Every year about this time people start talking about doing their spring cleaning. For some people that means washing windows, window screens, and getting outside furniture ready. For other people, it means moving furniture, cleaning the dust bunnies, and reorganizing the furniture placement. This year, however, we’ve all been doing so much cleaning. Constantly wiping down counters and packages, washing hands, and being organized to clean at a moment’s notice. Why would we want to engage in spring cleaning? Is there a difference?
Last year around this time is when we all hunkered down in our homes. Can you believe it? The Coronavirus that we had hoped would only last a few weeks, was quickly turning into a pandemic with no end in sight.
We closed ourselves in only venturing out for the absolutely necessary. Overnight our homes became the place we never left. These homes had to accommodate all the activities we typically did outside the home as well as those for which we came home. They morphed into school rooms, fitness centers, entertainment zones, offices, Zoom rooms, non-stop dining facilities, and bedrooms – changing as the need changed.
We packed our homes with extra food and cleaning supplies and with the necessary items to support our lifestyle at home. Exercise equipment took over corners in some homes. We planned our time to allow for extra hand washing, clothes washing, and face mask washing. Then we got ourselves organized to clean and remove germs as we went along.
So many activities, so little space
Because so many families have, out of necessity, packed all their activities into the home. Is there space to do spring cleaning? Do we need to do that, after all the cleaning we’ve been doing? I wonder if the time is right to unpack all that has been jammed into our homes. Are we ready to open up our homes, let the sunshine in, and experience life outside the shelter of our homes?
If you are ready to get organized to clean, spring-cleaning style, take the next 6 weeks or so to gradually go through your home tackling the spaces you want to deeply clean. The difference between the cleaning we’ve been doing, and spring cleaning is that spring cleaning involves deeply cleaning each aspect of the space. Cleaning in general, gets rid of dust, dirt, and grime and we expect – germs.
Bring in the cleaning supplies that you need to have on hand. Decide if you are going to chase the cobwebs near the windows or tackle the dust bunnies under the furniture. Maybe you are going to do both of these things.
There are many, many fabulous guides on Spring Cleaning out there. My blogging colleague, Sabrina Quairoli, wrote a terrific spring-cleaning guide recently. Click here for Sabrina’s Spring-Cleaning Tips.
A good reason to embark on a Spring-Cleaning routine, even though we have been continually cleaning everything, is that it will freshen up your home and lift your spirits. Take some time to get organized to clean out the things you know you won’t be using. Unpack the supplies that have been stuffed into corners. There may be clutter lurking in those corners also.
I can understand hanging onto a few extras of certain things that were in short supply during the first wave of the Pandemic. However, as a professional organizer, I encourage you not to stockpile too much. These stockpiles take up valuable real estate in our homes and I’ve already listed all the ways that our homes now serve us.
If the things you don’t need any more are in good condition donate them.
Do you have a suitcase that you know you don’t want? Clean it up and then take it to a Foster cares office. They give these suitcases to foster children, so they have something in which to put their belongings other than a garbage bag.
Remove winter clothes that your children have outgrown from their closets. Do the same thing with your winter clothes. Set them aside to donate in the early fall when donation centers will be ready to accept them. I suggest putting the clothes in a plastic tub in the attic or garage and putting a reminder in your calendar to donate the contents in the fall.
If you feel like you are continually getting organized to clean and are unsure if you want to do any spring-cleaning remember there is a difference. Think about it that way. Whether you engage in Spring cleaning this year or not I hope you embrace the coming season. There is a change in the way we are anticipating spring this year. Make your home ready to enjoy all that the coming season has to offer. If you would like some motivation to tackle individual tasks check out the Organize Your Home 10 minutes at a Time deck of cards or reach out to me.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people affected by ADD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization. Diane and Jonda Beattie are the best-selling authors of: Filled Up and Overflowing.