Spring inspires a surge of renewed energy – we’re eager to get outside, start wearing warm weather clothes, and make plans for growing our gardens.
While most of us cherish the refreshing start of a new season, many of us also resist a daunting annual task: spring cleaning. Somehow, the start of spring is known to bring on that itching feeling that the house, the yard, your car, the garage—not to even mention the basement—suddenly need major TLC in order to “fit in” with spring’s freshness.
While the rare few among us truly love the spring cleaning process, many of us feel overwhelmed by all the areas for improvement. From major to-do’s like finally committing to buying a new dishwasher, to minor tasks like dusting and vacuuming, spring cleaning’s to-do list can start to get unruly.
Instead of mentally noting every issue and then procrastinating, we suggest taking a different approach! Here are 5 simple steps to make spring cleaning more doable, satisfying, and perhaps even fun:
Start with a real, written list.
Try to keep your list high-level and don’t get too bogged down in the details at this point. You’re really just doing a survey of your house to assess areas and items that need immediate attention. By writing down your list, you’re making the work real and finite instead of intimidating and endless. Tape your to-do list to the fridge to keep it in sight—and cross items off as they get done.
Embrace the low-hanging fruit first.
What are the tasks you can check off your list fairly quickly and easily? If you begin with those things, like cleaning out the microwave and storing hats and scarves away, you will get a jolt of satisfaction. Simply starting—and accomplishing a few tasks—is key to getting going. Then you will get increasing motivation to keep it up.
Work in short spurts.
Dedicate 30-60 minutes to completing an item (or two) on your list. If you try to set aside an entire weekend to finish your whole list, you’ll likely work less efficiently, and you’ll feel let down if you don’t get it all done. Turn on a playlist of your 15 favorite songs, and commit to stopping the project when your playlist ends.
Make it a team effort.
You don’t have to tackle spring cleaning alone! Get your kids to wash the car, and reward them for their help. Invite a friend over and get his/her advice on what clothes to purge and what to keep. Offer to help your neighbors with pruning in their backyard, and then plant seedlings together in your garden. A little creativity can make a chore much more fun.
At the end of the day, cleaning is cleaning. It isn’t glamorous or thrilling. However, a slight shift in attitude and dedication to a new process can make it fulfilling. You will feel refreshed looking at your list each week, crossing off your accomplished tasks, and being content with the to-do’s you still have left to tackle.