March 21, 2018

Spring Cleaning

Before the weather warms, when there is still snow on the ground (and in the forecast), Mother Nature is hard at work sending secret signals to the green things buried deep under ground. I think she sends us signals too… out with the old she whispers!
We spend time and energy in the fall preparing to keep winter at bay. We lower storm windows, shutter porch doors and batten the hatches for extreme weather. Come March, it seems only natural to feel the call to air everything out. As I mentioned in this post, I am feeling it in a major way this season.

While I have committed to a major purge in my home this year – no nook or cranny is safe – you don’t have to go through every crevice in your house to get in the spring cleaning spirit. Start small, perhaps with just one cabinet, and see if it spurs you on, inspiring you to move on to the coat closet and give it a good sort.

Because my to-do list is long, I sat down before beginning my purge and made a list of all the places I plan on tackling. Seeing things crossed out makes me see the progress I am making and encourages me to keep going. I started by listing all of the rooms in my home and then, within each room, detailed the individual things that need deep cleaning – cabinets, drawers, etc. Intense, right? This past weekend, overwhelmed by the vastness of the basement, I decided to start small and I set to work on my home office. Beginning with the storage cabinet, I removed all old magazines (except for my beloved Domino collection, of course), anything that doesn’t belong in an office (why are there Legos everywhere??) and pared down my office supplies to only those that I prefer and will need in the next 6-12 months (nobody needs 7 pairs of scissors.)

As I watched the piles grow, the “donate” pile in particular, I realized that I had to get these bags of castoffs out of the house ASAP. My favorite way to rid myself of unwanted items is to call the Vietnam Veterans of America. Just schedule a pick-up online and then simply leave your bagged and labeled items outside on the scheduled date. By the time you come home from the supermarket, everything is magically gone. It’s awesome.

Similarly, as the “trash” pile grows, be sure to bag everything up and bring it all outside to the garbage or recycling can. Right away. Trust me on this… don’t give yourself (or your family members) any time to rethink a decision! You won’t regret it and, instead, will only feel more free once the bags disappear! It’s like losing 10 pounds… or shedding that bulky winter jacket!

Once you have purged your belongings in each room, it’s time to move on to the cleaning. Take this opportunity to wipe down all baseboards, clean the corners, move furniture and trap the dust bunnies that have been living there since you moved in! If cleaning isn’t your thing, perhaps this is the time to hire someone to help? If you already have a regular cleaner, you may want to ask about a little extra time spent each week dedicated to the most recently purged space. What a great motivator to stay on schedule!

Whatever your tolerance is for spring cleaning this year, I hope that on the next sunny day you throw open your windows and let the fresh air in. Follow along as I tear apart every corner of my home and, should you feel the same urge, share your process and tag onGrove! I’m hoping that, by Thanksgiving, I will be living in a lighter, airier and more peaceful home.

In the mood to read more? Check out these related posts: Letting Go of ExcessI just want to see the floor again; Spring Rummage Sale