When the temperature begins to rise and the clocks spring ahead, it becomes time to say goodbye to those winter blues!
One way to say hello to spring is to open the windows, let in the fresh air, and get your living space decluttered and re-organized. Although spring cleaning should be an annual ritual, many of us see it as a daunting task. But if you ignore it altogether, it could have an adverse effect on your physical and mental health.
The thought of spring cleaning can be scary, especially if you think of it as a one-day job. Even trying to get all your spring cleaning done over an entire weekend can bring feelings of angst. But psychologists say that spring cleaning can also help you manage stress.
Here’s how you can tackle spring cleaning one task at a time and declutter your life.
Create Your To-Do List for Spring Cleaning
To alleviate the anxiety of spring cleaning and get over the “clutter-depression-anxiety” cycle, you should start with a to-do list. It should include a plan of attack: get your organizing ideas on paper in the form of a daily checklist.
Make a list of the rooms you need to tackle. When you finish a task, check it off and continue to the next. If you set it up as a task-by-task checklist, it’ll help determine if it’s a one-day or 30-day job.
If You Need Help, Get Help
Your clutter may really be out of control, or you just need some help getting your spring cleaning done. If that’s the case, there are several things few things you can do.
First, you can ask family and friends if they can lend a hand. If family or friends aren’t around or you feel uncomfortable asking them, you can look to hire a cleaning service.
Sites like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor make it easy to find reliable, screened help nearby. Also, you can find help with cleaning, moving, repairs, and more on an as-needed basis on TaskRabbit.
The 4-Pile Decluttering Method Makes Spring Cleaning Simpler
If it’s been a long winter, or a long time since your last cleaning, you may have lots of clutter. You may have collected a bunch of unwanted stuff, or maybe you just stopped putting things back where they belong. Spring cleaning gives you a terrific opportunity to declutter these messes and take control of your home.
When you clean your home, don’t just shove everything into the nearest closet (your closets need cleaning, too!). Instead, take the four-pile decluttering method: create separate piles for things you will keep, sell, donate, and trash.
KeepIgnore your inner hoarder: If it’s your parents’ wedding album, it should go in the keep pile. If it’s a torn, soiled t-shirt your parents bought at Disneyland for you as a kid, it should not. Try to limit it to family heirlooms, seasonal items, clothing, books, collectables, and other cherished items.
SellOne person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Make some money with your old baseball cards, vinyl records, video game systems, vintage clothing, or housewares. Sell them at a garage sale or on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist, or bring them to a consignment shop.
DonateThere are several local and national charities that accept donations of clothing, shoes, furniture, toys, and household items. Some charities, including Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Vietnam Veterans of America, will let you arrange a pickup. Donations to tax-exempt organizations are tax deductible.
TrashLet it go! If you don’t have a lot to get rid of, it can probably go out with your regular trash. If you are throwing an extraordinary amount of garbage out, then make a dump run. Also, a dumpster rental does not need to be expensive: refuse service companies offer less-expensive dumpster bags.
Find the Right Indoor Storage SolutionsNow that you know what you’re going to keep or sell, where are you going to store it? This would be a great time to get better organized with the right storage solutions.
From bins to crates, there are several types of storage solutions available to help you get yourself organized. Here are some helpful home storage solutions, and where in your home you may be able to use them:
Get Reliable Outdoor StorageIf you don’t have room to store everything you’re keeping or selling, then you should get an outdoor storage shed. Keeping bulk storage in a metal or fabric storage shed helps you keep control of clutter inside your home.
An affordable and attractive storage shed is portable, adds to your backyard aesthetic, and comes in a variety of sizes. Though they are portable, storage sheds should be anchored, and can be secured to many different types of surfaces. You can also add a floor or a shelving kit to a metal storage shed and make organization even easier.