When it comes to spring cleaning, many of us think we have to go big or go home. Whether it’s the change in season, the warmer weather, or longer days, we bite off way more than we can chew or spend a ton of money trying to refresh our spaces.
Some of us even use spring cleaning as an excuse to hoard and keep things all year round. We think we’ll just do a spring cleaning or deal with it when we have more time or energy in the day.
However, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be so bad! If you manage the process, you’ll get your home clean and refreshed for the season in no time at all. Here are my recommendations for tackling it right:
1. Manage your time and expectations.
If you haven’t dedicated time throughout the year to cleaning and organizing your home, you are likely in for a big job. For some reason we tend to think that we can tackle our entire home on a Saturday afternoon and be done with it. However, that’s rarely the case.
The first step in a successful spring clean is managing your time and expectations. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your home likely won’t be cleaned in one either. List all the rooms in your home from messiest to easiest clean-up, and start with the worst one. Try to tackle a couple rooms each weekend by going through your list numerically. Only move on to the next space when the previous one is completely clean and tidy. If you can do more in your day, then do more, but don’t exhaust yourself trying to shine your home in three hours.
2. Declutter before cleaning.
It doesn’t make sense to try and vacuum around toys on the floor or wipe around dishes on the counter. Take everything out of the space you are cleaning and put it in a box labeled ‘Keep,’ ‘Donate,’ or ‘Trash.’ Then put everything you’re keeping away in its proper place. If you don’t have a designated home for certain items, now is the perfect time to create one.
Decluttering before you clean keeps the process streamlined. It allows you to actually deep clean surfaces rather than constantly wiping around things. If you are finding you have too many things that don’t have places and aren’t useful in your home anymore, donate them. This is also a great time to make a ‘Needs’ list for things you are donating and need to replace, or things like containers and labels that will help you stay on top of your tidying year-round.
3. Clean your mattress.
Mattresses are one of the most forgotten about places when it comes to cleaning. We spend a lot of time in them getting cozy and dreaming lovely dreams, but they can actually get pretty nasty. Because of all of the dead skin cells and dirt we leave behind, our mattresses become buffets for bacteria and mites.
So long story short, remember to thoroughly clean your mattress. You wouldn’t put your new Steve Madden shoes on muddy feet, so why would you put fresh bedding on a dirty mattress? Here’s a step-by-step guide for an easy and budget-friendly way to clean your mattress.
4. Don’t spend money in the wrong places.
It pains me when people go out and spend their entire paychecks on large, trendy items to refresh their space. If you are able to, then go crazy. But for most people, it’s important to budget money accordingly.
Neutral furniture and walls are always ideal because they allow you to spend smaller amounts of money down the road to refresh. Once you have a neutral base, use items like plants, throws, cushions, and rugs to add color and go easy on your budget. And for those of you who say you need color and hate white walls, I assure you that your space will feel brighter and more colorful by adding punches of color versus painting your entire space fuschia.
Spend your money on quality neutral paint and furniture pieces, and the rest can be easily refreshed seasonally or as your style changes for minimal costs.
5. Don’t think of spring cleaning as a chore.
Most people don’t tie the words ‘cleaning’ and ‘fun’ together, but it actually can be a fun activity—or at least not a gut-wrenching chore. Buy yourself some fresh rags and a bottle of vinegar and blast your favorite throwback albums. If you turn your spring cleaning into a one-person dance party rather than an endless to-do list, it will get done much quicker and with much more ease. You can even invite some pals over and pay them in donuts and mimosas. Fun, right?
Hillary Paige is the founder of The Tidy. The Tidy was established to help people escape their everyday stresses by showing them the importance of tidying, styling, and curating the spaces they spend most of their time in. The Tidy brings purpose and usefulness back into homes, offices, garages, and spaces of any size, to help elevate balance and quality of life.