Although she’s a perpetual cleaner, Anna Schiele says she is still able to come up with new spring cleaning ideas to rejuvenate her Missouri apartment every year, some that can even inspire the rest of us declutter and refresh.
This year she’s guided by her plans to move abroad and teach English in Prague, and she’s working harder than ever to get rid of all her unnecessary stuff.
“I’ve learned over the years that the more you have, the more have to you move,” she said. “And at the end of the day you’re like ‘Why do I have 12 pairs of sunglasses when I have one pair of eyes?’”
“If my space is clean, my mind is clean, so it’s really rewarding to get rid of stuff.”
If you’re not a constant cleaner like Schiele and are looking for spring cleaning ideas to make up for lost time, we have tips from professional cleaners and organizers to help you create a plan to tackle dirt and clutter. You’ll be just in time to make a difference early on, so you can enjoy your newly relaxing space during the beautiful weather.
Stock Up on Spring Cleaning Supplies
Hit the store and buy any needed cleaning supplies you may be low on or missing before you embark on your first cleaning adventure, so that you don’t run out and give up mid-project.
“I stock up on the necessities when I’m out shopping and check beforehand to see what cleaners I’m low on and what I’m going to need,” Schiele said. “I stick with the natural cleaners.”
And don’t forget any special cleaning supplies you may need, such as granite or stainless steel cleaners, said Antonio and Veronica Romero. The married duo run Romero’s House Cleaning Services in Southern California and have been professionally cleaning homes for over a decade.
“The best things you can have are magic erasers and disposable dusters,” Antonio Romero said.
“They’re wonderful!” his wife added.
Tackle the Most Cluttered Areas First
Start in the areas of your home that are most cluttered and dingiest, so that you’ll see a difference early and be motivated to move on to less-cluttered parts of your home.
After cleaning hundreds of homes throughout the years, the Romeros said the kitchen and bathroom are usually the dirtiest places in a house.
“You want to tackle the dirtiest rooms first, because that’s what is going to take you the longest,” said Antonio Romero.
As her kitchen table is usually a “catch all” for all her loose papers and junk mail, Schiele agrees that her kitchen is likely the most cluttered area in her apartment. But not for long!
“The table is full of just notes and things I haven’t put away or thrown away, she said. “It will definitely be tackled.”
Having trouble clearing out space and getting rid of things?
“Find a good friend that can help you make more objective decisions about your stuff,” said Regina Lark, a board certified professional organizer and author of Psychic Debris, Crowded Closets: The Relationship Between the Stuff in Your Head and What’s Under Your Bed. “Decision making and maintenance are the hardest parts of decluttering.”
Set a Date and Limit Cleaning Time to Prevent Exhaustion
In order to achieve your spring cleaning goals and avoid burnout, schedule a day to tackle each task and set aside no more than two hours to complete it.
“Take an area, put it on the calendar, and give yourself enough time to work on that area,” Lark said. “Don’t take calls or check emails during that time. Really give yourself every single advantage to get the task finished.”
A self-proclaimed list addict, Schiele said creating a to-do list of cleaning tasks keeps her on schedule and organized during spring cleaning.
“I make Saturday morning my time to deep clean and tackle boxes in my basement,” she said. “But if I do it all day, I end up getting frustrated. I usually carve out two to three hours. Sometimes I take a break and then finish.”
Crossing things off a to-do list, no matter how small the task, will feel good and provide a sense of accomplishment, something that will motivate you to continue onto bigger tasks, said Lark.
And don’t forget to reward yourself once you’ve achieved one or all of your spring cleaning goals!
“Plan a great dinner party or event at your house to celebrate this very big accomplishment,” Lark added.