We’re officially in the Spring Cleaning Season, which I personally kinda love. (I even wrote a whole post on how to clean up your ENTIRE LIFE, which I love thinking about in terms of more than items.)
Anyways, it’s funny how it takes a certain season to make us all motivated to finally clean out our closets, but hey, I’m OK with that! My problem most years, though, is that (in true Brighton form), I get overwhelmed by the thought of it. It always sounds kinda fun and then I find myself in a huge mess of a house 10 hours later and don’t have the energy to keep going. So! This year I thought I’d take a different approach.
I wanted to find a way to make the whole process LESS stressful and overwhelming. But I also wanted it to be effective. The last thing I wanted was to finish in March. This way, by the time spring actually gets into real effect (in April/May), I’m all done and can enjoy the sun and all those fun things! So if you’re looking for a way to spring clean without getting super stressed or it taking 2 months, keep reading!
Step 1: Pencil in 3 Hours a Week
The one thing you need to dedicate to this plan is your time. There’s really no way around giving time to spring cleaning (unless you hire someone), so it has to be done. I usually take a whole weekend to spring clean and then get overwhelmed by the end of Day 1 that I don’t even want to look at my mess by the next day. So this year, it’s all about 3 hours a week.
Whether that’s 3 hours after work one day, an hour after work for three of the five days of the work week or three hours on the weekend, that part is up to you! Make it work with your schedule but pencil in 3 hours to spring cleaning at the start of each week. Like actually write it in there as a task, k??
Step 2: Start SMALL
I know if I start on a room that needs decluttering the most (usually my closet), I’m going to get overwhelmed. Y’all are probably the same, right? So let’s start with something small.
Dedicate that first hour of Spring Cleaning to an area that’s less intimidating. Maybe it’s your desk, laundry room, or car. Something that won’t take more than an hour. You’ll have to decide what that area is based on your lifestyle, but let’s start there.
With that first hour and space, take EVERYTHING out of the drawer, car, cabinet, whatever. Do a quick clean of the space (just a wipe down) and then start the organizing. Y’all can use the Marie Kondo Method of asking “does this spark joy?” per item if you get stuck on whether that pen is really important to you or not. I find this has helped a lot!
Obviously throw away or donate anything that you don’t need anymore. If you realize that you need to do some shopping for organizers or drawer organizers, get a box and put everything from that area in the box for now. Label the box and start a list of items to shop for. Put this box away in your garage until you have what you need to organize it nicely (or else it’ll turn into a hot mess again fast).
Keep all donations in one spot of your garage as well so that you can do one big drop off at the end of the month. You can order boxes like this on Amazon to make things really easy for y’all and whoever you’re donating to.
Step 3: Do Weekly Shopping Sessions
As you keep going through more spaces and your 3 hours a week, your list of what you need to buy to make the space more organized will likely grow. So, once a week, either go to the Container Store (or something like it) or place an order for organizing help items on Amazon. (I’ll link to some of the organizers I’ve used in the past at the bottom of this post.)
The key is to do this order once a week so that your house and spaces stay in good shape, meaning, you don’t have a ton of boxes waiting around your house. You can order what you need and finish on that space 1x a week, and you’ll never have more than 3 hour’s worth of stuff to put back.
Step 4: Box up what you’re unsure about
Another place that I get overwhelmed with when it comes to Spring Cleaning are the decisions. I think I get decision fatigue or something, honestly! It can be SO hard to get rid of so many things or to make a decision on whether you’ll wear that shirt once summer hits or if you’ll miss that mug or not.
So! I like to buy a few stackable boxes and label them “Decide later”. This REALLY helps when it comes to those 3 hours because you kind of have a backup. I know it’s probably not the best method in the world, but I find that it works!
The key is to set your alarm for a few months from now and to actually GO THROUGH THE BOXES. After a few months, 1. you can see if you actually miss the piece, and 2. you’ve had a break from your big spring cleaning month so it’s probably less overwhelming to decide, and 3. you’ll already have an organized home so when you do want to put things back in their places (closet, kitchen, whatever), that space is already organized so it takes a second!
OK, that’s it y’all! Hopefully these 4 steps and the whole 3 hours a week (or 12 hours total) is doable and makes this whole process feel better. And before you go, I actually have a ton of organizing/decluttering articles on BTD already. Depending on what areas you’re looking to spring clean, these might be helpful, too!:
- How to Organize Your Fridge & Keep it That Way
- Pantry Organization Tips
- Bathroom Organization Tips
- How to Organize Your Entire Kitchen
- 18 Ways to Get More Organized
- How to Organize Holiday Decorations
- How I Organize My Jewelry
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