6 Steps to Prepare for Stress-Free Spring Cleaning

Miriam Gold, Professional Organizer

The time for spring cleaning has arrived! The train has left the station, and the first stop is organizing.

Spring organizing and spring cleaning are two entirely different activities.  Their courses of action are quite distinct from each other, and they will each bear very different results.

Organizing means sorting through items in your home or office and deciding what to keep, donate, or discard. Placing value on your possessions and deciding what you really need can be a very personal and sometimes even emotional experience. After you take this important step to declutter, it is important to implement organizing systems to keep everything in order.

Cleaning means removing the dust and dirt from surfaces, cabinets, walls and floors. It involves using various cleaning products and includes dusting, mopping, sweeping, scrubbing and vacuuming. Cleaning requires more brawn than brain.

Prioritizing organizing before you endeavor into spring cleaning will make the cleaning process much easier. Once you have decluttered the items you no longer need, a strange thing happens. When you clean, all you have to do is… clean.

Instead of having a pre-spring cleaning panic attack, it can be helpful to devise a plan to make your preparations as smooth as possible. Create a roadmap of your home and organize one specific area at a time. Start with the rooms that are furthest away from the kitchen, like bedrooms, bathrooms, and coat/utility closets.  

If you can devote time to declutter things like clothing and shoes that no longer fit, this will help you gain a valuable head start on upcoming holiday/spring shopping for yourself and your family. Wipe down each area you are organizing as you continue to move toward the heart of your home – the kitchen.

Use the following steps to keep your spring cleaning process chaos-free.

Tip 1: Start now
Declutter and organize bedrooms and closets. This will help make the cleaning process much smoother.

Tip 2: Make lists
Itemize the things that need to get done. Create sections for cleaning, shopping, and menu planning if need be. You can update this list as you proceed and then use that same list to streamline preparations for next year.

Tip 3: Set realistic goals
Evaluate how much time you need to allot for certain areas of decluttering (ie The garage may be a big one!)  and plan accordingly.

Tip 4: Break down tasks
Assign a time and day for each chore or activity, in bite-size pieces so that you don’t get overwhelmed.

Tip 5: Involve your family in your spring cleaning
Divide up the chores and delegate. For example, your children can clean their own toys. And always reward yourselves for cleaning!

Tip 6: Breathe
Feeling overwhelmed is a roadblock. Try to relax and use these guidelines to calmly get you through the process.


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