Spring Cleaning

This winter has been tricky. Spring weather may show for a day or two. Then winter storms return with a vengeance, leaving me tucked inside after my early morning walk and shoveling routine. By mid-February, I was feeling somewhat antsy. I had energy to burn and wanted to put it to good use. I started to look around my abode. Although a part of me was vigorously protesting, the urge to spring clean was alive!

The Start Is the Hardest Part

With momentum on my side, I couldn’t go wrong. Sure, there are many tips for cleaning. Start with your closets. No, the garage comes first. Nope, it’s the kitchen. And I began to get bogged down in the how-to’s and details.

I was losing steam fast. Then there was the article that asked: when is the ideal time to start spring cleaning? The answer? Right now! The author had started as she took down Christmas décor. Pish posh! I was long past the holidays, but I made a quick decision. Start with the areas that bother me the most.

My Personal Tips

To get this job done, here are my personal go-to’s:

  • Visualize my place with room and space. I pictured my home as being cleaned up. Everything sparkled, and all items were in their appropriate place. It formed a blueprint for my mindset.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes. I worked on a small part of the job until the alarm went off. If I wanted to continue, momentum was already in gear. I usually carried on.
    Check for the area that needs the most help. For me, that would be the kitchen counter. So easy to come home and absentmindedly place papers, bills, newspaper clippings, and the like on that surface. With the trash receptacle close by, sorting and tossing was easy. (I even found an unpaid bill. Oops!)
  • Moving on, I tackled the closet. I took everything out of the closet, and put it on the bed. If I had worn it over the past year? It was a keeper. The rest went to the donation box. I’m notorious for digging through that box and “rescuing” some precious treasure. For that reason, once the box is full, I tape it up. Off to the car it goes. No time to rethink my decision.
  • Set up the Marie Kondo closet. One more review as I double-checked to see if I loved what I was returning to the closet. Another tip: hang the garments backward on the hanger. As I wore the article, I would reverse the hanger, making next year’s cleanout that much easier.
  • On to the next area. So much to choose from, but I was on a roll. The bathroom was next. Tossing clutter (outdated hand lotion, soap, and half-used containers) was simple.
    Organize and enjoy. Organize my areas to my liking. Then patting myself on the back for a job well done. Time to relax after all that hard work.
  • Bonus Tip if you’re moving: This valuable idea came from a dentist who moved a lot while in the military. As you pack a box, put a red stripe around it. Next move, it’s a blue stripe. If you get to the next relocation and that box hasn’t been opened, out it goes.

Whenever you begin, happy spring cleaning!

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