After a long fall and winter, nothing can be quite as satisfying as the first tastes of springtime weather. Warmer temperatures, blooming flowers, and soft breezes are a welcome sight to many as the time nears to pack away fluffy sweaters and jackets. Along with these cues of warmer temperatures often comes the drive to clean up our homes with a good old fashioned “spring cleaning” both inside and out.
Spring cleaning is not only good for your property values and curb appeal, but has been shown to improve both mental and physical health too. A good spring cleaning has been connected to a reduction in anxiety and stress through the satisfaction that organization creates. It has also been shown to boost self-esteem as most tasks associated with spring cleaning are very tangible and goal-oriented, providing a sense of achievement. A solid cleaning can also improve property values as you take care of small maintenance items and give a solid impression through curb appeal.
With all these benefits, it’s good to have a strategy in place when warmer temperatures come along.
Use these tips to help develop your personal plan for Spring cleaning.
Set Small Goals
Looking at your entire home can be overwhelming. Start by picking one room and then selecting one area of that room for initial focus. What area has become cluttered or disorganized or could just use a refresh? Those are the areas with the biggest impact in the shortest period of time and starting there will boost your sense of accomplishment early on and keep you going strong. Next, set a reasonable block of time to achieve a task. Maybe you only have 15-20 minutes to dedicate to cleaning, but that could be enough to either give you a solid head start on a corner or to complete organizing a drawer or counter space.
Track Your Progress
Create to-do lists and actively review your progress on a regular basis. Step back and take pride in the cleaner and more organized feel of the room, the lack of clutter, and sense that everything is tidy once again. Forging ahead into new tasks can be fulfilling, but failing to take time at the end of a period to reflect on all you’ve accomplished can make it challenging to really feel your progress. You may even want to tie personal rewards to various tasks and cleaning areas that you have been dreading or avoiding. Maybe you plan a dinner party on a date just a few days after you plan to finish up your cleaning, keeping you motivated, but also providing a fun event to cap off the cleaning. Whatever your personal reward system (for some folks it is as easy as checking off an item on a list!), be sure to track your progress so you fully realize all you have achieved.
Focus Indoors and Outdoors
It’s easy to get oriented to cleaning a room or area inside our homes and to forget the steps outside that can quickly spruce up our arrival home each day. Pressure-washing sidewalks and decks can remove moss and fungus and quickly brighten up the entrances to your home. A fresh coat of paint on a front door and shutters can transform faded looks to welcoming areas. Even getting your hands into the dirt of your bedding and pulling out dead/dying shrubs and plants and replacing them with new plantings can effectively add to your spring cleaning goals. As mentioned above, set reasonable goals for outside tasks as well as indoor tasks and track to keep yourself on track.
Consider Community Resources
If all of this feels a little overwhelming and you’d like to tap into others to make faster progress on your tasks, you don’t necessarily need to look into professional cleaning services. All it may take is a quick look around your neighborhood or church/community center to find youth groups and individuals that would be more than happy to help you out for a reasonable fee. Many church groups have youth fundraisers for missions and other trips and community centers are filled with folks looking for social interaction and ways to give back. Just as in any situation where you would allow someone you don’t know well to come into your home or on your property, take reasonable precautions before hiring someone and make sure they come from reputable sources.
As you can see, with a little planning (and perhaps a few new resources), spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a daunting task and can actually be uniquely satisfying. Whether you are cleaning your home for yourself or to help get it ready for sale, there are many benefits to rolling up your sleeves and getting down to work. Start planning early and track as you go to maximize your results.