It is officially springtime in Boston! Now that we’re all homebound and have sprung forward in time with more daylight hours, there is no better time to start spring cleaning. Here are some steps to help you spring into action:
Take a General Assessment of Your Space
Start from the front and walk around your space – front to back and top to bottom. Don’t be afraid to carry a pen and pad to write notes about what you see and trouble areas. This helps identify the spaces you want to work on, the supplies you need to organize that space, and captures smaller details you will forget once you make your way around the house. Everyone has those areas of the home that drive them mad because it is simply not working, not needed, functional, practical, or out of date. Here is your chance to fix it or clean it up.
Make a Plan
Now that you have assessed your space and identified the areas you want to work on, let’s plan on what to attack first. I like to ask the five W’s – What am I going to do; Where am I focusing the work; Who will be a part of the work; When will I start; Why am I doing this; and How will I get this done? This is to solve the almighty question of, “What problem am I solving for?” Honestly, I like to ask this of any problem that comes my way at work. But in this case, you’re solving the problem of being disorganized so you can more fully enjoy and be productive in whatever space you’re working in.
No, I don’t mean start organizing or decluttering just yet, I mean get what you need to start the work. If you find that before you begin your spring cleaning you need a few things from around the house or a store to achieve your cleaning goal – trash bags, storage containers, dryer sheets, laundry detergent, vacuum bags, mothballs, cedar ships, etc. – then stop and get what you need before you begin. There is nothing worse than starting a project and getting halfway through, only to discover you need something else to complete the job. This helps so that once you start cleaning you can finish in one swoop! Nothing is more satisfying than that.
Start Your Cleaning!
Okay, now you can start! You have what you need and you’re ready to attack your space. As you’re working, you may want to have a few bags or reusable containers handy for trash, donation, laundry, and storage. I personally find immense satisfaction with the transition from one season to another and the cleaning that comes with it. It feels as though you’re out with one season of life and moving into another.
As you make your way through the house, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Gather all those coats, sweaters, scarves, hoodies, wool socks, and wash them! I use the bedding cycle when washing a few coats to ensure they are well soaked – but don’t forget to read your fabric labels to ensure your washing each item at the right setting. For scarves and hoodies, I wash as delicate on cold, so the spin cycle isn’t so harsh and then hang dry them.
- When I store clothes or shoes for the season, I like to use laundry dryer sheets or something organic and reusable and stuff them inside of shoes and pockets of jackets to keep them smelling fresh. If you prefer mothballs, I recommend reading all ingredients and ensuring health and safety when handling and storing.
- If you’re working in your closet to transition from winter to spring, I personally find the vacuum bags to be a lifesaver. I know it is tempting to buy the cheapest bags, but sometimes spending a little bit more and getting good quality makes for a better investment over time.
Take it one space at a time, one project at a time, make your plan, and attack. Just because you’re not operating at work daily doesn’t mean you can’t apply your skills to operate well in your home!