Ahhh, spring. The birds are chirping, the trees are budding, the flowers bloom with all their colors, and my allergies are in full swing. And you know what else that means? Spring cleaning! Yes, that’s something that we professional organizers get pretty excited about. Nerds.
Wonder where the idea of spring cleaning came from? There are several different cultural traditions that embrace the idea in one way or another. In Iran, the celebration of Nowruz, or the Persian New Year, includes spring cleaning. In the Jewish tradition, there’s the practice of cleaning the home before Passover. In Catholic tradition, churches clean their altars and everything in the church on Maundy Thursday or just before Easter.
Even if you don't follow a specific religious or cultural tradition, spring is a time of newness and rebirth. And thus it naturally fits as a time to focus on cleaning and organizing and creating that fresh start in your home.
Winter is draining. I always want to hibernate, but I can’t, so I trudge along. But with the arrival of spring, it’s time to throw open the windows and let some fresh air inside. It feels good to channel the renewed energy of springtime into getting our homes (or offices) in order.
Here are a few tips for spring cleaning and organizing in your own space.
1. Be realistic about what you can accomplish
Sometimes that renewed energy from spring can result in a to-do list of cleaning and organizing projects that simply isn’t possible in the time you have available. Make your list, but then think about how you can break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. For example, having daily, weekly, monthly, and annual chores/organizing to-dos are a great way to reduce overwhelm and get the whole place clean a little at a time.
2. Pick a place to start
I’ll tell you a secret. There’s no right or wrong answer to where you start. It’s all personal preference. Some folks find it easier to start with what’s stressing them out the most, and others prefer to start with something easy to build momentum.
To figure out what works for you, ask yourself these questions.
What’s going to make your life easier if you do it first?
What’s going to make you feel better when it’s accomplished?
What’s going to give you more breathing room (physically, mentally, or emotionally)?
3. Set up a basic system
The approach I like to use is three bins or bags: one for trash, one for items to donate, and one for recycling. You can also use a fourth bin or bag for things that belong in another room. So if you’re focused on your bedroom, you can put things that belong in the office in that bin instead of immediately taking them to the office and more than likely getting distracted while there. That helps you stay focused and keep your momentum going. Then when you’re done with your organizing session, you can distribute things to other rooms all at one time. Time batching for the win!
Need to clear a path to the windows in order to let in some fresh air? Give me a call to help with that or any other organizing project you’re ready to start.