When you think of spring cleaning, do you think of getting down on your hands and knees and scrubbing your home top to bottom? That’s one way to approach spring cleaning, but how long does that BIG CLEAN usually last? A week or two? To make the most of your cleaning frenzy and make it last all season, you need to change your mindset.
Tackle spring cleaning as if you were about to move out of your old home and into a new one. Moving is the time when we get rid of the most stuff, but it shouldn’t be the only time. Remember that feeling when you just moved in? Everything had its place, you had only the things you needed, and the décor was fresh and bright. You can have that clean, organized fresh-start feeling again if you follow these steps:
Phase I: Move On Out
- Pantry purge: You get rid of food when moving, so why not do it now? Sort through kitchen cabinets and box up canned foods that you have not used and don’t anticipate using. Donate them to a local food bank. Toss out anything that has expired.
- Closet declutter: Pick one closet per weekend, and empty everything out of the closet onto the floor. I mean everything! Create four piles: keep, give away, recycle and store. If you can’t remember the last time you used something, get rid of it! Think about the use your worn clothing can get from those who actually need it. Take digital pictures of nostalgic items you toss, and file the images of the items you store so you know exactly what is in each box.
- Seasonal turnover: Assess winter shoes, coats and purses. Will they make it another season? If so, have them cleaned and put them in storage. If they won’t make it another season, donate them. And, no shopping for new spring clothes until you make room. Get rid of one old item for every new item.
- Throw a party: Once you have sorted everything, throw a reverse housewarming party! Tell your friends: “I am not moving, but my stuff is.” You’ll be starting a new party trend. Set aside and arrange your unwanted items in an area of your home. Ask each of your friends to pick one or more of your items and take those “new” treasures home with them. This is a great way to reunite with friends, find your unwanted things a good home and declutter all at the same time!
Phase II: Freshen up the Décor
- Kick the covers: It’s time to put heavy fabrics, blankets and extra pillows in storage. If you are never going to use those linens again, donate them to your favorite charity. Fewer things and textures will make you feel cool and clean.
- Bring in spring: Go to a local farmer’s market and pick out spring plants to have inside the house. Fresh plants help improve the flow of oxygen in your home, bringing in that clean spring-like air. Who doesn’t love an orchid or a tulip plant?
- Keep a record: Last but not least, take pictures of your “new” home and place them on the inside of a closet or drawer to refer to, so you can keep it that way. Really, do it. You won’t have to revisit organizing for a long time!
So, spring into action! You’ll love your home’s new look, clean space and yourself for digging deep and letting the sunshine in!
About Laura McHolm and NorthStar Moving Company
Laura McHolm is co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company and an organizational and storage expert. NorthStar Moving Company specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services.
Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.