With the arrival of spring each March (or April) it’s inevitable that the spring cleaning urge will
make it’s yearly appearance. Spring is a great time to clear the clutter and the dust from your
home, but often it’s hard to know where to start. Here are a few tips to get you started and
making progress in no time.
1) Start small. While it’s tempting to run through each room with a garbage bag and toss
everything, it will be more sustainable to start small, and tackle one area at a time.
Consider choosing just one room or ‘category’ of items at a time. You could start with
the kitchen, for example, and spring clean all of the clutter that has landed on the
counters over the winter, and then move on to the pantry that has expired goods from
who knows when. Alternatively, you could choose to spring clean your wardrobe first,
and get rid of any clothing that no longer fits, has been worn out, or that you simply
don’t wear. By choosing one section at a time, you’re more likely to see progress, which
is encouraging, and less likely to lose steam and ambition,
2) Don’t just move your things around, truly declutter. Make one pile of things to be put
away, one pile of things that need to be disposed of, and one pile of things to be
donated. You can find the list of things that we gratefully accept at our Habitat for
Humanity ReStore center here: http://www.cohfh.org/habitat-restore/donation-
3) Clean as you declutter. Grab your favorite nontoxic cleaner, some cleaning rags, and
wipe down the insides and outsides of cabinets, closets, and appliances as you go.
There’s no better time than now to get it spotless, and it’s more efficient to clean it
once, and completely than to declutter and then come back to clean again.
4) Gather your tools ahead of time. Make one trip to the store for trash bags and cleaning
supplies before you get started. Don’t be tempted to spend on bins and buckets to
organize your things before you’ve purged. Often, you’ll find that you’ve removed
enough of the clutter during a spring cleaning, that you have more space, and less need
for organizing tools.
5) Get the family on board. Make it a game to see who can clean their own spaces the
fastest or assign different zones to each family member. Even the youngest in the family
can help wipe down surfaces or carry items back to their designated homes. You can
lead by example with cleaning your own personal spaces first, like the master bedroom
and home office, and then assist your children in cleaning and decluttering their own
Lastly, remember why you started. If you find yourself losing steam while spring cleaning,
remember the enthusiasm you had when you started. Envision what you want your home to
look and feel like, and work towards that goal. Take small breaks, and work in focused chunks
of time. Before long, it’ll be done, and you’ll be enjoying your clean and clutter free home!
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