We all love spring.
After months of having to spend time inside, spring brings the sun back. After months of looking at bare trees and soggy grass, greenery and flowers emerge again, giving people hope for the warm months ahead.
Some people enter into spring with vigor, cleaning their homes from top to bottom so that their space inside can reflect the newness that is happening outdoors.
Yet, many people dread this time. In fact, a recent survey from SpareFoot revealed that 54% of Americans dread spring cleaning—in fact, they dread spring cleaning even more than they dread doing their taxes!
Here’s some good news, though: spring cleaning doesn’t have to be painful. Here are some shortcuts that you can take to make it quick, easy, and maybe even fun:
Declutter. Declutter. Declutter.
Decluttering is the single most effective thing that you can do to ensure that your house stays looking better longer. The more items that your home has, the more items that you have to clean.
Start small. Try finding just ten things in each room in your home that you can do without and put them in a garbage bag. Make sure that the garbage bag gets out to your car right away so that you can drop it at a donation site as soon as possible. Otherwise it’s just another bag of stuff sitting around!
It can be hard to get started decluttering, but once you start, it can become addictive. The shift in energy of a room after a good decluttering session motivates many people to do more.
Air It Out
Did you know that the air inside our homes can be just as polluted as the air outside?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, your home’s indoor air can be polluted by things such as lead, formaldehyde and dust mites. They recommend to open up windows frequently to let these chemicals out. If you have a family member that is sensitive to outdoor environmental materials like pollen, consider using an indoor air filtering device to keep things fresh.
Usually a home doesn’t get messy on it’s own, so cleaning up should be a joint effort too. SpareFoot’s survey reports that 73 percent of parents say their children help with spring cleaning.
Kids not enthusiastic about cleaning? Find ways to make it fun. Adding music or making it a game can help.
Still no luck? Offer the kids a special reward when everything is over. Going to get ice cream together or visiting a local park can be great ways to show appreciation for a job well done.
Choose Just One Room
One reason that so many people dread spring cleaning because the idea seems overwhelming. 36 percent of Americans will prioritize cleaning the kitchen this spring and 35 percent will prioritize cleaning their bedroom, according to SpareFoot’s survey,
If the thought of cleaning your whole house from top to bottom seems to be too much, just focus on one space. Set aside a couple of hours, eliminate outside distractions and get it done. Cleaning and organizing a small space like the bedroom closet or the pantry can be something that doesn’t take a lot of time, but has a big impact on your home.
And don’t worry even if you only get to one thing, – you have four other seasons to address the rest of the house.
Create A Cleaning Schedule for the Year
Anything is doable if you break it down into small, manageable steps.
Make a list of all the tasks that are important in your deep cleaning, then assign a few to each month. Be sure that you’re addressing each task often enough (some will have to be scheduled quarterly or bi-monthly) and, most importantly, get it in writing. You can then transfer these tasks to your calendar or planner so that you don’t forget.
Even though it’s disliked by many, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be as dreaded as it seems. Like so many things in our lives, there is no “one size fits all.” In order to make something work for you and your household, it’s important that you look at the uniqueness of your situation and choose to do only what works for you.
About Stacy Erickson
Stacy Erickson is a Professional Organizer and Child Development Specialist based in Seattle that works with local families to organize their homes in a way that promotes the maximum development of their child. Her company is Home Key Organization.