Spring cleaning is a chore which, quite frankly, I dread. But once you get through it — through the depths of your junk drawer and the black hole of your closets — you feel a sense of relief. Your routine is refreshed and your mind is clear. You can actually see the clothes that you own, and you don't waste any more time putting dead batteries into your remote controls. I have learned a thing or two Spring (and Fall) cleaning my home, so here are some of my tried and true tricks for the task:
- When in doubt, look up. The biggest downer about Spring cleaning comes when you realize you don't have enough room to store all of the things you want to keep. But maybe you do. This year, I realized I had enough space in my closet to add another shelf at the top. It's so high that I need a step stool to reach it, so it makes an ideal place to store out-of-season apparel like sweaters, gloves, and hats.
- Get help. Personally, I think of Spring cleaning as purging all the excess stuff in my home that doesn't need to be there. Once I get rid of the clutter, I feel a sense of relief. But that doesn't mean my home shouldn't also be cleaned. After I've spent hours tossing out dated outfits and too-small jeans, the last thing I want to do is pick up a mop. It might be a cop out, but it's worth it to me to be able to finally put my feet up and pay $70 to a cleaning lady to deep clean my apartment. She does a much better job than I ever could, too.
- Hand-me-down. You've heard it a million times before: "Divide your things into keep, throw-away, and donation piles." It's good advice, but when it comes down to letting go of that off-the-shoulder neon sequin top you splurged on but only wore once, it's hard to swallow. To ease the pain, I always invite my girlfriends over to go through my donation piles. Once a year, when an '80s disco party invitation arrives in my inbox, I can call her up and say, "Hey, remember that top I gave you? Can I borrow it?" Friends understand.
- Give yourself deadlines. Once you've gone through all of your possesions, you'll be left with piles of clothes that need to be dry-cleaned, shoes that need to be polished and reheeled, and rugs that need to be steamed. But let's face it: you can't get this done all in one day. Unfortunately, all of these bullet points can also add up to a pretty penny; my cobbler loves me! So what I like to do is give myself a deadline of one task to conquer per week. One week, it's my duty to drop off all the dry-cleaning, have my skirts hemmed, and so on, and then pick them up and return them to my closet. The next week, I have to lug my dhurrie to a carpet cleaner and arrange a time to pick it up. Lay out a schedule and a budget for yourself, and don't get in over your head.
- Reward yourself. Since, as I mentioned, I dread Spring cleaning. I need a little — sometimes, big — motivation to get through it. But shopping, after you've just spent hours cleaning out your pantry, is not the answer. Instead, I like to make a reservation at a favorite fancy restaurant — you know, the kind you only go to when mom and dad visit. Or, I'll treat myself to a mani/pedi and a blowout or plan a trip away with friends the following weekend. That way I simply can't wait to finish the dirty work, and I'm not adding any more stuff to my slimmer, sleeker closets.
What tried and true Spring cleaning tricks do you have? Please share them in the comments below!