Spring cleaning in 7 easy steps – Alexa Lily

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Spring Cleaning in 7 easy steps

Spring Cleaning in 7 easy steps

How long have we been waiting for spring, more importantly what have you been doing for spring cleaning? There is absolutely no denying that this year has felt like one long winter, with unprecedented challenges that, although there were a few positives like family time and the gift of slowing down, I hope we never face again.

 

I don’t know about you but I started off lockdown back in March, thinking I would be spending the anticipated 3 weeks cleansing, slowing down and ridding my house of any clutter and unnecessary hoarding. But 3 weeks turned into 5 which turned into months. And although I had the best intensions for minimalism (and I did seriously decrease my shopping habits!), homeschool, kids’ endless craft projects and balancing work/mom life took over. That cupboard I swore to tackle on day 3, I am ashamed to admit still hasn’t been done.

 

Now we have cautiously emerged on the other side. My kids are back at school, husband heads into the office a bit more and I am getting out a bit (with my mask on!) and getting hair and nails etc done… at last! But I am still spending more time at home than back in the day, and I take spring cleaning in September very seriously. Here are my top tips for spring cleaning with purpose.

 1) Schedule in your spring cleaning time

You may find this strange but scheduling allocated spring cleaning is really  the only way to efficiently use your time, and tidy with purpose.  I previously talked about

and so when you are working out your week, decide on the time needed to tidy and allocated yourself that space. Contrary to what many try, spring cleaning cannot simply happen on the side while you wait for the kettle to boil. You need time, and the only way to have this time is to create it.

 

2. Embrace living with less

 

I firmly believe that when deciding to live with less the idea is not to become a minimalist over night but rather to create space for all the important things to shine. I feel there is space in one’s life for beautiful, wonderful things, and there certainly needs to be space in my cupboard for more than just a capsule wardrobe, but living with less is an art that is so liberating when embraced. My top tips for living in less, you will find in this post including: finding your mantra, doing it for a reason, taking baby steps, embracing being a conscious consumer and finally taking care of your own well being.

 

3.  Break things up

 

Do not simply say “spring clean home”. This is too big a task and will result in a little mess here, and a little mess there with nothing every truly being organised but rather looking  just okay on the surface. It is really key to break things up: I like to do this room by room. This method makes sense to me: kids’ room, dressing room, playroom, kitchen, study etc. Once you are in a space, tackle it and complete it.

 

4. Distract yourself

 

You may laugh at this but I decided to make my spring cleaning time, part of “me-time” - yes I am putting in the work of organising but I embrace this time to make myself a cup of tea and actually drink it hot. Secondly it’s my podcast time. That’s right gals, you know all those bookmarked podcasts or even downloaded ones you want to listen to but seriously don’t get the chance… This is the time. I find myself hoping my tidying will take just a little longer so that I can finish my current podcast. I zone out, listen and get thing done!

 

Haven’t found the joy of podcasts yet and don’t know where to start? My advice is to try Michelle Obama’s new ones, Oprah has some amazing ones, as does Goop.

 

5. It’s not just stuff, it’s also dust

 

For your spring cleaning attempts to truly have a visual impact you cannot just dust without decluttering and vice versa. Many of us are lucky enough to have help in the home, and, if so, my advice is to chat to your housekeeper about your spring cleaning aspirations, work together and formulate a plan that works for you both. If you are on your own, declutter first and then dust and clean. It is much easier to clean a less cluttered space.

 

6. Avoid surface tidy

 

Don't just shuffle some papers around, neaten the pile and think that your spring cleaning is done. You really need to dive deeper. Don’t just straighten or refold the stuff in the cupboard, take everything out. This ensures you not only go through everything and allows for a good dust and clean of the space but also ensures you finish what you started - you aren’t exactly going to give up with every item of clothing on the floor.

 

7. Go deeper

 

For a really spring clean get some professionals in to do a deep clean of your carpets, curtains, mattresses etc. Trust me: worth the money!

 

8. Don’t be afraid to get rid of things

 

I am not one of those people who doesn’t have an appreciation for sentimentality so you need to find your balance within your home of what you keep and what you don’t. And then don’t be afraid to get rid of what doesn’t fit into your life. I usually tidy with two big boxes and a black bag near me. The black bag is for the immediate rubbish, one box is a “donate box” for my local charity, and the second box is for specific items that need to be given to specific people - that jersey that belongs to your sister, your mum’s suitcase you borrowed last time you traveled etc. 

 

9. Organisational tools

 

I am obsessed with @Home’s Simple Stored range. These storage products really make things super easy to categorise and get things organised. Funnily enough they not only create order but more space too. One shelf of papers can easily become a practical space for kids art and scrap paper without too much hassle or mess.

 

I know that spring cleaning as a whole can be overwhelming but it is really worth the work to clean, not only your home, but your mind. As we move into summer (my best) and start looking forward to a new, changed life, this process of cleaning, organising and decluttering is so necessary for the transition. I really do sleep better at night with a tidy bedside drawer!

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