One of the keys to getting things done and staying organized is to prepare ahead of time. Do your spring cleaning at the end of winter so that once the beautiful weather is really here, you’ll have the time to get outside and enjoy! Here are a few quick tips for springing into action now.
Tip 1: Make a list. Be sure to write it down. You can use paper or a fun mobile app, but make sure it’s written somewhere, not just in your head. Do this once and you’ll have the list every spring moving forward. Think about what you would ideally like to get done before the warm weather is upon us. Your list should include things like window washing, gardening or getting rid of expired groceries in your pantry. Need help getting started? It’s easy to find checklists online. Here’s a list from the guru, Martha Stewart – Download Martha’s Spring Cleaning List (pdf)
Tip 2: Have some fun. Spring cleaning isn’t just about scouring. Part of the fun of getting ready for warmer weather means putting away the winter outfits you’re so tired of and breaking out the summer duds. Remember, if you do the prep work now, once the sun comes out you’ll only need an afternoon to swap everything out. Plus, you’ll see all the great things you have for summer and may not need to go out and get new items for the season. There is nothing better than going shopping in your own closet. Do three things now.
- Make sure to have all of the supplies that you need including hangers and storage bins.
- Send out all items that need to go to the cleaners one last time so that they are ready to wear next fall.
- Decide if it’s time for a storage unit and make arrangements now. Ask yourself: Is there room for all of your clothing so that you can just rearrange and put the warm weather clothes in the front and the winter gear in back? Would getting dressed in the morning and packing for a summer vacation be easier if the things you don’t need this season go into storage?
Tip 3: Try a fresh approach. Sometimes a small shift in your thinking can make even the most daunting tasks seem easier. Remember that organizing is a process. You’ll always have items on your to-do list. If you create a game plan and do one thing every week or month, there won’t be the pressure of spending an entire weekend with your phone turned off and your rubber gloves on. Know that you are never going to get to the end of your list and learn to enjoy adding new items as much as you enjoy checking off the tasks you complete. For now, commit to completing one spring task per week and by Memorial Day you’ll have completed more tasks than you even thought possible.
Tip 4: Remember to reward yourself – often! It’s important to celebrate small victories. When you meet your goals, treat yourself to something that’s meaningful to you. It could be as simple as a nap or spending an afternoon with a good book, uninterrupted. And if you slip up and get behind on your list, remember to be kind to yourself. No need to chuck the whole idea of doing anything, simply take a deep breath and jump back in where you left off. There are no demerits for not completing your list, you just end up with a longer list. So take another look, get real and take any items you have no intention of doing off the list, once and for all. Then do one easy item (so you can make the checkmark!).
Remember: you can brighten up your home whenever you feel like it. Don’t wait for your spouse to bring you flowers . . . buy them for yourself. A little sunshine goes a long way.