As a kid I always remember my mum embarking upon a spring clean. Time to clear the cobwebs and get the house ready for summer. Whatever that meant. But there really is something quite cathartic about having a clear out, re-arranging furniture and sorting through the boxes of junk you’ve been meaning to sort through since winter began. And now, with my own home to sort, I get it. Spring cleaning is something that creeps up on me rather than a planned event, but I really do find it therapeutic to say the least. So while I’m in the throes of this year’s effort, I thought I’d share some of my favourite spring cleaning tips and this really fun little video from HomeServe, in honour of the event.
Not just a clean
Spring cleaning is not just a clean, in that it’s much more than just sweeping and sorting. I find it helps to me to move on too. This week alone I’ve been through the girls’ wardrobe and cleared out all the tiny baby clothes that I’ve previously been unable to part with. I don’t know why; sometimes it’s hard to let go. But once you do, it can feel quite amazing. So knowing that, I’ve tackled other tricky areas of my life too. I recently shredded all of my old teacher files. Now that was a wrench. Admitting I no longer need them. Leaving behind a career I worked so hard for. Saying goodbye (for now, perhaps) to a job that turned my life around. However you look at it, its huge. A chance to wipe the slate clean and start again. And start again we must.
Here are my top five Spring clean tips. What are yours?
I’ve done it, it’s not so bad! It hurts at first, of course it does. But it’s a little like ripping off a plaster. Once the first box of tiny baby grows are sorted and ready for the charity shop, the box after that is a little easier to pack. I’ve found that the easiest way to be ruthless in this situation is to allow yourself time to grieve. I know that might sound silly, but if you give yourself time to say goodbye, and to acknowledge why you need to, it does make it easier. So while getting rid of my teaching files was hard, I knew that if I kept just one the whole exercise was pointless. The same goes with clothes, and other junk you store ‘just in case’. Be ruthless, and embrace the fresh start with less clutter.
I have three piles. Rubbish, recycle, charity. And that’s it. It becomes clear what goes where quite quickly, and when you work like this you can get through a lot of stuff at a fast pace.
Give yourself plenty of time
There’s nothing worse than starting a job you can’t finish and wishing you never started. So I tend to break down the tasks into smaller jobs and give myself a reasonable time scale to complete them in. So the garage that was storing my teaching files is about half finished at the moment; number one job was sorting the teaching stuff. This weekend I’ll tackle the old and broken toys that we have stored in there. After that, we’ll deal with old gardening equipment. Because I don’t feel under pressure to clear the whole garage at once, I’m not stressing about it. So if you know that time isn’t always on your side, this is one tip I cannot recommend enough.
Start as you mean to go on
Once a room is cleared and organised, I find that having a good system to stay on top of it is essential. So right now our playroom is organised, tidy and clean. It’s been that way for three weeks now! I’ve been able to stay on top of it through sheer determination and a renewed routine. The toy drawers now have labels and the children are involved in putting toys away at the end of the day. We never go up for baths until we’ve tidied up and the floors are swept and mopped as part of our new routine too. And with every room that gets it’s spring clean, a new regime follows so that we can keep up with it too.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with employing the services of someone who can dedicated time and effort to your spring clean. If your carpets need a scrub, there are plenty of reputable carpet cleaners out there who can do that for you while the kids are at school. One off cleaning services are fantastic, and regular cleaners even more so. If you hate cleaning but love a clean house, this is one option you won’t regret. Failing that, get the kids on board. Mine are now used to ‘All hands on deck!’ where we each have a job to do and race to finish it before anyone else. We can have the house tidy in no time at all when we put our minds to it. Life’s too short to clean all by yourself!
Pop over to HomeServe to read more spring cleaning tips now.
This is a collaborative post.