Spring Cleaning Tips
Published on 3/24/2017
As we bid adieu to winter and usher in spring, it's the perfect time to purge, clean and organize. For some of us, spring cleaning seems daunting and downright tedious, but it doesn't have to be. It seems like we’re biologically cued to clean by the stronger sunlight (or is it that we can now see the dust bunnies that were hidden in the dark of winter?) Or maybe you read what we have – that having an organized home has been associated with lower chronic stress levels, and that weeding out superfluous visual stimuli has been linked to increased capacity for concentration. Whatever brings it on, for most of us, spring cleaning is an inexorable force. If you’re ready to scratch that itch, we’ve got spring cleaning tips designed to make this year more productive, and maybe even more fun.
1) Start with Realistic Expectations
Don’t tell yourself you can clean your entire home in a couple hours. That will likely leave you feeling overwhelmed and result in an abandoned project. Give yourself smaller goals, like thoroughly cleaning one room or even one closet. Accomplishing a goal and seeing the results will make you feel great and will motivate you for the next step.
2) Don’t Go It Alone
The rote work of folding, wiping, dusting is not only a great time to catch up with friends -- some of us can’t get going unless we have company. Invite a friend over while you work. Be sure to tell them they don’t need to help, (unless you really do need their help) so they don’t feel obligated - it’s just their company you want. If no one heeds your call, borrow a tip from your workout -- pick an album you have been meaning to listen to or download a podcast and let the sound distract you from how hard you’re going at it.
3) Play Stylist with Your Closet
You’ve matured another year -- does your wardrobe still reflect your needs? If you moved up the corporate ladder this year (congrats!) maybe those absorbs Peter Pan collars and super-short manic-pixie-dream-girl dresses don’t fit your new status. Or maybe you’ve transitioned to working at home and never put that suit jacket on. Give it to the next up-and-comer thru Goodwill or your local thrift shop.
Even if there is NOTHING you are willing or able to part with, take spring cleaning as an opportunity to sort through your clothing and see what’s still good for another year. Open the blinds to let in the bright light and really look at your clothes. Cotton knits fade, pill in high-friction spots under arms, and stretch out of shape. Better to buy new next year. Wool blends can get shiny if pressed too often. Pull on the stitching in the crotch of pants and check skirt and pant hems. Get those things repaired before you store – any dry cleaner can do minor repairs for you.
- Take the time to decide what needs replacing (coats get a lot of wear you don’t notice when you’re freezing) and use spring sales to buy a newer model on the cheap.
- If you wear fashion t-shirts or polos for work, check for color fading or yellowing or collars that have worn or furled. Best to replace these with this year’s model and colors.
4) Rearrange Your Floor Plan
We get so accustomed to climbing over and walking around our stuff at home that we don’t even see it anymore. Spring is the time to look at how items are arranged and how traffic flows around your home. And it’s not limited to furniture and items on the ground - pay attention to windows and the use of lights. Lighting can have a significant impact on the feel of your home.
While you’re playing designer, vacuum upholstered furniture – on the back, under the cushions, everywhere. It will freshen your home, and remove dirt and particles that can break up fabric over time, shortening the life of your furniture. If you have leather, give it a wipe with a soft cloth and treat arms and heavy-wear areas with a leather treatment.
Ever notice how a great retail store always looks fresh? Want to know their secret trick? They rotate key pieces and accessories in and out by the season. You can do the same to get the most out your space.
Maybe the big comfy chair that’s just the thing on a winter’s night becomes a thigh-sticking monstrosity in the summer. Store it until you want it again, and make room for something light and summery – like your bike! Leaving patio furniture outdoors for even a single winter can encourage rust or mildew, turning those once-inviting pieces into an eyesore. Protect these items by storing them indoors and you’ll appreciate them more when you take them out in the spring. A couple of fresh cushions and voila! You’re summer-ready!
Hope these tips make spring cleaning easier and more pleasurable. Remember a streamlined living space contributes to your happiness and productivity, so keep in mind that functional storage space can help you to make that happen. It’s worth investing in.
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