With warmer weather comes parties, get-togethers, and family gatherings, so Springtime means cook-outs, pool and garden parties, and celebrations full of love and laughter. But after the cold winter months finally start to disappear and the temperatures start to rise, it’s not uncommon to find that things around the house or apartment are in need of a little more TLC than you might have first thought.
Thankfully, there are more than enough hints and tips to make cleaning up, organizing, and getting ready for spring and summer easier, faster, and more thorough.
Whether you’re expecting company, or are just clearing out the accumulated clutter and detritus from a long winter, there are many ways you can make the most of your spring cleaning.
Start with a list.
It can be as simple as “clean the living room and wash the dishes” to begin with, but don’t be afraid to take it a few steps further by adding detailed directions—both for yourself and anyone who might be helping out. By simply adding instructions and clarifying to “move the rugs and shake them out,” or, “pull out the cushions off the couch and clean underneath,” you’re likely to get more done, and enjoy your results just a little bit more.
Make a clear plan of action.
For those with sizable living spaces, breaking down what needs cleaned, when, and how often can help make things a little easier (but won’t keep you from having to clean entirely, unfortunately). What’s great about this approach, aside from the peace of mind it will create, is that you can break down those sections of your living space in to simpler, workable areas.
It’s helpful to break down each room into tasks that you can accomplish consecutively or spaced out over a period of days. An overwhelmingly cluttered bedroom, for example, could be parceled out into manageable tasks like “collect dirty laundry” or “change sheets.”
Break it down and create routines.
Creating a list is all well and good, and even accomplishing the goals set down in the list is its own kind of reward. But how do you keep things from getting back to how they were at the start?
Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, creating an ongoing routine turns housecleaning into a maintenance task that can be completed in a few minutes instead of an overwhelming job that can wear you out over the course of an entire day.
Work smarter, not harder.
Part of “maintenance” might mean doing things a little differently than you’re used to. No matter where you are in the house, having the items you use most or need often within easy reach, and at the same level as your eyes – sitting down or standing up, depending on where you are at the time– means less time spent searching them out. As well, centralizing the things you need most and labeling containers for specific items or specific kinds of items will help to keep things organized and cut down on clutter.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If it’s too much to handle, asking for help can mean the difference between getting started and giving up, or completing more than you set out to do in the first place.
Though it may seem daunting, and maybe even a bit overwhelming, a clean house or apartment starts with a clear plan of action. Taking the parts of your living space and compartmentalizing tasks, creating lists with concise goals and how you want to complete them, as well as enlisting the help of those who are able and willing, will help to make a tiring, lengthy task much easier, a little more enjoyable, and much faster to accomplish.