Do you have a spring cleaning routine? I modified mine this year to make it a bit easier and more enjoyable. Here are a few suggestions…
Step One: As strange as this sounds… Pick a sunny, breezy day. Most people wait for rain, but I find a sunny day works much better. Go outside for awhile and get your fill of fresh air. This might involve something as simple as standing on your front porch or taking a short walk. The goal is to spend a couple of minutes outside enjoying the day before you head back inside for hours of cleaning and reorganizing. The sun will invigorate you and put you in good spirits. Then come inside and open all of the windows. The cool breeze will put you in a brighter mood as you go from room to room cleaning.
Step Two: Turn up the beat. Find your Apple iPod, computer or even an old boom box and search for something upbeat. I typically play music that makes me want to jump up and down, bop my head and dance. Spring cleaning is typically not at the top of anyone’s list, but music will put you in a good mood and help you stay on task.
Step Three: Find a spouse, significant other or best friend, especially if you have a hard time getting rid of things. Nothing makes you donate clothes faster than a friend saying “not your color” or making that face that says “that’s not good.” I suggest dumping all of your clothes out of your dresser and closet and onto your bed. Reorganize everything and put back anything you know you love. Then hold a mini fashion show with everything that remains. Try things on and ask your friend or family member whether an item should stay or go. If you aren’t convinced you should get rid of something place it in a box and hold onto it for no more than a year. If it doesn’t make its way out of that cardboard in 365 days it’s destined for a new home.
Step Four: Turn all of your hangers around so they face the opposite way you would expect to hang them. Each time you wear and wash a garment turn the hanger back around. At the end of six months or a year take a look at all of the hangers that are still facing the wrong way. Ask yourself why you haven’t worn these items and if you can’t find a good reason for keeping them bundle them up for donation. (This year I bought new slim hangers from Bed, Bath and Beyond, so my clothes are easier to see, access and organize.)
Step Five: Perform similar techniques on the various drawers, closets and shelves in your house. Don’t forget to sort through the items on tables and mantles too. Again if you have trouble getting rid of something call on a friend or family member for assistance or box it up and wait to see if you ever have the urge to pull it out again
Step Six: Now that all of your unwanted items are boxed for selling or donations move that box out of the way. With less things out and about you’ll find it much easier to clean in, under and around what remains.
Step Seven: Whether or not you finish cleaning that day leave at least one hour of daylight so you can go back outside and enjoy the weather. Commend yourself on all the work you completed and vow to do this all over again in six months rather than one year! If you clean and remove clutter frequently you’ll find yourself doing less and less work each time.