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Spring (Cleaning) Is Coming!

There, I said it. SPRING! Spring is coming.

Those of you who are fans of Game of Thrones know the ominous way in which House Stark always says “Winter is Coming” as though it were the worst news in the world. Well, when I say Spring is Coming, I mean it in the best possible way.

After months of gloomy winter, I think we’re all looking forward to spring. I don’t know about you, but it’s been teasing us around here with a little sun and a little bit of warm temperature. But spring isn’t really here yet. Thats why I’m posting.

I recently read an article about tips from professional organizers. Not necessarily about spring cleaning, but one of the things she discussed made me think about spring cleaning. She said true organization takes preparation not cleanliness. Everything having a place doesn’t necessarily always mean everything looks clean. In her words, if you can have a fully clean house in 30 minutes, you are organized.

Well, that makes me feel better already. First of all, we’re all probably more organized than we think we are. But second, a big task like Spring Cleaning can be easily done if we prepare for it and then tackle it a little bit at a time.

shutterstock_139282610Now, different articles I read on the subject gave different advice. One person suggested setting aside a certain number of days to do Spring Cleaning and tackling one room at a time. Another person suggested doing one task at a time (so, for instance, you would declutter on one day, you would organize the clutter on another day, you would repopulate on another day, you would clean on another day, etc.). It seemed like a lot of the differences were based on the strategy and the space size.

I’ll be honest, I don’t have a very big house. Excluding bathrooms (or, perhaps, including bathrooms in a bedroom) and including my garage, I have eight rooms in my house, and none of them are very large (or that cluttered–I’ve only lived here two years). If I abided by one person’s suggestion, that would be two months worth of Saturday cleaning. (So, doing my bedroom one Saturday, my guest bedroom another Saturday, my laundry/storage room another Saturday, etc.) Or, it would be about a week of tackling one room every day.

But I do have enough clutter that I think I want to do a garage sale. Plus, I’d like to get a new dining room table, but that would require me not only getting rid of the old one, but creating another place to store things (because my current dining room is basically a storage area).

So here’s my plan. I’m going to take the preparation method. For the next two weeks, I’m going to gather organization supplies from different places in my house (shelves I’ve been meaning to put up, boxes from moving, sharpies, sticky notes, etc.). Make sure I have the cleaning supplies I need (garbage bags, disinfectant, dusting rags, etc.). And then buy whatever I don’t have (I imagine I’ll have to buy some boxes, etc.).

shutterstock_123195244And once I’m all prepared, it will come down to my plan of attack.

I’m going to begin with the garage because that’s where I plan to store the majority of the “clutter” that I want to sell, and if I’m going to store anything in the garage, I have to do a few things to prepare. Rearrange the placement of some things, move the stand-up freezer, clear out the recycling. Throw some things away.

Then, I’ll move clockwise around the house, ending with the office. Why? Because the office has a piece of equipment in it that I want to move into the living room, but before I do that, I have to make room for it.

It all seems so simple, doesn’t it?

Here’s what I will do in each room (at the encouragement of the professionals). I’m going to divide my things into five groups. (1) Trash. (2) Donate. (3) Move to Another Room. (4) Give to a Specific Person.) and (5) Marinate. I think these piles are genius. They force me to make an immediate decision, but also allow me a back-up plan.

So, here we go. Here’s to getting ready for Spring Cleaning.

What about you? Are you going to Spring Clean this year? What are you looking forward to doing with the less clutter / more space / more money / clean house?