 3 simple steps to help you harness that spring cleaning energy and get. it. done.
As my experience with clients grow, I suspect that we have less of a problem with organization and more of a problem with just having too much stuff. Systems and containers are great, but if you have more stuff than you can manage or fit, the solution really is to cut down on the amount of things you have.
Come springtime, there are certain areas that are begging for attention:
– The pantry (full of leftover holiday food)
– The coat closet…the sad bystander of winter gear not being properly put away.
– Lockers/mudroom. A lot of use means it’s always a good candidate for decluttering.
– Clothes closets and drawers. Because we are always outgrowing and wearing things out.
– The garage. It takes a beating during those winter months.
How to do it? Equip yourself with a few garbage bags – one for actual clutter, and the other for items you are ready to donate. Nothing feels better in the spring than hauling out garbage bags full of old stuff!
Remember, we aren’t necessarily talking about a full organizing project here. Sometimes just getting rid of the excess is just what was needed.
Maybe you’re like me, and not the biggest fan of cleaning. Don’t get me wrong – I like things to be clean, I just don’t really want to the be the person doing it. Consequently, my weekly cleaning routine is the bare minimum of what needs to be done. Every so often, I know I need to clean a little deeper, and spring seems to provide that extra bit of motivation.
Do you need to clean the house from top to bottom to qualify as spring cleaning? Absolutely not! In fact, this is where most of my clients go wrong. They assume spring cleaning means a thorough cleaning of everything…and no one really has time for that.
The solution? Pick ONE thing you don’t do on a regular basis, and call it spring cleaning. When you’re done, don’t feel guilty that you didn’t do more, and don’t force yourself to keep going. Just give yourself a big high five because you did some deep cleaning you don’t usually do!
Here are some cleaning project I have tackled in past springs:
– Windows…both sides. Clean the tracks and hose off the screens if you have them.
– Light fixtures
– Clean the shower (this is honestly my least favorite cleaning task!)
– The oven (my other least favorite task!)
– Baseboards, doors, cabinets – they all could use a wipe down.
– The couch. Brace yourself…you’re going to find some nasty stuff in those cushions. Extra credit…move the couch and vacuum underneath.
– Carpet cleaning. This one is my favorite because I hire it out.
On that last note, there is no reason that you can’t hire someone to come and do spring cleaning for you. If your circumstances allow it, this is a great option.
Transition something…as in, move the winter stuff out and welcome in the spring/summer gear. Key organizing concept here is prime real estate. Think of your most convenient drawers, shelves, closets and cupboards as prime real estate – the storage areas that are the easiest to get to should hold the most relevant items. In the fall it’s time to put away the flip flops, swim bags, beach towels and lawn chairs to make room for snow boots, gloves, sleds and snow shovels. Spring is the time to reverse this process.
Designating a time to transition one of these areas to the new season will save you a lot of time and hassle in the coming months. Set yourself up for success this summer by making the right gear accessible.
Popular zones to transition:
– Coat closet
– Bedroom closet/drawers
– Mudroom/Locker area
One Last Piece of Advice...
Done is better than perfect.
Please beware of that voice in your head that says that your decluttering isn’t good enough because you didn’t get it ALL done.
Or your cleaning didn’t make enough of a difference because there is so much more that you could still do.
Or that transitioning only one area is insufficient.
Please. That is an old voice rooted in perfectionism, and it is totally out of touch with reality.
Instead, create three actionable tasks in each of these categories, and then go enjoy the sunshine with friends and family.
That’s what spring is really about.