Spring Cleaning in Your Home and Life
Spring cleaning is right around the corner. Here are some tips to help get organized as you prepare to clean up your home and your life.
Each year, as the chilly winter weather tempers and life begins to stir once again, humans everywhere start to get an itch — an itch to clean. After months spent cooped up indoors, this desire to give one’s life a thorough once over makes complete sense. After all, you’ve been breathing the same air and using the same cramped, small spaces for months on end.
If you’re feeling that itch to spring clean as the world thaws around you, here are a few tips to get organized, stay focused, and possibly even help you address some deeper “self-cleaning” concerns as you prepare for the year ahead.
Don’t Just Dive In
You may feel that urge to grab a broom or start flipping furniture in search of winter dirt, but it’s important to pause before you dive in too quickly. Spring cleaning should be taken seriously as, when done properly, it tends to turn your living space on its head for a day or two.
Remember, cleaning almost always involves making things messier before they get better. With that in mind, spring cleaning requires careful forethought if you don’t want to end up with a bigger mess than when you started. That’s why it’s wise to start by sitting down and taking stock of your situation.
For instance, while it’s important to do the dishes and neaten things up, those aren’t really spring cleaning items. They’re more humdrum, everyday chores. Look around and consider what tasks have been truly neglected and then create a list in order to prioritize each one and then remedy them one at a time.
Once you know what it is that you’re actually trying to clean, it can also be helpful to create a cleaning schedule. This can ensure that, sooner or later, you address each area of your home properly and nothing gets left until next year.
Don’t Cut Corners
Next up, remember not to cut corners as you go about each task. Shoving things into a closet before company comes over or skipping sweeping the floor during a busy week is perfectly fine, but if you’re actually trying to spring clean, it’s important to take the time to do so thoroughly.
For example, if you’re going to clean your kitchen, take the time to wipe everything down, scrub the counters, empty out the cupboards, and attack the underbelly of the table with the textured side of a sponge.
Another area that’s easy to forget is your appliances. As you power down the furnace and get the AC ready, it can be a great time to make sure you’re properly maintaining both units. Replace air filters, check that drainage pipes are clear, and dust and clean where necessary.
Look Deeper Than the Surface
As you clean each area of your house, make sure to look deeper than the surface, too. For example, while mopping the floor in the kitchen may feel satisfying, don’t be afraid to get on your hands and knees to scrub it if that’s what it takes to truly clean things up.
Often this deeper-clean attitude can lead to a much more thoroughly purified living space. If you’re thinking of painting a room, for instance, consider taking things a step further and making sure that your walls don’t contain asbestos, especially if you live in an older house or rental unit. If they do, you may want to make the leap and replace the drywall before you take the time to paint.
Whatever the specific case is, make sure to look deeper than your everyday, perfunctory cleaning if you want to truly spring clean your home.
Consider the Environment as You Clean Your Environment
One way that your spring cleaning can address a deeper level of “self-cleaning” is by playing the part of the good steward as you tidy up your spaces. Making environmentally aware choices as you clean or redecorate can be a great way to improve your life alongside your home. You can do this by:
- Hanging window coverings to keep heat and cool air from escaping.
- Thrift shopping for your decor.
- Using a clothing line to dry your laundry.
- Decorating with houseplants.
- Replacing lightbulbs with LED alternatives.
Take Things to the Next Level
Finally, it’s important to take care of yourself as you clean your home. The concept of a “self-spring-cleaning” has already come up — and for good reason. As you take the time to spring clean your spaces, it’s essential that you also make an effort to line your own inner life up with your sparkling new home.
In other words, take advantage of the “fresh and clean” attitude to address your own inner condition. A few suggestions for activities to help line up your inner focus with your spring cleaning include:
- Adopting a minimalist approach to your cleaning. Look for ways to clear out unnecessary clutter as you clean your spaces. A neat space can lead to an orderly mind.
- Creating a hygge paradise. If minimalism isn’t your style, consider steering into more of a cozy, comfy hygge-inspired look.
- Repairing broken items. Rather than simply throwing away broken items, look for ways to fix them up in order to avoid creating waste.
- Donating what you don’t need. Again, rather than chucking unnecessary items in the name of spring cleaning, look for places to donate your unnecessaries. This will give them a chance to find a new home and a new purpose outside of the dump.
- Ditching the strong cleaning chemicals for eco-friendly alternatives. Cleaning is good, but doing so with harsh chemicals can be detrimental to the health of both yourself and the Earth. Look for greener cleaning products or even try that old-faithful cleaning solution: vinegar.
Turning a New Spring Leaf
Whether you’re creating a spring cleaning schedule, cleaning out the deepest nooks and crannies, or adopting a responsible, environmentally friendly attitude as you go about tidying up, there are many ways to address the messes and stresses in your life this spring.
The important thing is that you make an organized effort to do so in the first place. Spring cleaning isn’t easy, and it takes commitment and focus to truly clean things up as the warmer weather rolls into town. As long as you maintain a positive, holistic perspective, though, you’ll be able to conquer your spring cleaning lists and get your life back into shape all in the same healing process.