We’re mid-way through spring, with the summer in easy reach now. And all the dust that was quietly accumulating in dark corners is becoming more and more apparent – at least to my eye, in my home.
I’ve been dipping in and out of spring cleaning tasks here and there, but I haven’t managed to do the kind of full clean sweep that happened in the spring of 2020 and 2021. I wonder why….
When we’re busy, it can be genuinely hard to find the time and energy to do the jobs around the house that we have on our mental to-do list. And yet, it’s important we find a way to do them for a couple of reasons.
- Our homes are so much more than shelter from the big bad world. They are supposed to be retreats, places of sanctuary, and temples for our bodies, minds, and spirits. And in order to fulfill this important function, we need them to be clean, tidy, organised. Functional and beautiful (according to our personal tastes).
- Anything that’s loitering on our to-do lists is draining our mental energy. When we finally cross them off, our entire systems get a positive boost.
So, if you can’t find the time to devote to a huge spring clean, but know that it’s vital to your home’s wellbeing – and yours, by extension – how do you get it done?
In bite-sized pieces.
The following seven suggestions could be completed within a week, or less, or more. Whatever works for you. But if you could get through them over the next week or so, your home will feel lighter and brighter and so will you.
As the light gets brighter for longer, are you noticing cobwebs in corners that were completely unnoticeable during the darker half of the year? Instead of making a mental note to remove them at the weekend – only to forget or be too busy when it arrives – why not grab a long-handled brush right now and tackle them.
Yes, stop reading and just go and do it.
Clearing cobwebs is a speedy, but satisfying task. It’s the lowest hanging fruit on this list and there’s no time like now to get this quick win under your belt.
Entryway – you’re probably noticing a change in the outerwear you’re choosing on your way out the door. Rain jackets may still be needed, but your warmest coats and heaviest winter boots are probably not getting much wear these days.
So why not clear these out of the way, and swap them out for your fair-weather jackets and shoes. And while you’re at it, have a general tidy-up of anything else that is creating any sense of mess or clutter.
The entryway is such an important portal into your home and can set the mood both for you and your family and also for your guests.
It doesn’t need to be a Pinterest-worthy uber-styled space. But if it is neat and tidy and allows you to easily transition into indoor mode, it will fulfill its most important function: to welcome you home and help you decompress as soon as you arrive.
The cupboard under the sink
This is not the most fun job, but it’s definitely a satisfying one when complete. And it will help build momentum to tackle the rest of this list.
Rubber gloves are recommended for this one, as it can be a mucky spot with all sorts of strange-looking stains from spillages. Clear everything out, give the shelves a good wipe down, and sort through what goes back in and what just goes.
I find plastic baskets or containers very useful to corral the contents of what I’m keeping in here. Use different sizes for different items, but organize everything in a manner that will make it easy for you to access what you need on a day-to-day basis without any excessive rooting around.
Usually, I find this task is completed pretty quickly. I waste far more time thinking about and dreading it than I typically do completing it.
We’re going to stay in the kitchen for the next couple of tasks. Like the entryway, the kitchen is a significant area of our home that warrants special attention. Unlike the entryway, we typically spend a lot of time in our kitchens, prepping and often also eating the food that sustains our bodies.
So cleanliness here, and a generally pleasant environment play a vital role in our overall health and happiness.
And the fridge is another spot that can get mucky – and quickly. It’s a clean-out that needs to happen more often than spring-cleaning seasons. And that can be tedious, but it’s also one of the most satisfying cleans you can do. Because you probably open your fridge and look into it several times a day.
When it’s freshly clean and organized, that simple action can be a brief moment of joy. When it needs cleaning and sorting, that’s a brief moment of not-joy (dread, frustration, irritation? It’ll be different for everyone, but it won’t be a pleasant sensation). And those little moments, multiple times a day, can have a cumulative effect on us subconsciously.
Or not, each of us is different. But I think it best not to risk it and give it a good cleanout. If the under-sink cupboard spurred you on for more, this one will be even more motivating as I’ll put money on it you’re exposed to the inside of your fridge far more often than the inside of that cupboard.
The pantry cupboards
In a way, these are an extension of the fridge. Storage for your less perishable foodstuffs, you’re probably rummaging around in these nearly as often as you are in your fridge. But they’re often more guilty of harbouring out-of-date items than the fridge because there’s no light in the back of that cupboard highlighting that interesting-looking condiment you bought but never ended up using.
Unlike the fridge, a good clean out of these cupboards once or twice a year should suffice. So when you have completed this one, it’ll be an extra big tick off your list.
What I love about cleaning out both the pantry and fridge is that you usually end up making space as well. And that extra space also gives us a little visual boost, in addition to the cleanliness.
It’s amazing how these simple little things make a difference to how we feel. And it’s important to notice them and appreciate them. Also notice when pockets of our home are having a more draining effect on our psyches – and take action to improve, if that’s what’s needed.
Ugh, this can be a fiddly one. Lots of small bottles and tubes and packages to sort through in here, so it’s probably the one you’ll want to assign the biggest time slot to. While everything listed above could probably be completed in 20 minutes or less, you might want to allow up to an hour for this.
Go through makeup and dispose of any that you never use, or is simply very old. And check all of your medications, ointments, and potions.
The bathroom is where we both detox and purify our bodies, so keeping on top of cleanliness here is important. But let’s be honest, how many of us venture into the cupboards when we’re doing our regular clean? I can well imagine the resistance you may be feeling for this one, so I suggest focusing on the satisfaction of knowing you won’t need to face this one again for quite a long time.
Five days of spring cleaning, even if in short spurts, deserves a day of rest. After your day off, maybe you’ll be inspired to take on more mini projects throughout your home. And little by little, your home will feel different. Lighter. Better.
If you’d like some support decluttering and cleaning your entire home, in bite-sized daily tasks over a period of 30 days, then sign up for my Decluttering Challenge. It’s completely free, and you can register for it here.