Updated: Apr 3
The urge to open up the windows and let the invigorating spring breeze come in is felt by many of us this time of year, especially those of us living in colder climates. After being cooped up during the winter months, it’s hard not to catch spring cleaning fever!
At Neat Little Nest we are fans of capitalizing on the added energy that comes this time of year by getting your house in order with seasonal transitions, decluttering + spring cleaning before the weather invites you to spend more time outdoors.
Decluttering + Cleaning are a power-packed duo. Decluttering is the act of looking at the items you own and deciding what you want to keep (a relationship with your stuff), while cleaning is getting the dirt out of your home (a relationship with nature of sorts).
start where you are.
The amount of time and energy you will invest in spring decluttering + cleaning depends on your starting point. For those of you who have completed a decluttering marathon already, you will likely spend more of your effort this spring on seasonal transitions and cleaning. For others who might be new to the decluttering and organizing journey, you would need to invest more time this spring so that your home is set up with systems to keep clutter at bay.
For a free spring decluttering checklist, visit our site here.
If you have never decluttered your entire home (or parts of it), spring is a wonderful time to do that after a long winter of accumulation. Below are Neat Little Nest’s top tips to ensure decluttering success.
Begin With the End in Mind | Before you move anything in your home, take a moment to envision what you want the endgame to look like. Simply close your eyes and think about what you would like your space to look like when you are finished decluttering. With that in mind, it’s time to take some action.
Declutter by Category, Not Location | The most successful way to declutter an entire home is by category (clothing/closets, books/shelves, decor/mementos et al) rather than by location. Decluttering by category makes it easier to make decisions because you are able to see the total volume of a category all at once, as well as see if you have duplicates making it easier to compare and contrast. If you would like a free decluttering checklist, visit our site here.
Focus on what you want to KEEP | The goal of decluttering is not to force you to say goodbye to everything. The goal is to have you look at everything you own and simply make a decision on what you still want to keep. The decisions tend to get easier as you gain momentum going through a space by category. If you get stuck on deciding about something in particular, set it aside for a bit to revisit after you are done sorting through everything else. The goal is to be able to keep something because it creates joy and if it doesn’t, it is okay to say good-bye to it as it once served a purpose and now does not.
Set an end date | Give yourself an end date you would like to have your decluttering completed by. With that date in mind, scope your projects smaller so you are able to complete them. For some of you, this might mean a weekend dedicated to the entire home. For others, this might be smaller bite-size categories over the course of many weeks. Carving out the necessary time to adequately declutter will help encourage you to move onto the next category in need.
Save sentimental items for last | Sentimental items can derail decluttering efforts taking you down memory lane for too long halting progress. Saving sentimental items for last gives you many categories of successful sorting before it to learn from. As you declutter your home by category, it will become easier for you to make decisions on what you want to keep. The reason for this is that you’ll know better how the items in your home align with the future vision of that space that you created in your mind.
Once you have a decluttered home, cleaning becomes a whole lot easier. Being able to focus on simply cleaning your home makes the process go a lot faster. Below are Neat Little Nest’s top tips for Spring cleaning.
Embrace a cleaning routine | Depending on the specific size of the space or the category you find yourself cleaning and the extent of the task, you might want to follow a cleaning routine to help you stay on track; we are fans of Clean Mama’s cleaning routine.
Be sure to have a cleaning “toolbox” at the ready | Double check BEFORE you begin the task of cleaning that you have an array of cleaning products and supplies on hand (wipes/rags, broom, mop, dustpan).There is nothing worse than finding out as you are in the thick of a project that you need to run to the store to buy something.
Simplify your cleaners and keep them contained | Distilled vinegar, baking soda, castile soap and lemons/lemon juice are some of Neat Little Nest’s favorite go-to “clean” cleansers. Be sure to have a handled caddy to contain them which will assist you in moving them from room to room. To see a list of our favorite cleaners, you can find them here.
Dry clean before wet clean | And we aren’t talking about your clothes. The best order of cleaning is dusting and vacuuming thoroughly before getting anything damp or wet. You may have to do another sweep to tidy up after a wet cleaning depending on the surface and amount of grime.
Involve the family | Cleaning is a wonderful time to get a helping hand from other family members including kids. Simply make a task list for each person in your household to own and then complete.
keep it simple
Spring decluttering and cleaning doesn't need to take an inordinate amount of time. It will take a bit of proverbial elbow grease, but if you focus on keeping it simple, you can go a long way rather quickly.
Think honestly about your home and consider what's working and what isn't and then begin to clear out the cobwebs, both literally and figuratively.
Be both aspirational and realistic as you set goals for decluttering and cleaning this Spring. If you haven’t had the opportunity to tackle decluttering + cleaning previously, then of course the project will take more time than if this is simple a decluttering and cleaning refresh. Regardless, any step you take toward decluttering and cleaning this Spring will improve your home in some way, which is a win.
Spring decluttering + cleaning shouldn’t be a project that overwhelms in any way. If you follow Neat Little Nest posts regularly and you have been incorporating Focused15's and/or Weekly Resets then the task ahead is familiar just with a slightly larger scope.
P.S. Stay tuned as the blog posts that follow this one during the month of March will be dedicated to specific areas of the home that typically require the most transition, decluttering + cleaning TLC as we turn the page from winter to spring.
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