By Myra Jensen
Now that the sun is shining and we can take pleasure in being outside after a long Minnesota winter, it’s nice to have a clean and organized house to come home to after spending the day outside.
Spring cleaning should not be an awful chore, don’t make it stressful. Here are some steps to get you started.
This is an important first step. Years ago, I read something that was life changing to me; “You can’t organize clutter.” This came from Marla Cilley, “The Fly Lady” who’s blog has been inspirational to me and thousands of other women trying to keep up with their house and family. More on her later.
Before you start trying to clean your house, make it easier on yourself by decluttering. It seems that the longer you live in your house, the more “stuff” you collect. If you don’t love it, if it doesn’t make you happy to look at it, then get rid of it. Go through your house room by room and look for the obvious things that can go and will make your cleaning easier in the future. After that, pick a closet or drawer every day.
Some great resources:
- My blog on Decluttering – Focused on Getting your house ready to sell, with some good tips for general decluttering.
- 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge – Ann Marie Heasley at whitehouseblackshutters.com has a yearly challenge that coincides with Lent that encourages you to declutter a bag a day for 40 days. The challenge started on March 5th this year, but she has printables that you can start any day. She has a lot of other great tips and projects on her blog as well! She also has a Facebook group where readers post their before and after decluttering photos and are very encouraging to each other.
2. Get the Junk out of your House
Now that you have decluttered – Get the junk out of your house! A lot of cities have a local “Clean Up Day” in the spring where residents can bring their hard to get rid of junk, old electronics, scrap metal, paint and hazardous materials, to a central place and leave it for a small fee or sometimes for free. Check your local city website or click here for some Minnesota Metro area clean up days. If your city does not have a clean up day, then they probably have some type of recycling or hazardous waste center.
- Go to your local charity or thrift store drop off center. There is nothing better than going through a drive-thru to hand off your junk. Some charities will come to your house to pick it up.
- Facebook has a lot of Local “Garage Sale” sites where you can sell items.
- A garage sale to me is a last resort. This takes too much planning and work for too little reward. If you decide to go this route, make a pact with yourself that nothing will come back inside the house.
3. Clean – Is there an easy way to do this?
Yes. Hire someone. But if you decide to go at it alone, I prefer the one room at a time method. Once you have decluttered a room, cleaning it is so much easier, even if you do decide to hire someone. And doing one room start to finish gives you the satisfaction that running through the entire house never will. Start small. Kitchens and bathrooms will probably give you the most satisfaction from a deep cleaning.
Here are some online spring cleaning resources:
- Here is a very detailed list from the blog “The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking”
- A helpful board from idreamofclean on Pinterest
- You can read Martha Stewarts Spring Cleaning Checklist. Personally, I am afraid to read it, but I am sure it is a thorough list.
- This is also a great time to go through and review maintenance issues for your house.
4. Do something special.
- Buy fresh flowers for the table.
- Get some new pillows for the couch or a new shower curtain.
- Re-arrange the furniture.
- Once it warms up, arrange your outdoor deck or patio – buy some new lights or plants to decorate.
- Invite a friend over for coffee – show off your newly decluttered and clean house.
- Anything else that will make you happy.
5. Back to the Flylady
Check out the Marla’s blog about Spring Cleaning Dread – The Flylady’s method is that you do a little bit every day/week so that you never have to spring clean. I have been following a lot of her tips for a long time, it has definitely changed my whole attitude on cleaning and organizing. There is so much great information there – and all with a non-judging, do what you can, theme.
Photos from Unsplash