Guess who procrastinated on her spring cleaning this year? This lady.
Maybe it’s just because spring got a false start where I live in Toronto, or maybe it’s because I actually don’t really like cleaning (although it helps to rock out with my headphones while I do it) but if I’m really honest with myself I think spring cleaning had become such a monumental task in my mind that I put it off until I was itching to put on my rubber gloves and scrub every last inch of my apartment with a toothbrush.
Seeing as that wasn’t a realistic (or desirable) task, I decided to try and make my spring cleaning routine as simple as possible to avoid wasted time and effort and the added stress of having my household turned upside down for a prolonged period of time. Here are some of the things that I discovered:
- Having a basic cleaning routine in place is key to a simpler, faster spring clean. It’s hard enough to make the time let alone have the energy for longer, more involved projects like scrubbing the grout between the bathroom tiles if you’ve spent most of your time cleaning out the bathtub like you should have done four weeks ago. (Obviously, I’m talking about a friend here and not myself.)
- Only do the tasks that are important to you. I drove myself crazy scouring blogs and social media for the best, most thorough spring cleaning task lists only to realize that it made more sense to make my own based on the spaces I had to clean. Even after I had developed my to-do lists, I found myself discovering new tasks to add once I had actually started cleaning.
- Consider breaking those tasks down so it doesn’t start to feel too overwhelming. (I’ve got some advice on how to do that here).
- Keep the de-cluttering separate. I found that once I started sorting and organizing a drawer or a cupboard, I could kiss my cleaning chores good-bye because the de-cluttering had all of my attention. If something needs organizing in order to be cleaned, the organizing needs to happen first. (It’s like organizing law.)
- Stick to the rules of cleaning. Work from top to bottom, inside to out, wet to dry and you can’t go wrong- no matter what tasks you have laid out before you.
After being inside all winter it felt good to throw open the windows to let the breeze and the sunshine stream in. And once I had a pared down plan-of-attack, I started to feel a little better about the whole spring-cleaning thing. Who doesn’t get excited about the opportunity for a fresh start?
Certainly not this lady.
Were you also a spring-cleaning drama queen this year? Let’s compare notes. Comment below or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want some other tips on how to keep your household in tip-top shape? I’ve got a whole bucket of them here.