As the days get longer, we tend to be more energized to get active and accomplish things. Spring cleaning is the best way to take advantage of that sudden spurt of energy and get your home ready for the warmer months ahead. Spring cleaning is the time when many homeowners deep-clean, declutter and organize their entire home. Things that you probably don’t do regularly, like store seasonal clothes or wipe off all the kid’s toys, should be on your spring cleaning list.
The Marie Kondo KonMari decluttering method is still a popular style after gaining popularity last year. This method declares that many of us have material items that don’t add value to our lives. When following the KonMari tidying up method, you must hold each item in your hand and assess the emotional attachment to that item. Does it bring you joy? If so, you keep it. If not, you donate it.
There are many ways you can organize and declutter. If you have small children, you might want to store clothes that they’ve grown out of and make a list of new items they might need. In the kitchen, it’s finally time to throw away the loose lids and broken cups. Need a deep-clean of the carpets? Now is the time!
Benefits of a Clean Home
If you’ve ever cleaned your entire home on a Saturday and subsequently felt like you could take on the world, there’s a psychological reason for it. According to a recent CNN article and licensed psychologist Michael Tompkins, we get a mood boost from “mastery activities,” or tasks that give us a great sense of accomplishment.
In addition, physical clutter can actually become mental clutter. According to the article, clearing out visual clutter is known to reduce stress and open ourselves up to making clearer, better choices in all areas of life, including relationships, health, and our career. Essentially, we’re in a better position to reach our potential when we’re not surrounded by clutter. This is why you feel like you could achieve anything when you’ve accomplished a day of decluttering and cleaning.
Whether you believe in the psychological benefits of spring cleaning, there’s no denying the benefits to your home. As you live your life throughout the year, it’s natural that your house accumulates a bunch of stuff, including layers of dirt and germs. Most people clean their homes regularly, but things like baseboards, windows, and deep-cleaning of appliances tend to get put on the backburner.
A once-yearly deep clean not only gives your home some much-needed love, but it’s also a time when many homeowners do small repairs. Taking care of those small repairs will ensure that your punch list doesn’t keep getting longer.
When to Start
The spring season officially begins on March 19 and lasts through mid to late June. There’s no exact date that tells us when spring cleaning should officially begin, but it’s called spring cleaning for a reason.
First, determine how in-depth you will go. What’s your plan? Will you do a quick and simple spring cleaning? Or is this the year to get out the touch-up paint and go all-in with a total home refresh? Either way, keep in mind how much cleaning and organizing you want to do. If your list is long, it’s probably best to start as soon as you can. You may have to dedicate a few weekends to finish the job.
It’s also a good idea to start scheduling any professional services now. If you’ll be having your carpets professionally cleaned, get that on the books so you have a date to work towards. Window cleaning and household cleaning services will likely also be booking up around this time. Did you know you can also schedule a Goodwill donation pickup? This is a helpful resource if you’ll be donating several carloads of boxes or any large furniture pieces.
Once you’re ready to clean and organize, the best method is to go room by room. Starting in the bedrooms where you might have to spend more time organizing and decluttering is a great way to give you some momentum. Tackling those larger projects, like the kitchen, will give you that greater sense of accomplishment.
As you go through the house, having a plan will ensure you are not left with giant piles of stuff around the house with no energy left to finish the job.
- Everything should have a designated “home” so cleaning up is easier
- Use baskets or bins to add storage (you can find these at Goodwill)
- Keep a donation box or pile in every room and then consolidate at the end
- Do the baseboards all at once (it’s not fun, so just get it done)
Some years, all you need to do are a few simple things to give your home a refreshed spirit. For those who live in an apartment or condo, anyone who recently renovated their home, or germaphobes who always have a spotless home, your spring cleaning will go by fast. For those looking for quick hacks to make their cleaning easier, here are a few tips:
- Open windows throughout to circulate fresh air
- Make your own all-purpose cleaning solution
- Use a Magic Eraser for baseboards or stubborn scuffs
- Use empty pantry boxes to store smaller items, like instant oatmeal packets and loose tea bags
- Disinfect your cleaning sponge by heating it for a minute in the microwave
- Use a halved lemon to get rid of hard water buildup on bathroom or kitchen faucets
- Designate a spot for everything in your house
- Find small baskets and boxes at a thrift store for organizing drawers (if they’re out of sight, they don’t have to match)
- Wash your pillows in the washing machine
Pre-Spring Cleaning Tips
There are some things you can do to get your house ready before you begin spring cleaning. Prepping your spring cleaning tools will ensure you can be efficient and sanitary as you’re cleaning.
- Have your household cleaning supplies ready
- Get boxes or bags ready to collect trash and donations
- Schedule professional services
- Make sure the essential systems of your home are functioning properly (HVAC, sprinklers, gutters, window locks, etc.)
Drop off your spring cleaning donations at a Goodwill location near you. There are 80+ community locations where your no-longer-needed items can be dropped off, which in turn gives new life to clothing and other items that would otherwise be thrown away.