Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks!

Spring is known for many things: Easter, blooming flowers, and reorganizing your house in preparation for Summer. While not many still participate in "Spring cleaning", I urge you to join in on the cleaning fun.

I know you're probably saying "Fun? Cleaning isn't fun!". Correction, it totally freaking is! You see, my hall closest (along with other random area's in the house) have become victim to clutter taking over and I'm sick of it. I have decided to officially work on fixing my secret shame (because you don't see the mess unless you open the doors) along with sprucing up the house overall. The reason this is "fun" is because in the end, I will be gifted with an entirely "new" and well put together hall closet, that will [hopefully] keep things in tip top shape throughout the year. 

It was during this time that I realized I should share with you all some neat tips and tricks I've learned, to help make this process bearable!

First step: supplies!

When starting to declutter, you need to make sure you have everything you need. Nothing is worse than trying to organize your stuff, only to have to leave a bigger mess and go buy paper towels, cleaners, and storage bins. 

Go through your house and make a list of all the items you'll need to get the job done right. Estimate how many storage bins you'll need and add an extra (better a left over than not enough), figure out what cleaners you'll need for every part of the house (oils for wood, glass cleaner, carpet deodorizer, bleach, trash bags, etc.). Once you've gotten everything prepared, it's time to dive on in!

Purge, purge, purge!

There's something about Fall and Winter that just naturally brings out the hoarder in us all. We buy extra clothes, try out the new makeup that's been released, and fix our Summer time blues by buying more and more. I too am guilty of this unnecessary pleasure, but it's Spring time that I set myself straight. 

Some of the biggest items to easily downsize are:
-old sheets
-old towels
-toys (for the kiddos)
-expired spices, canned foods, and dry foods
-books (I know this is hard!!!)
-nail polish
-travel items (mini shampoos, small toothpastes, etc.)
-papers (receipts, old notes, etc.)

You'd be surprised by how much room you'll be saving when you go through the items that take up the most room. 

Question your nonsense!

While trying to downsize and fix up your home, it can be difficult to rid of items that are ultimately deemed useless. Perhaps your judgement is clouded by one reason or another and while I completely share your pain, I've come up with three basic questions that have decided the fate of many items I wasn't sure about.
1. Have I used it in the last year?
2. Am I only keeping this for the memories or a sentimental reason?
3. Do I have a realistic plan to wear or use it?

Answering these questions out loud will help you to decipher if it's necessary or want. Don't get me wrong, we all deserve extra pleasures and goodies in life, but too much can be disastrous to your clean home dreams. 

Dollar items are your best friends! 

I've used many bins from Target ranging through $2.50 to $5 in order to hold many of my bigger items in need of storage (holiday decorations, summer beach toys, etc.). Well one of my biggest secrets in organizing smaller and medium sized items is Dollar Tree and the dollar section at Target. 

You see, I like to plan ahead so I have an abundance of trash bags, body wash, shampoos, and toothpastes (to name a few things). Instead of storing them in giant bins, go to Dollar Tree (or your version) and check out their stacking bins. These make for perfect desk, medicine, food, and all around organizers. They also sell smaller sized bins that you can use for makeup, bath toys, nail polish, and more. 

You can even purchase your cleaning supplies from there while your stocking up on bins!

Don't be so hard on yourself!

Needless to say this is thee most important thing to take into consideration this cleaning season. More often than not I'm harsh on myself, setting unbelievable expectations to clean and organize the entire house in one day, and forcing myself to OVER purge (yes that's a thing). 

What you need to remember is that if you're going to just repurchase something, keep it, don't waste your money. And instead of setting a goal of cleaning the entire house in one day (even though we want it done in the quickest time possible), try setting certain rooms and sections for different days. Perhaps on Saturday you can clean the kitchen, living room, and hallway. On Sunday you can do the bathrooms and bedrooms. Splitting the chores and rooms into multiple days takes the pressure off of you, allowing you to make better decisions, therefore providing a better cleaning experience. 

I know cleaning isn't dazzling and we aren't jumping for joy to do any of it, but personally with these few tips and tricks, it goes by with a breeze. Hopefully these inspire and help you to clean this Spring with ease!

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