10 Essential Tips for Spring Cleaning and Decluttering
Updated: Mar 16, 2021
Spring Cleaning is in the air! When it comes to home organizing, there is just something about getting the house clean and decluttered after being locked in due to the snow (and that can't be a truer statement after this weekend!).
Decide What Matters Most
When it comes to cleaning and organizing, the most important thing to remember is to avoid feeling overwhelmed. If you start to feel anxious, I like to focus on one task at a time and complete it entirely before moving on to another.
If you're cleaning the kitchen, start at the top and finish the entire space (I do advise to do the floors on each level last in order to maximize the cleaning time and effort!) before you move on.
If you're decluttering or purging a closet, bring trash bags or containers and label where the items are going (trash, donate or consignment/sell) so there aren't large piles of clothing on the floor around you.
Organization is a beautiful thing because it can be catered to the individuals needs and helps you find the things you need in your home!
Establish New Cleaning Habits
Set yourself up for success! A clean and organized home isn't just about having a clean environment, but it actually changes your mental state.
Leo Babuta, a zen habits blogger, states that you want to "make it so easy, you can't say no".
Start with something small. When you make dinner, make it a habit to clean up the dishes before you go to bed. When you get home, always hang your jacket and keys in the same place.
Building these habits overtime can help you grow into being more organized.
Something my dad always said helps me set my standard for keeping a certain habit: "Leave the place as if you had never been there". This has always been a good mantra for me keeping my kitchen clean!
Set A Timer
To keep yourself on track, set your organizing or cleaning time to a specific goal to stay motivated. Set your timer to 20 minutes and focus on one area to keep up the pace you've set to clean the house.
Giving yourself spurts of productive time can help keep projects manageable and keep you from feeling overwhelmed. This can also be a helpful way to break up the day when you're working from home. Set a time to get up every 2-3 hours to complete a task or do a quick chore.
Letting chores and tasks build up can make the to-do list feel overwhelming, so breaking it down and setting a time limit can make the process manageable (maybe even fun?? or at least not tortuous).
One "easy win" you can achieve within this time limit is organizing the junk drawer. We like to clear out these spaces, add in some drawer organizers and dividers and call it a utility drawer!
Change out/Clean Your Shower Curtains
Something not many people think of is switching out your shower curtains.
You can either fill a spray bottle with vinegar and wipe down the plastic curtain or you can simply switch them out once a year. If you're going to clean the curtain, I suggest taking it down from the rod (don't want it to come crashing down!) and laying it out with the plastic side up. This will give you full access to clean and disinfect the surface.
You can also throw your actual curtain in the wash (if it's fabric) -- this will help make your bathroom feel fresh and new!
Closet Clean-up (Winter Items)
Since winter is drawing to a close, it's time to start moving a few of your heavier sweaters out of rotation. Whether you do a seasonal switch-out or you have room to keep everything in your main closet (lucky!!), be honest with yourself about what things you wore this season (or even refer back to last season).
A good rule of thumb here is to ask yourself, "would I buy this item if I were at the store right now?" If it's a no, then maybe it's time to throw it in the donation bag.
Clean up the Washer & Dryer
Another way to refresh this spring is to clean out your washer and dryer. If we want our clothes to stay clean, we should keep the washing machine clean and fresh as well.
I like to throw in a washing machine tablet in once a month and always keep the door to the washer open to keep the machine fresh. Another good tip is to switch over your laundry quickly after the cycle -- leaving clothes in the washer can create a mildew-y smell that will be hard to get rid of.
As for the dryer, you can take your precision attachment to your vacuum and get deeper inside the lint trap. Another area you can vacuum is your dryer vent tube. Lint can accumulate here as well.
Clean out Your Purses
When you change your purse frequently, it's good to go through all your different satchels and handbags to clear the items you've left in them. This can become a fun treasure trove of gift cards and change -- you may even be able to take yourself out to dinner.
Cleaning out your purses can make changing out handbags feel like a new shopping experience!
In this closet we did, we categorized the purses into seasonal sections and used them as hanging decor! Check out some before and after photos here!
Paperwork, Paperwork... Paperwork!
Everyone dreads paperwork cleanup. This can be a good yearly cleaning activity to clear out old and outdated paperwork to keep your files updated.
The general rules of thumb for paperwork maintenance include: keep 10 years for business tax history, keep 7 years of tax history (all W2's, donation receipts and helpful tax info), 1 year for paper pay stubs, 1 month for receipts, utility payments and withdrawal records.
*You can also keep your tax documents (W2's and other tax forms) for longer to keep a financial record.
With the emergence of online documentation, you can cull down your paperwork into more manageable storage. I like to separate out my business and personal paperwork in these adorable file organizers from Target:
Change Up Your Decor
Another fun and exciting way to get motivated for spring cleaning is to change up your decor. A seasonal wreath or changing out pictures or paintings around the house can make your home feel fresh and new.
You can achieve this through changing out wall art and accent pieces on the coffee table, painting your walls a fresh color or creating an accent wall, or even by updating your pillows!
Squeegee Your Windows
What a difference clean windows can make in creating a new and clean space. The new light of spring is coming in and now that we have lighter evenings, you can enjoy the sunset through your spotless windows.
To take it another step further, you can also take this yearly spring cleaning event to scrub your blinds from dust and grime buildup and clean out the tracks of the windows.
After you've completed your spring cleaning, treat yourself to some fresh flowers and open up the windows to let in the sweet breeze.
Clutterless Home Solutions Team