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Spring cleaning means more than a weekly tidying up of the house.  The best results are when you engage in a deep cleaning in order to eliminate all the allergy-causing dust and dirt, as well as all the nasty stuff that builds up and can damage surfaces over the long-term.  It’s also about reducing clutter, and making it easier to access the items that are most important to you for the season. Getting a game plan together for this year’s spring cleaning is a great way to get started on the right foot.

A spring cleaning game plan  will eliminate that feeling that the cleaning is too big a job, and that progress is simplytoo big to tackle. Having a plan is the best way to go about beginning too, which is often the hardest hurdle to overcome.

Spring cleaning game plan: listomania!

Make lists, and make them simple and clear.  When thinking about your plan, envision how a specific series of tasks can improve specific areas of your home.  Spring cleaning game plans are all about winning battles, not wars. Lists will help you identify key battles, and identify areas in your home where they’re best fought.

Creating lists for every room in the house

For spring cleaning, it is best to go through the whole house to see which areas require the most effort and attention. Here is a general list that can be made, and then following the ideas from above, categorize and splinter into chunks for the deepest clean.

Lists help you to break down the parts of the task to portions that can be completed easily in one session. An example of this would be regarding cleaning out closets. This is one task in particular that can take a long time to complete if you’re thinking about all of your closets. And a task like this can feel overwhelming when included in with the rest of the work that needs to be done.

  • master bedroom
  • secondary bedrooms
  • closets
  • bathrooms
  • kitchen
  • family room
  • living room
  • garage
  • backyard/garden shed
  • den/playroom/office

Once you’ve identified your key zones for a spring clean, you need to consider working in each one from top to bottom. This does not necessarily mean that you have to start on the top floor of course; it just means that when working in a room it is best to clean surfaces at the highest point and work your way down. This will guarantee that if any debris or dust falls, it lands onto an area that needs to be cleaned.

With each of these rooms, take a look at all the different aspects that need to be cleaned

Spring cleaning game plan: think seasonality

For many, spring cleaning is a matter of cleaning out things that they no longer need or want. Create a way to determine if something is a “keeper” or if it needs to be shown the door. But another aspect of this is not about getting rid of items, but about relocating or storing them according to seasonality.

Making sense out of disorder by using seasonality as a guide is a great central strategy to a successful spring cleaning game plan. Your home will feel rejuvenated and fresh, and you’ll be able to find the clothes, tools, leisure equipment, and other important items more easily.

Here’s an example of how to kickstart this kind of strategy.

1. Select items that are no longer needed or worn for the season

For this task, you can label what is kept and what is tossed by how long it has been since you have actually used the item. In the case of clothing, you can sort by how many seasons it has been since the last use, or by sizes if they no longer apply to you. This is a great way to freshen up the storage area, and take a mental inventory of things that might need replacing.

2. Organizing items based on season.

Box up those items – clothes, tools, outdoor equipment, etc –  that are no longer needed for that particular season, and store them. Chances are, you’re not going to need winter coats, boots, snow shovels, tobaggons, and other wintry items for a while. Storage strategies are integral to any spring cleaning game plan.

3. Arrange items in order of popularity and importance.

This may sound goofy, but when you arrange your clothing to be grouped by how they will be worn, it makes it easy to find things you most commonly wear, and to also put them back. The best idea is to have all the casual pieces together, and towards the front. Work clothes next, then formal. This will make the cleaning efforts last until it is time to get ready for a new season.

The same thing goes for the items in your garden shed. Clear out your shed, and move all of the items you know you’re going to need for the spring and summer seasons to the front. Check to see which items are old, and perhaps need to be replaced, or serviced.

Spring cleaning: reclaim your space

What it comes down to is this. When you’ve done a thorough spring cleaning through a solid game plan, you get to reclaim your space once again for the rest of the year. Once again, you own your home, and the clutter and debris no longer owns you. Keeping your eye on this prize can help you get there, and a good game plan can ensure that you do.

Next week, we’ll continue to explore spring cleaning, and how a simple checklist can simplify the process.

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.