Obviously, spring cleaning is quite the task. Sometimes I struggle with getting myself to clean the bathroom, yet spring cleaning consists of cleaning the entire house – which isn’t easy. The key is to find the most manageable approach for you. Here are a couple of ways to go about it:
1. One Fell Swoop
With this approach, you set aside a block of time to get the entire project done, whether that may be an entire weekend or an entire week. The idea here is that you get spring cleaning done and over with as quickly as possible. I like this approach because, even though it may be intense at the time, you will not have the project hanging over your head for long.
2. Break It Down into Smaller Projects
In contrast, you could break your spring cleaning down into many smaller projects, spread out over time. For instance, you could spend one Saturday cleaning up the outside of the house, another Saturday working on sorting out old items for selling on eBay, and yet another Saturday shining up your place. This might be the better approach for someone who is unable to block out a chunk of time to dedicate to cleaning.
Either of these will work, as long as you commit to completing the chores. Don’t choose the one fell swoop approach if you think you may get overwhelmed and run out of time. Likewise, make sure that if you choose to break things up, you schedule time for each project and stick to it. The point of this overall household deep clean is kind of lost if it stretches on for six months, or is never finished.
In order to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, once you’ve chosen your time frame, you need to come up with a clear plan of action. Take a look at the following tips and strategies for making the most of your spring cleaning.
Spring Cleaning Tips and Strategies
Now that you’ve decided what approach you are going to take, you are ready to start cleaning! Well, maybe not quite. You still need a clear, well thought out plan to help things run as smoothly as possible. Here are ten tips and strategies to help you create a workable plan for spring cleaning:
1. Make a list
List out all that you would like to accomplish during this year’s spring cleaning, and then group the like tasks, such as washing window screens and washing the siding on your home. This will make it easier for you to go from one task to another without having to waste time wondering what to do next.
2. Assemble a team
If your family is willing and able, get them to work with you as a team. If you are single or live alone, get some of your friends to help you with the promise that you will help them in return. Then, assign tasks according to the strengths of your team members. You may also want to allow the team members to sign up for tasks, similarly to how they would sign up on a cleaning schedule. Remember, the more, the merrier!
3. Gather your supplies
Spend the week before spring cleaning begins gathering up the supplies you’ll need. If you require visits to several different stores, plan to hit a store a day during that week. Or, if you’re planning well in advance, buy your supplies when they go on sale and utilize. You can also rely on using safe, natural household cleaners, such as baking soda and vinegar.
4. Plan ahead for time-consuming tasks
If you’re planning any time-consuming tasks, set aside extra time outside of your actual spring cleaning schedule. For example, if you are going to shampoo your carpets, they will need a day or two to dry. You don’t want to have to worry about avoiding them when you’re trying to do everything else. Plan to do them before, or even after, you set about completing the rest of your cleaning.
5. Focus on one task at a time
I start to fumble around when I have a lot to do. I feel as though I am spread too thin and start jumping from one task to another without ever really completing anything. To avoid this, make it a priority to focus on one task at a time. If you attempt to do too many things at once, you will only get lost and forget what you are doing. This is a great time management skill to have as well.
6. Recognize your progress
It is easy to get discouraged when you have a large project, and you are only focusing on what you have left to do. Last year I had a huge spring cleaning list of over 40 items, some of which were very time-consuming. At times, I felt very discouraged when I looked at my list of things to do and saw so many items still on it. Instead of doing what I did last year, this year I am promising myself to focus on what I have completed and to recognize my progress. Similarly, at the end of your spring cleaning shift, be sure to look back to reflect on all you have done, and be proud of your hard work.
7. Be realistic
Know that spring cleaning is a big project. It takes hard work and sacrifice when you could easily be doing something else. But also know that you will get a sense of satisfaction and pride out of the hard work you put in. There is joy in pushing yourself to the limit and reaching your goals.
8. Take breaks
You are not a machine, so don’t feel like you need to act like one. Pre-schedule breaks so that you not only have something to look forward to, but also have a chance to relax, especially if it is a beautiful spring day. And, if you pre-schedule your breaks, it will hopefully prevent you from taking them too frequently or for too long.
9. Prepare snacks and meals ahead of time
With all the energy you will be spending on cleaning, you will need to refuel yourself with snacks and healthy meals. Try putting together a meal for the Crock-Pot slow cooker the night before so that you will not have to prepare dinner the evening of the cleaning. Also, make sure you have leftovers recipes for the next day, if you will be cleaning again.
10. Get ready to jam
There is no reason why you can’t have fun while you’re cleaning. Create a playlist of your favorite tunes and jam out. Pick something upbeat to get you moving faster. Cleaning can actually be a good way to fit in some indoor home exercise.
Spring cleaning is a lot of work, but you can make it more manageable by developing a schedule and plan of action. When all is said and done, you will be happy you took the time to clean out the winter dust and dirt. Your home will feel fresh and renewed.
When you’re finished, be sure to reward yourself and all those who helped out. Have a BBQ, go bowling, or just relax. You deserve it!