Spring Cleaning and Decluttering Tips

Spring Cleaning and Decluttering Tips

In my research for today’s blog, it is believed that spring cleaning began when our homes were heated with coal and wood during the winter. After a long winter, the soot, coal dust, and ash would build up, making the rooms dingy.  So, when the days would become warmer, opening the windows and doors to clean every room from ceiling to floor was quite common. Spring cleaning in today’s world is not much different, we still go through our home room by room and do a deep clean and declutter, and this period usually runs from the first of March through April.

Studies have shown that a messy and cluttered environment can cause stress, but cleaning an overwhelming mess can cause just as much stress. With this blog, I hope to give you some cleaning and decluttering suggestions that will hopefully help eliminate some of the stress from spring cleaning.

Now you wouldn’t go on a road trip without a map, or a plan, and spring cleaning should be no different. Depending on the size of your home and how messy it has gotten over the winter this process is not going to be done in one go, if you try you are more likely to burn yourself out and give up. So designate a certain amount of time every day, say an hour to just your cleaning, with no distraction, the family can fend for themselves for at least an hour. Go through your rooms and make a plan, which rooms won’t need as much work, where is the biggest mess in that room, and what is the first thing your eye sees when you come in. While making your plan of attack you can see if any storage containers will be needed, or if there is any winter gear that will need to go into storage for the year. Have a box ready for items to donate, a box for things that just need to be put away, and several trash bags.

A messy area can leave you unmotivated and unwilling to start your cleanup. My first tip is to start somewhere that will greatly impact your psyche. An entryway cluttered with winter gear, coats, and boots would be an ideal location start. Choose a spot that will have an immediate effect and inspire you to move on.

So now that you are warmed up and ready to dig in, the first place to start is obvious, go around the room and pick up anything that is trash. If there is any container that is almost empty, put it in the trash. Don’t be afraid to let the trash go. The next step is to look for items that you know have a place they belong but are not there. Go around the room and put those in the put-away box. If you have coats and boots that won’t be needed until next year, those items belong in the put-away category. The trick to the put-away box is that you need to put them away. Remember we have our cleaning timer set for one hour. When that one hour is done, we need to move those put-away items up. I have read about many decluttering strategies, but I think one of the easiest to start with is the 21 items strategy. Go around your room and find 21 items that you don’t use, have outgrown, or that just no longer bring joy to your life. Now 21 items really does not sound like a big impact, but if you are working in a kitchen or bathroom, 21 items can clear a lot of space. Put all those items in the donate box. Another strategy for decluttering deals with our storage containers. Never overfill your storage container, put enough items in it to fill it but not overflow. If it’s your kid’s crayon box, and it’s very full, go through and throw out crayons that are nearly gone or broken. Making room will allow for a new box of crayons to be added in the future.  My last strategy is a large job shared makes for easier work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, get the older kids in the house to help, or invite non-judgmental friends over to have a spring-cleaning party.

Remember spring cleaning is a marathon, not a sprint, this process is supposed to help our mindset not add stress to ourselves.

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