Spring Cleaning. The two dreaded words that make everyone want to run the other way. Stop. It doesn’t have to be a scary time. In fact, spring cleaning can be a great way to stop the madness and get organized. The hardest part is getting started. Once you’ve started you’ll find that not only does it get easier, but once you’ve done the initial organizing it will only take 10-15 minutes per day to keep it organized.
Here are some of my favourite tips on how to get started:
Formulate a Plan and Set Reasonable Goals
Decide which areas of your home need to be cleaned and allocate time to get it done. Allow time for distractions, so you won’t get discouraged if the job doesn’t get finished as quickly as you hoped. Make sure your intentions are reasonable plan of attack that has at least a 98% chance of being accomplished!
Involve Your Family
Spring cleaning isn’t just your job. Divide the list by family member, so that everyone is accountable for something. Even young children can be responsible for small jobs. For example, school-age children can sort through gloves at the end of the season and discard any that don’t fit or are missing a mate.
Tackle One Area At A Time
It’s more efficient and sanity-saving to work on one area at a time. Focus on a specific coat closet and complete that project before moving onto the next one. You’ll have more of a sense of accomplishment if one area is completely organizing than if many areas are only partly finished.
Spring Clean on Your Own Timeline
Just because the calendar says it’s spring doesn’t mean you have to drop everything and clean. If summer is better for you and your family because there’s less going on, spring clean in July. If you try to conform you won’t accomplish anything.
Donate, Toss and Sell
This is a great time to go through all of your kids’ belongings, including clothes, toys and books. Anything that your child may physically or mentally outgrow should be weeded through twice a year. Make three piles – donate, toss and sell. If things are broken, torn or just not used, throw them out.
Barbara Reich is a professional organizer based in New York, NY. Her tough love approach turns organization and clutter from chore to lifestyle. Barbara’s book, “Secrets of an Organized Mom” will be on shelves in February 2013. To find more tips from Barbara, please visit www.facebook.com/ResourcefulConsultants or www.secretsofanorganizedmom.com or @BarbaraReich.