Spring always feels like a great time to declutter and get organized. It also often feels like a great time to be outside enjoying the nicer weather instead of actually decluttering… Spring cleaning is definitely not my favorite thing to do, but I do enjoy organizing, and I always feel good when it’s done. So, I have started making the process more manageable for myself rather than overwhelming so things will actually get accomplished!
When I think about everything that needs to be cleaned and/or organized, it’s such a big job, and I don’t even know where to begin. So, instead of thinking of the big picture, I have been breaking it down into smaller tasks.
I started by making a list of specific areas that I needed to declutter and/or clean. I knew that if I just wrote the kitchen, it would be too overwhelming, and I wouldn’t know where to start (or likely accomplish much). So, instead I listed things like kitchen drawers, kitchen cupboards, junk drawers, under the sink, the refrigerator, the freezer, and the pantry. Once I came up with a few ideas, I chose five “areas” for the upcoming week.
Monday – kitchen drawers
Tuesday – kitchen cupboards
Wednesday – under the sink
Thursday – pantry
Friday – pantry
I gave jobs that I knew would take longer an extra day to complete (like the pantry, master bedroom closet, etc). The weekends weren’t accounted for, as some weekends I did no organizing and others I found time both days to accomplish things on my list. I only planned for one week at a time in case I wasn’t as productive as I had hoped. MOST weeks I stayed on track though and was amazed at how small tasks make such a difference! Just writing things down and having a plan can get you motivated and maybe even keep you accountable.
You can obviously go at whatever pace works for you. Even if you want to say “I will go through one kitchen drawer per day.” Eventually it will all get done (as long as you keep at it, of course). I chose to use small windows of time to empty the spaces and wipe down and clean each before organizing and putting everything away too. Spring cleaning plus decluttering in one swoop!
Feel like you don’t have TIME to declutter (or clean)?? Try decluttering instead of mindlessly using your phone OR while you are talking on the phone. You could also set a timer for 5-10 minutes and try to accomplish as much as possible during that time. Odds are, if you have a little extra time after the timer goes off, you’ll keep organizing! If you plan to watch TV, organize while you watch instead of just sitting. Listen to a podcast or audio book while organizing to help pass the time and possibly be even more productive! If possible, ask your kids to help tidy up a few areas to help you in the process. Even going through the clothes in one dresser drawer per day will organize your dresser in no time! Use the time that works for you to make things manageable so you accomplish your goals.
One weekend after beginning my organizing plan, I knew I planned to organize my children’s closets that week. I asked my husband if we had any empty tubs in the basement for their clothes that no longer fit. We looked in the basement and found a few tubs filled with many things we could donate. Not only did I get an empty tub without having to buy one, but we decluttered too. PLUS, when my husband started going through some stuff, he decided to go through his clothes in our closet too. That wasn’t on my radar quite yet, but we spent our kids’ nap time going through ALL the clothes in our closet. Not exactly a “date,” but we were very productive and had time together! Four bags to donate later, and our closet looked great! Plus, we felt great, and it’s much easier to get dressed now with only the choices we actually wear available.
I’m sure there will always be something to clean or organize, but less stuff makes life a little easier. Do what works for you! Maybe your family will catch on too. Has anyone else started (or already done) spring cleaning this year? Any tips to make things easier or more successful? It’s never too late to start organizing!!