NOTE: This essay was originally published April 1, 2015 but it is actually fitting no matter what time of year it is. Enjoy!
Wow! April 1st. Can you believe it’s April Fool’s Day? This year is flying by – at least it is for me.
Many of us think of Spring when the calendar hits April. And what ties in with Spring? SPRING CLEANING! How many years have you spent hours upon hours spring cleaning your house? How about this year, you try Spring cleaning the minimalist way so that next year it won’t take you hours? If you’re ready, let’s get started:
- Get organized first then work room by room. As you walk into each room, take a moment to really look around. What do you see sitting on the counters, shelves, or tables? Is it important to you? If not, put it in a donate box. If it is, do you want to see it every day? Yes, leave it out. No, put it away to revisit another day.
- Work from top to bottom. Just like you do when you wash a car, start cleaning from the top down to the bottom starting with the ceiling, light fixtures, walls, windows, baseboards finally to the floor.
- Just as you did with the items on your tables, shelves, counters – do the same with everything on your walls. Do you have a lot of pictures hanging on your walls? Do you like those pictures? Many times our personal style and tastes change but we leave the photos, pictures, medals and more hanging on the walls For me, it’s too much clutter so I have eliminated most items on my walls and kept only the items I truly love and want to look at each day.
- Windows? Yes clean the windows and let the day shine in. Great way to brighten up any room without adding “STUFF.”
- As I live in the country, I keep my curtains open or use blinds that are open which keeps it lighter. If you can, open those curtains. If you don’t feel comfortable, maybe try a lighter color or material on your windows for the same easy, room brightening effect.
- Take a moment to dust EVERYTHING including the items that you choose to leave out including lamps, picture frames, window ledges, and any other surface.
- Sweep and mop your floors or vacuum and clean your rugs.
- Empty your freezer of foods that have been in there longer than they should be. Toss them and make a mental note not to buy those items again. Ditto your fridge. Empty it out, toss items that are past their use by date and really clean every shelf and drawer.
- Same goes for your bathroom. Get rid of products that you don’t use but are taking up space. Wash your shower curtain and really scrub the tub and walls of your shower.
Done! Don’t you feel better already? Remember if you’re not using it, get rid of it by selling, donating or giving away. If you’re not quite ready to get rid of an item, put it in a box to revisit in a month or so. If at that time, you still haven’t used it and it does not have emotional ties for you, get rid of the item. Just imagine how easy it will be to Spring clean next year.
For tips on how to begin your decluttering journey, you can Start Here, or snag a copy of the 30 Day Challenge (our Minimalism and Decluttering eBook).