Spring begins on March 19 this year.
With February all but done, that leaves you with a little more than a month to get your house in shape.
We know that the prospect of cleaning your house top to bottom can seem daunting.
That’s why we’ve compiled a to-do list for EVERY room in your house.
Spring cleaning may not be your favorite time of year, but with a few tips and an action plan, you’ll be able to conquer your clutter in no time.
Let’s clear some things up:
Spring cleaning is not the same thing as your everyday, run-of-the-mill cleaning routine.
You should approach your spring cleaning work up as you would a deep clean. The idea is that you’re essentially creating a foundation to set you and your home up for the rest of the year.
It’s important to remember that it’s easier to prevent or maintain your space than fixing or cleaning up a mess from scratch. Keep this in mind as you create your spring cleaning plan and get yourself pumped for the task ahead.
Now let’s get into the details!
1. Learn how to KonMari
If you aren’t already familiar with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by the beloved Marie Kondo we’re not sure where you’ve managed to squirrel yourself away to for the past two years.
The short and the long of it is that by following Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering, she argues that you can improve your self-confidence, hone your decision-making skills, reduce stress, increase your overall happiness, and get more comfortable with the things that terrify us. All of this in beautifully concise prose and in about 200 pages.
Sounds too good to be true?
We personally love the KonMari method of cleaning! Despite the mixed reviews on Goodreads we firmly believe that combining some of the principles in her book with a can-do attitude and nerves of steel, that anyone can clean up their act and pare down the amount of stuff they own.
Marie sets aside six steps in the book:
- Commit yourself to tidying up
- Imagine your ideal lifestyle
- Finish discarding first
- Tidy by category, not by location
- Follow the order (of the above steps)
- Decide what to keep and what to get rid of based on whether or not it "sparks joy"
Decluttering should be the first step in any major clean-up.
If you’re unsure how to get started with this step, we recommend setting aside three boxes, bags, or bins to help you organize your belongings. Label these boxes accordingly, based on things you’d like to keep or mend, things you’d like to discard, and things you plan to donate.
When evaluating whether or not to keep an item, Marie recommends holding it close to your heart until you feel a spark of joy light up your being.
Kondo defines the concept of “spark joy” as a feeling of fascination, excitement, or attraction for an item. While this might seem strange to some, for Kondo it’s the difference between disarray and domestic happiness.
She notes that this can be hard to recognize, and says that it can be easier to identify when you compare similar items. If something doesn’t rank in your top 3, Kondo recommends tossing it.
Not everything you keep needs to spark joy in the conventional sense.
Essential things such as tools, necessary appliances, medicine, and equipment don’t necessarily spark joy, and indeed might spark a little bit of regret or despair, but what should spark joy is its purpose or utility.
Essential items that make your life easier, healthier, or happier can, therefore, spark joy in their usefulness.
To help yourself on this quest to “spark joy”, you might set some reasonable criteria for items to meet. A few that we gravitate to again and again are:
- Does this fit, either me or into my lifestyle?
- Is it damaged? If it is, what are the odds that I’m really going to fix it? And,
- Have I worn or used this in the past year?
We recommend adjusting this list to suit your needs before moving onto our next step.
2. Have a plan
In order to get the ball rolling on your spring cleaning reset, we recommend outlining what needs to be done in every room.
When you’re creating your outline, be sure to organize tasks by order of importance.
- Have guests coming over tomorrow? Tackle your living room first.
- Moldy cheese in the back of your refrigerator? Roll up those sleeves and get to scrubbing.
- The kids have a sleepover later this week? Time to turn off the WiFi!
We all have those tasks we’d rather put off. Sadly, no matter what you do to convince yourself to ignore those tasks for another day you’re going to have to get to them eventually.
One thing that’s made the whole spring cleaning process easier for us is this old adage often misattributed to Mark Twain:
Essentially, if you tackle your toughest tasks first, everything else that follows will feel like a breeze. We can’t help but agree, as we’ve experienced this first-hand and found a few ways to sweeten your frog...so to speak.
To make tasks easier to pin down, be sure to set specific goals for yourself. This can be something as simple as promising to finish storing your seasonal clothes by Monday, or staying off your phone until you dust the guestroom.
Make sure that you also take a minute to reward yourself for meeting these goals. Not only will this encourage you to work faster, forcing you to focus on the task at hand, but it will also encourage you to work more to reward yourself more frequently.
Is it a little Pavlovian? Yes. Are we eating that bar of chocolate after we finish sweeping anyways? Hell yes!
Don’t have time to list everything you have to do? Grab our FREE PDF CHECKLIST and get to cracking!
3. Gather your supplies
Now that you’re all pumped up and ready to start doling out some elbow grease, you’re going to need an array of cleaning supplies.
While what you ultimately end up using is based on your preference and lifestyle, we’ve come up with a standard list of cleaning supplies to jog your memory:
- Cleaning cloths
- Vacuum & mop
- All-purpose cleaner
- Dish soap
- Boxes, bins, bags
It’s important to remind yourself that it took time for your house to get into its current state of disarray and it’ll take time to get things back to normal. Simply take things on in increments at a time and your house will be pristinely clean in no time.
Ultimately, our biggest spring cleaning tip is to take time out of your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule just to clean and tidy up your space. Creating good cleaning habits now will mean less to do next spring, fewer frogs to track down and devour, and more time doing the things you love most.