It’s that time of year again, and although we are mostly living life in quarantine, it is the perfect time to open the windows, put on some music, and give our homes a good cleaning.
Before you get started, here are five tips that will make this year’s spring cleaning experience one that will be smooth, easy and efficient!
1. Create a room by room plan
When we work with clients, the first thing we do is assess the project as a whole, whether we’re providing home or office decluttering and organizing services, or downsizing and moving services. Both require a full assessment so that we can create a step-by-step plan.
Grab a notepad, notebook or lined paper and start at the entrance of your home. Walk through each room of your home as though you were a stranger walking into your home for the first time. Look up the walls to the ceiling, then down to the floor. Pan the room and start noticing things that may be out of place, that may be damaged, or simply need to be cleaned.
Make a list of what you would like to do to refresh each room and then prioritize the list. What is the most important? What has to happen first? And voila! You have the plan for each room and your master spring cleaning plan for your home.
2. Schedule one room at a time
Once you have your plan, it’s time to schedule each room for its spring cleaning. You certainly can enlist the help of other family members, and each family member can do their own bedroom. But plan it, schedule it and stick to the schedule. Set a time to start and follow your prioritized plan for each room. Be sure to take short breaks every hour to two hours, if your project is a lengthy one. If you need an additional session, be sure to schedule it before you wrap up for the day.
3. Follow this sorting strategy
Sorting items that need to be decluttered and organized is a simple process, but it can become extremely overwhelming for many reasons. Some things have just not seen the light of day for a long time. Other items were purchased and never used or used very little. Expensive items seem to hold more value even when they are not used regularly. And items of sentimental value are tough to part with.
Before you start sorting, have a place to organize items by like-kind. You’ll need a place to put things that are the same or similar so that you can go through them once they have been placed together. For example, all pants get piled together, while sweaters and t-shirts have their own piles. When you have completed the sorting, you can then go through each like-kind pile and determine which ones you absolutely can’t part with, which ones you can let go, which ones are a maybe, and which items are ready to go. Put back into their space the items that are absolute keepers and bag in clear bags or in boxes items you are selling or donating, and put in garbage bags items that you put out in the trash. Be sure to recycle and donate as much as you can.
Note: during this time of COVID-19, most charities are not accepting donations. You can call the ones that mean the most to you, or seem like the most convenient to use, and ask if they are accepting donations and what their safety protocols are. This will ensure that your items can be used by someone in need and will be warmly accepted. You can also call upon 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to help you with your removal. They are working with No Contact Junk Removal and can help you properly dispose of your items.
4. Have your tools and supplies ready
Every project needs its tools. For spring cleaning, we recommend clear bags and cardboard boxes for donations or recyclables. Garbage bags for trash, to ensure you do not throw out good items accidentally. Have labels and markers to indicate what is in your storage containers clearly and put them away by like-kind.
Cleaning supplies are a must. Have a bucket, rags, and your favourite cleaning products ready. You want to be able to clean as you go, especially if you are emptying shelves, bookcases, cupboards. Have your supplies available before you move onto a new section or area.
Another item you may not consider is an apron. This can hold your phone, your marker, tape and labels. Plus, it will keep the front of your clothes clean.
Play some music and have your favourite beverage ready too. Make spring cleaning fun rather than a chore, and you’ll enjoy the experience far more, and you’ll be surprised by how much you get done in a short amount of time.
5. Take before and after photos!
Don’t forget this important step. It’s such a rewarding experience to look at what you have accomplished, and a picture is a great reminder of what you accomplished. Even if you choose not to share them, you’ll want to look at the before photo as you put everything away and feel a huge sense of satisfaction.
Spring cleaning is a wonderful way to spruce up your home and give it a fresh look and feel. Follow the tips above, and if you run into a challenge, or you have questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We’d love to help!