If spring cleaning seems like too big a task for you, maybe it’s time to adopt some new strategies to the annual ritual.
- Just before you’re going to jump in the shower, take five to 10 minutes to clean some area of your house or apartment. Never clean when you are clean, always before you’re about to take a shower.
- Divide and conquer. Rather than attempt to do your whole house in one day or one weekend, focus on a single room. A few days later, when you feel up to it, focus on another room.
- Pick a number. If you handle five to seven small cleaning tasks, as days pass, cumulatively, you have far less to do because of your ongoing campaign.
- Gauge your time versus your money. The more you earn, the more important it is to hire someone to clean your house. If you make more than $35/hour, or $70,000 annually, it makes sense to hire cleaning help.
- Like the Japanese, remove your shoes upon entering your home and ask guests to do the same. At first, they might be bemused, but the logic quickly sinks in. Most of the dirt in your home comes from what you and others walk in on your shoes.
- Make a game of cleaning. Suppose you only have six minutes, challenge yourself to see how much you can get done. Another time you might have three minutes, and another time you might have eight.
- Be gentle with yourself. Whatever disorganization, dirt or clutter challenges you face, it didn’t all happen yesterday, and you can’t deal with all of them by tomorrow.
Box Up the Clutter
Establish a one year rule. If your closets are overflowing, remove all clothing items that you haven’t worn in a while and box them up. Mark down the date that you put them away and leave a note for yourself someplace on your calendar or schedule, that you will review the contents of that box in one year. When you open the box, whatever you want to retain, put back in your closet. Donate the rest to a worthy cause.
An Incremental Approach
When you take an incremental approach to keeping your home clean, the very term “spring cleaning” represents a misallocation of time. Why clean in the spring, when it’s nice outdoors?
Clean during cold winter months when you’re less likely to want to be outside. Rainy days are another great time to clean. The dead of summer, when it’s sweltering hot, and you want to stay indoors in the air conditioning, represents another great time to engage in housecleaning.