The Key to Spring Cleaning
The warm weather always inspires people to clear their home of all clutter and start the season out fresh, but then somewhere along the way we often get overwhelmed and almost nothing gets done. This year, rather than making a long list of projects that will never get completed, try starting with small projects that will help you get organized and stay organized. If you’re worried about where to start simply follow our advice for achieving organization in your home.
Assess Your Abilities
Part of the reason our spring cleaning never seems to get finished is because we set unrealistic goals. We always aim too big. We decide to reorganize our entire house or life rather than focusing on what can actually be done. Before setting your goal for spring cleanup, think about your ability to complete that goal. Assess how much free time you currently have, how much work you are doing, how willing you are to commit to the task. Once you have assessed these things, then you can start working on getting organized. Much like working out, organization must be done at your own pace. Do not strain yourself too early because that is how spring cleaning gets abandoned.
Target One Area
Don’t look at the problems throughout your entire home. If you do that your task will seem overwhelming. Instead focus on one room or one aspect of every room. For example, one week focus on just your floors. Our floors probably suffer the most during the winter with all the snow and dirt collecting over the season so they are a great place to start. If you want to focus on one room of your house at a time, select the room that needs the most work in your home. Once you have chosen the room you want to work on choose a space within that room. For example, if you have chosen to start in your bedroom, focus on your closet first.
Choose a task
Once you have picked out your target area choose a task you want completed. This is a task that should be able to be repeated daily. Look at your target space to assess what needs to be done, then make a plan of action. For example, if you selected to focus on your floors, each day choose a new room and focus on cleaning just the floor. If you have area rugs and rug pads throughout your home try removing them and shaking them outside and then vacuum. While your area rugs are removed, mop your floors and let them dry before adding your area rugs back. If your area rugs and rug pads are too large to remove, try simply running a vacuum over them and cleaning around them. Look for an area that might need extra attention, and then spot clean those areas with soap and water. These task are meant to be smaller so they do not seem as daunting.
Make it a Habit
Once you have selected a task repeat it daily. Because you chose a small task it should be relatively easy to complete everyday. If you find yourself struggling to complete the task then dial it back a little or make adjustments that would make it easier. If we use the example of your floors again, try to set up a shoe removal station at the front of your door to make keeping your floors clean that much easier. For example, set up an entryway mat with cubbies to keep your shoes. I have made a habit of leaving indoor shoes by my front door as a reminder to remove any dirty shoes as soon as I walk in.
Select your next target
Only when your task has become habitual can you move onto a new task and goal. If you add a new goal too soon you might become overwhelmed and give up altogether. When you are ready for a new task, don’t move far from your original target area. If you are already working in one space of your room it will be easier to move onto another space in the same room rather than trying to cover two completely different spaces. Also, don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments! Even small steps towards organization should be acknowledged and celebrated.
If you take our advice you will be well on your way to a happy, more organized Spring!