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It’s that time of year, when the flowers are in bloom, the kids are still in school and you set your sights on Spring Cleaning.
Most women, at the mention of those two little words, cringe, and for a while I was right there with you. Room by room I’d start to sort through piles of unworn clothes, paperwork that badly needed filing and other knick-knacks I’d collected over the last year. (How on EARTH did I end up with so many mismatched socks and an excess of coffee mugs when I’m not even a coffee drinker?)
Feeling overwhelmed and burdened by something that SHOULD make me feel lighter, I took a step back, took a deep breath and got organized. Below is a guide to five ways you can clear the clutter in a way that is fast, efficient and (nearly) STRESS-FREE. I couldn’t totally sell it like it’s a beach vacation ladies, we are still cleaning after all.
1. Make Yourself A Schedule:
This is number one. With so many responsibilities for today’s woman, we won’t make time to deep clean or Spring clean unless we schedule it. Pick a day and a few hours on a calendar and make it an appointment for you and your home to have some uninterrupted one on one time. I have a large home, so I usually schedule 1-2 hours a day for an entire week to complete it.
2. Take It One Room At A Time:
For so long, when I’d take on a task such as “clean the house” or “Spring clean” I would tinker a little in each room, not accomplishing all that I wanted to get done and feeling like I didn’t do enough. Now, I make it a point to take just one or two rooms a day and complete them before moving on to the next. That way I have areas that are sparkling, and can focus all my attention on the next spot that needs my attention.
3. Prioritize The Critical Corners:
Spring cleaning means cleaning out and sorting through things you’ve probably haven’t gone through in a year (or maybe more). Old paperwork, coupons, receipts, clothes, chipped kitchenware, all the stuff that gets forgotten. It’s important to not only schedule out your rooms, but the corners of the rooms that needed the most TLC. For me that means the mail cubbies in my kitchen, sorting through silverware and cleaning out my pantry. In my office, its sorting tax documents, organizing receipts and business cards and cleaning off my computer. And so forth…
4. Commit To Letting Go:
This one is a hard one for a lot of people. I’m a purger, meaning I probably get rid of too much each year, whereas my husband likes to hold on to things. If it’s important documentation, tax receipts or sentimental items, find an organized, specific place for them. If it’s old mail you don’t need, shred it. If it’s clothing you havn’t wore since last year when you held onto it during Spring Cleaning, donate it or throw it away. It’s ok to let go. It makes room for the new.
5. Think Twice, Before You Buy:
Or sign up for that next newsletter or put your name in on a sweepstakes for cookware when your kitchen is already overflowing. There are so many ways in the world today for us to obtain more STUFF. Impulse purchases at our favorite stores and taking freebies we really don’t need just because they’re free. Fill your home with things that mean something to you. Things that are beautiful and have a place. And just because you discard the old, doesn’t mean you have to replace it. Think twice before you buy, and envision where it’s new home will be before you bring it home only to find there aren’t any vacancies left.
Remember, just take it one day and one room at a time. And make it FUN. I put on music, loud, and get comfy. I make myself a mug of warm tea and I always, always plan a reward at the end for my hard work. Sometimes its reading a health magazine cover to cover (a luxury in my busy days), watching an episode of my favorite show, or a pedicure.
So while Spring cleaning doesn’t feel like a vacation, it doesn’t have to feel like work either.
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