March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb, and its arrival means we’ve finally made it through winter. People emerge from hibernation, grass will start greening, and those of us who live in a temperate zone feel like life is worth living again. Those of you in better climates who don’t know what it’s like to shovel yourself out every morning can suck it.
Sorry. I’ve still got a touch of the winter blues, apparently.
Anyway, let’s talk spring cleaning. It’s a great way to clear the figurative cobwebs still left in your head after the long nights have taken their toll. It sounds like a big undertaking though, right? It sounds kind of high pressure. But it’s okay. We can handle this.
1. Think around the edges. Hypothetically, we’ve been cleaning at least a little all winter. This isn’t a Hoarders intervention, this is spring cleaning. You don’t have to clean the whole house, top to bottom; you can prime the new season by making time for the projects that don’t need attention as often or that fall by the wayside. I’m talking:
- Washing windows
- Washing blinds
- Clean out the fridge and wipe down shelves
- Give love to your floors – wipe down hardwood, add a protectant if it’s appropriate for your flooring
- Clean rugs
- Putting away that pile of books that’s sprouted up near the chair. You’re not going to finish Meditation: A Complete Guide now that it’s warm outside, anyway.
- Sort clothing. Toss the stuff that’s overly worn, donate the pieces you’re done with.
- Launder winter clothing and outerwear so it’s ready come fall.
2. Identify problem areas. Think hard about parts of your routine which could be improved or simplified. My two goals are: find a new solution for our recycling bins, since they look open and messy in our kitchen and get full quickly, and create a filing system for our personal papers. What have you been making do with? Would your entry work better with seating, storage or hooks? How’s your mail sorting situation? Do you always find yourself loathe to put away your yoga mat because it’s a pain in the ass to get to its nook?
3. Set your project goals for the season. Based on the time, budget and space you’ve got, make realistic plans about what you’ll get done around the house. You might start planning on giving your house a new coat of paint or creating a built-in piece for your space. Maybe this is the season you’ll tackle turning your living room into a gamer’s paradise — without an electrical cord in sight.
Use spring cleaning to focus your attention briefly on the upkeep of your household. Maintenance often falls by the wayside when more important tasks come up, so being able to give it attention now can help us be less stressed down the road.
I’m pretty new at this running a household thing and don’t have all the bases covered yet, so I’d love to hear your spring cleaning philosophies. What do you make a point of doing in the spring to save you stress down the road?