In addition to flowers and sunshine, spring is traditionally a time for giving your house a good cleaning and de-cluttering. Not only can it help you relieve stress in the short run, keeping your house clean and organized will help you later in life when you’re ready to downsize.
While retirement and senior living communities often offer spacious living, they typically have a smaller footprint than the single-family home where you raise children. Plus, clean and de-cluttered homes sell easier and faster than homes that have not seen a regular spring cleaning.
Here are 10 tips for jump-starting your spring cleaning this year:
1. Take it one bite at a time. Or one room at a time. Don’t feel you need to do everything all at once. Consider splitting your house up over several weekends, where you tackle the master bedroom one weekend, the kitchen another weekend, the bathrooms a third weekend and so on. If you start now, your house will be transformed by Memorial Day.
2. Consider a cleaning service for a deep clean. If you’d rather skip the hassle, investing in a cleaning service is a great alternative to tying up your weekends. Cleaners typically charge by home size and depth of necessarily cleaning, and a whole-house clean could cost several hundred dollars. But if time is short and the job is daunting, you won’t regret the investment.
3. Hire an interior decorator. A basic spring cleaning is about de-cluttering and giving your home a thorough scrubbing in places—like the stove, or the grout—that you might ordinarily ignore in your weekly chores. But it’s also a chance to move furniture around, re-paint or change up your home’s aesthetic. A professional could help you make the best use of your space and guide you to a completely new living space.
4. Investigate closet organizers. The final vendor you may want to consider is a closet organizer. Most of us use closets as catch-all storage places, with junk tucked safely behind a closed door, yet the wire racks builders install are seldom the best use of closet space. Professionals are able to install new shelving and help you make the most use of this important space.
5. Make de-cluttering your first priority. You’ll want to tackle the dust and grime, for sure, but the biggest psychological benefit of spring cleaning likely will come from getting rid of old stuff and neatening your living spaces. De-cluttering will make your house feel bigger, and might offer you some mental clarity to go along with the spatial cleanliness.
6. Invest in Evernote or another digital storage solution. How much old paperwork is lying around? Evernote and other cloud storage programs allow you to upload photos of important documents, children’s artwork and the like. A monthly subscription gives you a permanent digital home for your papers, allowing you to free up space by shredding or recycling old documents.
7. Turn your clothing inside out, or store it upside down. This time next year, you will be able to go through your drawers and closet to see what you’ve worn over the course of the year. Anything inside out (or upside down) means you haven’t touched it, and it therefore can likely be donated.
8. Change your filters and smoke detector batteries. Filters typically need to be changed every few months, so if it’s been awhile, take this opportunity to change them out so your heating and air systems can operate most efficiently. Additionally, now is a fine time to change out your smoke detector batteries. Going forward, one rule of thumb is to change those out every spring and fall during time change.
9. Give your grown children their stuff. It happens to every parent: their child grows up and moves out of the house, but leaves a bedroom or a closet full of old stuff—toys, school papers, knick-knacks, photos, trophies and the like. If they’re in college and moving from year to year, it’s generous of you to hold onto their stuff, but at some point, it’s reasonable for you to box everything up and pass it along.
10. Don’t forget the curb appeal. It’s easy to get so caught up in cleaning room to room that you forget the outside of your house. Do you need a gutter cleaning? Could your house use a power-washing? A new coat of paint on the front door and shutters? Take an afternoon to walk around your house to make sure everything is in good working order and looks attractive. A potted begonia on your front porch is a nice final touch to welcome spring.
We hope these tips help inspire you to dive into spring cleaning this year. Do you have other tips or ideas? Share them on our Facebook post. We’d love to hear them.