The sun is setting later, the temperature is getting warmer, and soon you may be fed up with the inevitable film of dust that has settled in your apartment over the course of wintertime. There's nothing more rewarding than cracking open your windows for the first time in months, and letting that fresh spring air in. Less exciting, is the task of bunkering down and deep cleaning your space. Here are some strategies for mastering your mess and starting the season off on a shiny, clean note.
Start With A Plan
Before you even begin to think about putting on your rubber gloves, take some time to put together a plan for methodically working through your space. Spring cleaning can be very overwhelming, but breaking down the abstract "deep clean" into a set of smaller, more manageable tasks gives you a concise place to start.
The order in which you tidy can affect how clean your space is, so taking a methodical approach will also ensure you're getting the deepest cleanse you can. For example, dust falls as you move, so starting from the top of the room and moving down ensures that you won't have to clean the floors twice in order to remove all the dust from your space. If you really aren't sure where to start, there are plenty of 'spring cleaning checklists' available online, offering a clear cut list of what to prioritize. Check out these lists from The Taste of Home, Merry Maids, and Real Simple for advice on where to begin.
Replenish Your Cleaning Supplies
Before approaching that pile of dust bunnies, revisit your cleaning supplies and take inventory to make sure you've got what you need to tackle a deep clean. The Cleaner Home recommends prioritizing a solid eco-friendly all purpose cleaner and several microfiber cloths on hand as a basic starting point, but be sure to assess the scope of your cleaning project and purchase any speciality products in advance. Springtime is primetime for finding deals on cleaning products, so invest now, before you're ready to clean and realize you're totally out of oven cleaner.
Approach It In Phases
Okay, you've got your list of things to do and your cleaning supplies well stocked — now what? Don't try to cram a season's worth of chores into a day, or else you'll burn yourself out. Divide your tasks into phases of cleaning, whether it be by room or by a set of similar tasks. You can even go so far as to assign each day of the week a phase of cleaning, or adopt The Spruce's 30-day breakdown for achieving a complete spring clean.
Steal a trick from Buddhist monks by setting a timer for 20 minutes, picking one set of small tasks, and cleaning until the time is up. Knowing that you won't be cleaning for an indefinite set of hours takes the pressure off of the chore, making it easier to get started in the first place. Who knows — you might even get motivated and keep cleaning beyond your planned time frame!
Use The Four Box Method
Letting go of objects can be incredibly difficult. Make things easier for yourself by sorting your clutter into four easy categories: keep, store, donate, throw away. Forcing yourself to assess your relationship to your own belongings is a wonderful cleansing ritual for springtime, and creating a structured system to do so can make it a less emotionally charged experience. For clothing, try to employ the one-year rule: if you haven't worn something after a full four-season cycle, it may be time to pass it along to someone else (with the exception of special-occasion clothes).
Make The Experience Fun
Spring cleaning can be a daunting task looming over you, but it doesn't have to be! Make an upbeat playlist of your favourite sing-along tunes to take your mind off of the task at hand, and choose a specific set amount of time to work within so the end is in sight. Even better, pick something easy and fun to reward yourself with at the end of your clean, so you have something to look forward to. There's nothing better than a takeout pizza dinner, eaten in a sparkling clean kitchen!