When the temperature begins to rise and the clocks spring ahead, it becomes time to say goodbye to those winter blues!
One way to say hello to spring is to open the windows, let in the fresh air, and get your living space decluttered and re-organized. Although spring cleaning should be an annual ritual, many of us see it as a daunting task. But if you ignore it altogether, it could have an adverse effect on your physical and mental health.
The thought of spring cleaning can be scary, especially if you think of it as a one-day job. Even trying to get all your spring cleaning done over an entire weekend can bring feelings of angst. But psychologists say that spring cleaning can also help you manage stress.
Here’s how you can tackle spring cleaning one task at a time and declutter your life.
Create Your To-Do List for Spring Cleaning
To alleviate the anxiety of spring cleaning and get over the “clutter-depression-anxiety” cycle, you should start with a to-do list. It should include a plan of attack: get your organizing ideas on paper in the form of a daily checklist.
Make a list of the rooms you need to tackle. When you finish a task, check it off and continue to the next. If you set it up as a task-by-task checklist, it’ll help determine if it’s a one-day or 30-day job.
If You Need Help, Get Help
Your clutter may really be out of control, or you just need some help getting your spring cleaning done. If that’s the case, there are several things few things you can do.
First, you can ask family and friends if they can lend a hand. If family or friends aren’t around or you feel uncomfortable asking them, you can look to hire a cleaning service.
The 4-Pile Decluttering Method Makes Spring Cleaning Simpler
If it’s been a long winter, or a long time since your last cleaning, you may have lots of clutter. You may have collected a bunch of unwanted stuff, or maybe you just stopped putting things back where they belong. Spring cleaning gives you a terrific opportunity to declutter these messes and take control of your home.
When you clean your home, don’t just shove everything into the nearest closet (your closets need cleaning, too!). Instead, take the four-pile decluttering method: create separate piles for things you will keep, sell, donate, and trash.
Ignore your inner hoarder: If it’s your parents’ wedding album, it should go in the keep pile. If it’s a torn, soiled t-shirt your parents bought at Disneyland for you as a kid, it should not. Try to limit it to family heirlooms, seasonal items, clothing, books, collectables, and other cherished items.
One person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Make some money with your old baseball cards, vinyl records, video game systems, vintage clothing, or housewares. Sell them at a garage sale or on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist, or bring them to a consignment shop.
There are several local and national charities that accept donations of clothing, shoes, furniture, toys, and household items. Some charities, including Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Vietnam Veterans of America, will let you arrange a pickup. Donations to tax-exempt organizations are tax deductible.
Let it go! If you don’t have a lot to get rid of, it can probably go out with your regular trash. If you are throwing an extraordinary amount of garbage out, then make a dump run. Also, a dumpster rental does not need to be expensive: refuse service companies offer less-expensive dumpster bags.
Find the Right Indoor Storage Solutions
Now that you know what you’re going to keep or sell, where are you going to store it? This would be a great time to get better organized with the right storage solutions.
From bins to crates, there are several types of storage solutions available to help you get yourself organized. Here are some helpful home storage solutions, and where in your home you may be able to use them:
Under-Bed Storage: If you have cramped quarters, then you may want to utilize the space under your bed as a storage space. Under-bed storage boxes can be used to store shoes, linens, out-of-season clothing, photo albums, and more.
Drawer Organizers: Desks, work benches, dressers, and junk drawers can easily become unruly and out of hand. You can use drawer organizers to store kitchen utensils, office supplies, nuts and bolts, makeup and accessories, jewelry, batteries, loose change, and more.
Plastic Storage Totes: These bins come in a variety of sizes and come with either attached or detached lids. You can use plastic storage totes to store just about anything: holiday décor, grandma’s china, tools, toys, clothing, and more.
Stackable Storage Bins and Containers: These are designed to attach vertically so you can keep like items together. These bins are great for storing small tools and hardware, batteries, office supplies, spare parts, and more. They can be neatly stored on desks, countertops, or shelves.
File Boxes: Even in the digital age, there is paperwork you may need to keep: tax returns, mortgage documents, deeds, warranties, instruction manuals, and so on. File boxes are an excellent, compact alternative to big, bulky file cabinets.
Deck Boxes: You may think of a deck box as an outdoor storage unit. However, the roomy, convenient Spacemaker Deck Box can also transform a living room, den, or bedroom in just minutes. In addition to indoor storage, a sturdy deck box can be used as extra seating in the family room or playroom. A deck box is practical for storing seasonal clothing and décor, blankets, pillows, children’s toys, and more.
Get Reliable Outdoor Storage
If you don’t have room to store everything you’re keeping or selling, then you should get an outdoor storage shed. Keeping bulk storage in a metal or fabric storage shed helps you keep control of clutter inside your home.
An affordable and attractive storage shed is portable, adds to your backyard aesthetic, and comes in a variety of sizes. Though they are portable, storage sheds should be anchored, and can be secured to many different types of surfaces. You can also add a floor or a shelving kit to a metal storage shed and make organization even easier.
Spacemaker Patio Storage Shed
- Galvanized steel body and roof
- Designed to be used on a deck or a patio
- Pent roof keeps water from pooling or collecting
EZEE Shed Steel Storage Shed
- Galvanized steel body and roof
- Snap-IT Quick Assembly system for fast setup
- Wide pad-lockable doors offer security and easy access
Freshen and Sanitize Your Home
We’ve discussed decluttering and storage solutions. However, your spring cleaning is not complete until you get rid of all the dust, dirt, and germs.
We placed the section about freshening and sanitizing your home at the end of the post. However, you may want to do some of the dirty work as you go. For example, if you plan to use under-bed storage, you’d want to vacuum under the bed first.
We recommend you have the following supplies on hand when you clean and sanitize your home:
Trash bags: Even if you don’t have a lot of garbage to get rid of, you may have a lot of donations. Contractor bags are excellent, but tall kitchen size bags are good enough and make it easier for you to transport. Don’t forget clear recycling bags for paper products, cardboard, plastic, and other reusable items that you’re discarding.
Gloves: Latex, vinyl, rubber, or plastic gloves not only keep your hands clean; they protect your skin from harsh chemicals. They will also help you prevent nasty skin infections. Also, gloves will provide you with a better grip so you can get your spring cleaning done quicker.
Wand duster, broom, and dustpan: This is a great time to dust those trinkets! A wand duster lets you reach high places like ceilings and walls but is gentle enough for dusting collectables. Let the dust fall to the floor, and then use a broom and dustpan to sweep it up. A broom may be better than a vacuum for cleaning corners and picking up bulkier messes.
Vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter: Why a HEPA filter? A HEPA filter can trap many very small particles that other vacuums would recirculate back into your home. Also, they are recommended for minimizing dust, dander, and other allergens.
Cleaning spray and disposable wipes or paper towels: Cleaning wipes seem like a simple solution. However, the surface you wipe must remain wet for up to 10 minutes to disinfect the surface. Using a cleaning solution and paper towels allows you to clean without the worry of whether you killed germs.
Steam cleaner: A steam cleaner does a lot more than brighten up dingy carpets and upholstery. The heat from a steam cleaner should kill bacteria and eliminate allergens. Also, you don’t use chemicals in a steam cleaner, so they are safe for the environment. Steam cleaners can also be used to clean hard surfaces such as wood floors, tile, counters, faucets, ovens, and more.
Clean from Top to Bottom, Left to Right
Don’t dash from place to place! Cleaning a room is like reading a page in a book: you go from top to bottom, left to right. This ensures you’ve cleaned the entire room, and not just parts.
Additionally, if you clean this way, then dust and debris will make its way to the floor. It can then simply be swept or vacuumed.
In each room, you should with the ceilings and ceiling fans, and then move on to counter tops and tables. From there, clean your furniture, and then your floors and carpets.
Don’t Panic! Spring Cleaning Takes Time!
Early spring is the time for renewal, and spring cleaning is an excellent symbol for that. As you spring clean, you’re not just wiping away dirt and clearing out junk, you’re cleaning your spirits!
However, spring cleaning is not an easy chore. In some cases, it can be a physical grind or an emotional task. So, don’t panic and make spring cleaning a one-day-or-bust event. Take your time and make sure you’re keeping, trashing, donating, or selling what you own for the right reasons.
Also, don’t feel you need to go it alone. Remember, there are people – whether they are family, friends, or strangers – who can help you do the dirty work!