With the holidays fast approaching, you may have an itch to do a bit of “spring cleaning” in anticipation of visits from family, friends and possibly even over night guests. So, I thought it would be fun to tap into the newsletter archives and rerun an article from April 2007 for some spring cleaning ideas.
The article suggests that you create a list of potential cleaning projects. I think this is particularly relevant during this time of year when your schedule is probably overflowing with extra to-dos. So if you’re itching to spring clean your home, start with a list and then prioritize it based on what’s on your holiday calendar. If you have guests coming to stay over night, you may want to give higher priority to getting the guest room and guest bathroom in order. On the other hand, if you’ll be hosting a dinner party, spring cleaning your living room, kitchen or dining room may be a higher priority for you. The bottom line is this: consider your schedule and what is realistic to do. Then, then start with a cleaning project that gives you the biggest bang for the buck.
I hope you enjoy this blast from the past. If you'd like more cleaning ideas, check out this spring cleaning tip on my website, and this prior blog post. (Be sure to check out all the fabulous cleaning tips in the comments.)
* * * * * * * *
Bring on the Sparkle!
by Aby Garvey
Although I’m a firm believer that organizing and cleaning are two different things, I’m also a believer that cleaning helps any organizing project sparkle. In fact, one of the steps in the simplify 101 organizing process is to clean the space being organized. If you’re like me, though, cleaning isn’t the fun stuff. Bring me a binder or a bin and you’ve got yourself a deal. A broom and a dust pan? Now that’s another story.
If you find yourself with a whole lotta’ dust and whole *little* enthusiasm for cleaning (like an organizer you know) read on! We’ll get you motivated to clean, clean, clean in no time! Here’s how.
Focus on the results. Like with any good organizing project, if you’re having trouble getting started, focus on the end result. Think about how good it will feel when you’ve got that cleaning project under your belt. Really dwell on that sense of accomplishment. It works! And here’s how I know.
This past weekend, Jay and I embarked on a cleaning project we had put off for a really, really (really) long time: windows. We washed the windows inside and out, removed and cleaned the screens, and scrubbed the grime off the window sills. Fun? Not so much. Rewarding? Beyond words. I can’t even tell you how good it feels to see those windows sparkle!
It was this feeling of accomplishment (and yes, when you’re doing something you don’t love to do, getting it done is a huge accomplishment!) that got me started and kept me going through the hours and hours of scrubbing and wiping and cleaning. So, if you’re having trouble mustering up the motivation to do some deep cleaning, just think about how great it’s going to feel when you can check it off your list!
Decide where to start. Take a quick tour of your home and make a list of possible spring cleaning projects. Here are some ideas …
- Wash windows
- Wash screens
- Wash window-sills
- Clean light fixtures
- Wipe down cabinet fronts (and tops)
- Clean range top or burners on your stove
- Sweep or vacuum behind the refrigerator or washer and dryer
- Remove lint from dryer hose
- Sweep the basement or garage
- Shampoo carpets
- Check your smoke detector batteries
To create your list, simply walk around your home looking high and low for opportunities to create more sparkle. Then, pick one project that will have a big impact on your place and more importantly, your sense of well being.
Gather your supplies. Gather the tools and supplies you’ll need to tackle your cleaning project and corral them into a caddy or bucket. This will make it easy to move from room to room, if your project requires it.
Stay focused on the task at hand. As with any other project, staying focused on your spring cleaning project will help you get it checked off your list faster. And while this isn’t always easy to do … you’ll be glad you did. This weekend at our home there was laundry to be done and when I pulled out the power washer, I had a burning desire to spray off my car (a cleaning task I actually think is fun!) But, it was important to stay focused on windows, and see the task through to completion which meant every screen back on every window and cleaning supplies put away. For your cleaning tasks, define what done is … and then, focus, focus, focus until you’ve reached done!
Enjoy the results. When you’re finished, sit back and relish the results of your labor. It feels good to create positive change in your environment. Doesn’t it? Drink it in. And enjoy the results.
With many projects, getting started can be the hardest part! But … by focusing on the end results and then really drinking in your success, you will fuel your enthusiasm to take on the next spring cleaning project on your list … next weekend!
* * * * * * * *
One of the big tricks with the holiday season is balancing all of your regular to-dos, with the extra projects that the holidays bring with them—more cleaning, more shopping, more cooking and baking, seasonal decorating, and on and on it goes. This year I did some house spiffying projects in October, because I know it’s a challenge to simply keep my head above water during November and December without any extra cleaning projects. So, during these months, I stick to my regular one night a week cleaning routine, and in January, the house will get its turn once again.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Are you in the midst of some pre-holiday spring cleaning? What’s on your priority list? How do you balance these extra projects with your weekly cleaning? Do you clean once a week like I do, or do you do a little bit of cleaning each day? Thanks for sharing!