Photo by Chris Plavidal

Five Tips for Effective Spring Cleaning

Expert tips for homes that range from mildly cluttered to a scene from Hoarders .

Do you have the fever? You know what I’m talking about. It happens to almost everyone around this time of year: the sudden urge to make your home look like a photo from Martha Stewart Living. 

3ef824a08784767436bcf343ddd865aaSpring cleaning fever is back in full force at my house, but despite my ambitious goals, I struggle with where to begin. What would Martha do? Then I realize: Martha has help. I mean, don’t you think? So I enlisted the help of an expert: the fabulous Melinda Massie, owner of Organizing with a Side of Fabulous. Though she just recently penned her get-started guide, Fabulous Foothold to Organization, with expert tips for homes that range from mildly cluttered to a scene from Hoarders, she was kind enough to share a few tips with us right here.

1. Set your goal.  First things first, you need to set a goal for how you want your home to look and feel. This will be the guiding light through the process. Whenever you get stuck or are unsure if you want to keep something, remind yourself of the goal. Does that item fit into the final vision you have for your home? If so, fabulous! If not, let it go guilt free.

2. Set the scene. Gather any necessary supplies. Open the windows. Blast some music. Anything to help you feel inspired and motivated. Songza.com has awesome playlists for all types of activities – including spring cleaning.

3. Focus on one room at a time. Chose one room or area and don’t stop working with that area until it’s finished. Find things that belong in another room? Put them in the room they belong in but then get back to the room you started working on. Too often, people shuffle around while trying to clean and declutter. By focusing on only one room at a time, you’ll see faster progress which will help motivate you to keep going.

4. Create a sparkling refrigerator, pantry, and kitchen. With spring comes fresh, lighter foods and more outdoor activity. The new season naturally invites more healthy pursuits. Welcome this by cleaning out the refrigerator and give it a good cleaning, toss expired foods from the pantry, and get your kitchen into sparkling shape. Also, because we spend so much time in the kitchen we rarely spend time on the kitchen. By cleaning and organizing the kitchen, you’ll feel positive effects every day helping to motivate you to finish the other areas of your home.

5. Maintain your home daily. Organizing is never “finished.” Much like taking a daily shower, your home needs regular attention to stay clean and organized. To prevent things from getting out of hand, take a few minutes at the end of the day to reset your home and put everything back where it belongs.  It’s important to do the daily maintenance because time compounds on itself. What would have only been a few minutes every day becomes a couple of hours if you wait until the weekend. And you have better things to do with your weekend!

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