The rites of springtime are just about here. Soon birds will be singing, flowers blooming, and trees budding — and they’re all signs that you may be missing out on something important. Spring cleaning is the most pivotal time of the year, but most people fail to truly take advantage.
This year, you can make a smarter spring cleaning plan.
I’ll show you how in a second, but first you must know why creating a Smarter Spring Cleaning Plan is important. What few people realize is that this is a great opportunity to take dramatic steps forward in your life.
Spring cleaning allows you to:
- Freshen-up your house and your positive mindset
- Organize and declutter your life
- Gain some much-needed work-life balance
- Establish positive habits
It’s the ultimate act of renewal, which sets the tone for your year in many ways that improve your ability to get things done and enjoy a more productive life.
How to Make Your Plan
Sit down and list what you’d like to accomplish this spring. To get you started, borrow ideas from this spring cleaning checklist from homemaking expert Martha Stewart.
Schedule your cleaning tasks onto your calendar. A Smarter Spring Cleaning Plan is spread out over several weeks because in most cases a single weekend isn’t enough. Some tasks require several days while others will require preparation time.
Here are some smart ideas:
- Schedule together activities that allow multi-tasking (e.g. doing laundry while cleaning blinds)
- Save valuable cleaning time by planning certain activities that should precede others, like dusting before vacuuming
- Discuss your expectations with your family helpers (e.g. “garage cleaned so cars can park inside”); it will improve your results
- Write your plan in clear terms that can be referenced later for an even smarter 2012 cleaning; better yet, start a Smarter Spring Cleaning Plan binder
Remember: Trust that your plan is the best use of your time. As new tasks pop-up during your cleaning you must avoid the temptation to wander into doing them. Instead, write down and schedule the new task.
Ten More Smart Spring Cleaning Tips
Here are ten more ways you can stop wasting this great opportunity and get on the right track with a Smarter Spring Cleaning Plan this year:
- Welcome-in spring: focus on tasks that create renewal — the way dusting and window washing enhances your fresh air and sunshine indoors
- Set the mark high: remember that certain areas of the home — kitchen, bathrooms, kids rooms — require higher sanitary standards than others
- Don’t forget your workspace: include your home office, desk, and inbox; be sure to spend time filing and recycling letters, catalogs and email
- Prepare your tools: store task-specific supplies together in a labeled bucket (e.g. “dusting supplies”) making them easier to find next time you need them
- Minimize yourself: make decisions to purge your house of rarely used and unnecessary items; create boxes of items to sell and things to donate
- Clean your financial house too: this is a great time to sort your tax info [link], organize your bills, and improve your financial habits
- Hire out: certain tasks can hired out affordably, allowing you to focus time elsewhere; get rates from a local maid service or lawn crew
- Begin one new habit: commit yourself to a new healthy activity, like cleaning the refrigerator weekly or buying more green products
- Plan forward: use this time to set in stone some daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routines; write your household cleaning plan and keep it in your planner
- Don’t create more waste: consider the environmental impact of your cleaning by using reusable towels, sponges, and mops instead of paper towels and Swiffer-type disposable sweepers.
Share what’s On Your List
It’s easy to get overwhelmed while planning your Spring Cleaning, so remember to keep your plan realistic, and commit yourself to only as much as time allows. Do you have a particular Spring Cleaning method that has been helpful to you? Please share it by commenting.