It’s getting to be that time of year again – spring, and everyone knows what that means… spring cleaning! As a kid you knew what those words meant: a whole Saturday or Sunday devoted to going through your things, throwing away toys, and deep cleaning your room and your house, and for many, hosting a yard sale. But as an adult, instead of dreading it, you can choose to see it as the perfect chance to organize your home and de-stress your life!
Did you know that studies show that a cluttered desk or home can impact the way you think and act? It can actually make you stressed out and less productive! Every little thing that you know needs to be taken care of at home, like old broken furniture that really needs to be thrown away, or old clothes that don’t fit that you know you need to go through, or maybe you need to finally make room for a special gift you just got, is taking up space in your brain. That is why I think it is so important to take the time to spring clean your home and in turn, be able to “spring clean” your mind.
This month I want to challenge all of you to do a spring cleaning and see how you feel afterwards. I guarantee that you will feel accomplished, proud, happy, and relieved that you did it and got all those forgotten items off of your mind and out of your home. To help you get started, I put together a list of things you can do to maximize your time and efforts when spring cleaning:
- Decide to donate or host a yard sale. If you decide to donate, great, skip to number 2. If you decide to host a yard sale, pick a date ahead of time that you want to host it – I recommend doing it the day after you do your spring cleaning. Make sure whatever doesn’t sell gets thrown away or donated – do not bring it back in the house!
- Pick a day to deep clean and make sure your family knows! By picking a date ahead of time and telling your household members what your plan is, you can make sure they have ample notice to help out and know what to expect. That old saying is true: “many hands make light work” and if you are really going to do a good spring cleaning, you will need all hands on deck! If you live alone, you can always ask for assistance from family and friends or spread your cleaning out over the course of two days. You will also want to follow this rule if you are hosting a yard sale. Make sure people know the dates and times so they can help you!
- Start to declutter. A week before your cleaning date, you want to start going through your items. For example, pick one night to go through all of your clothes and put the ones you want to keep back in the closet and the rest in a no or maybe pile. The next night pick a different area of the house to go through – the kids’ bedroom, the kitchen cabinets, the basement, the office, etc. Each room you go through, make those same two piles – no and maybe. Set a time limit for 1 to 2 hours each night and get through what you can. At the end of the week go through the maybe pile and make a final decision on it – keep or toss. Finally, move all of the no pile to the garage for a yard sale or donate it. Doing a little bit at a time leading up to your spring cleaning day can help make cleaning go faster and gives you time to make decisions about items that you really need to keep versus items you think you need to keep.
- Delegate and bulk tasks. Try to assign tasks to people so things aren’t getting missed or done twice. Bulk tasks based on room or type, maybe one person does all the windows and floors or someone does all the bathrooms or bedrooms. If you are doing it alone I recommend doing it by room and starting from the top of the house and working your way down. Tip: Listen to your favorite upbeat music while you clean – it will make the time go by faster!
- Reward you and your team! Make sure after all the cleaning (and yard sale) is done, to take the time to relax and treat your family to something fun like dinner out or a movie.
At the end of your spring cleaning, you should be left with less material items, a cleaner house, and a less stressed out mind. Think of how nice it will feel to finally get those little to-do items crossed off your mental checklist! Pay attention to how you feel when you come home from work and what your stress level is. I bet you will feel more calm and relaxed than you did before spring cleaning! So, give the challenge a try and let me know how you feel afterwards in the comments below!
Happy Spring Cleaning!