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Cleaning | Decluttering | Living Simply

Best Spring Cleaning and Decluttering Tips

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Here are 12 spring cleaning and decluttering tips to help you lighten up your home:

Spring is just around the corner, and it is the perfect time to lighten up for a fresh start. If you are thinking about spring cleaning and decluttering your home, follow these steps and use links to the checklists in this post to ensure that you get the job done successfully:

1. Break spring cleaning and decluttering into small chunks.

If you have a large amount of spring cleaning and decluttering to do, don’t try and take on the whole house at one time. This will not only be overwhelming, but it will be less rewarding at the end of the day.  By doing a little decluttering or cleaning here and there, it’s hard to see tangible results.  Instead, focus on one small area at a time. 

Move onto another area only after you have completed the first.  At the end of the day, you will reap the rewards of your labor every time you open your pantry door and see an clean and decluttered space. 

2. If you are planning on taking on a large spring cleaning and decluttering project, do it in this order.

Do all of your decluttering first, then move on to cleaning your house as a finishing touch.  If you have a whole house to declutter, avoid starting with a challenging category of clutter.  Generally, keepsakes, photos and paperwork are all more difficult to tackle.  It takes much longer to go through paper and photos then it takes to declutter your pantry.  Also, keepsakes and photos usually have so many emotions tied to them, that decision making is more difficult.

To make more rapid progress, choose a smaller more manageable space like your bathroom, kitchen pantry or a hall closet. Typically, it is much easier to make decisions about nearly empty bottles of shampoo and expired food than your keepsakes.

3. Use caution not to shop for any organizing products before you do your decluttering.

Because shopping for organizing products is fun, most people make the mistake of shopping too early.  Be sure to do your decluttering first.  Sort what you have into groups of related items.  Once you have everything sorted, it is easier to make decisions about what to keep, and what to declutter.

If you complete these 2 steps first, you will then have a much better idea of what kind of organizing products to shop for.  By waiting to shop until later, you will avoid buying too many or the wrong size products.  Waiting to shop can also be also a great incentive to get the harder part of the job done first.     

spring cleaning and decluttering

4. Determine if your house has exceeded it’s clutter threshold.

Once your home has exceeded its clutter threshold and its storage spaces are overfilled, things start to accumulate in visual places and clutter and disorganization follow. Take a look at your home’s closets, drawers and cabinets, if they are filled to the brim, it might be time to do a deep cleanout and declutter of your storage spaces. Use Molly Maids complete decluttering checklist to ensure that you don’t miss anything.

5. Establish a donation box for your family.

Keep a donation box in a designated location in your home year-round, this will allow you and your family to toss no longer used items in the box as they come across them.  This is a simple trick that will prevent unwanted items from getting shoved back into drawers or closets. If everyone in your family knows about the box, you will be surprised at how fast it fills up. The donation box becomes an automatic tool that helps you declutter your home. Then all you have to do is get the boxes in your car and drop them off at a charity.

6. Do not wait, donate.

If you have things you are holding onto because you want to have a garage sale or sell by another means, evaluate whether or not the money you will make selling these items is really worth the time and effort.  A garage sale takes a lot of time and planning.

By choosing to donate, you free up precious space, and you declutter your home immediately. Donating is the quickest way to get rid of the clutter and save yourself the headache of selling the items.  You also come away with knowing that you made a difference by helping those in need.

Once your decluttering is done, move onto spring cleaning:

7. Vinegar and baking soda are excellent natural cleaning products. 

Vinegar and baking soda will clean just about everything in your home and do a better job! Vinegar and baking soda are gentle, natural, more environmentally friendly, and less costly. I now use these two products on nearly everything in my home.

Baking soda is perfect for anything that needs a porous scrub like bathtubs, and kitchen sinks. White vinegar diluted with a little water in a spray bottle creates a powerful multi-surface cleaning product. I use 2 parts vinegar – 1 part water. This vinegar solution can be used on sinks, mirrors, cabinets, floors, showers, and much more. 

Since vinegar and water are gentle and effective on so many surfaces, you can buy less of all those other products and save more storage space.  

8. How to clean your microwave quickly.

Stop scrubbing your microwave all the time with two effective solutions: 1 – Keep a microwave splatter cover in your microwave at all times so your family will remember to use it. 2 – To clean it, spray it down with the above-mentioned vinegar solution and wait 5-10 minutes. It will instantly wipe clean with no scrubbing required.

9. Follow these steps to get hardwood floors sparkling clean.

You can use vinegar and water in a bucket, and a mop to safely clean your hardwood floors. Use half a cup of white vinegar and a gallon bucket of warm water. Use a mop that allows you to easily access nooks and crannies. I prefer to use a Rubbermaid self-wringing mop because it is durable, long-lasting, and cleans well.  

Make sure you don’t get your wood floors too wet, as water can remove the finish or potentially cause warping or deterioration. I avoid using disposable floor-mopping products. They may be quick, but they don’t do a good job, are costly, and they’re not environmentally friendly. 

10. Get your bathroom and kitchen sinks clean fast using this method.

Spray the entire sink and faucet with vinegar and water solution. Let it sit for a few minutes to loosen stains and hard water deposits. Use the porous side of a scratch-free sponge to scrub the sink and faucet. Rinse with water. Wipe the sink dry with a clean cotton cloth and revel at how sparkling clean it is! 

If your sink is extremely soiled, you can use a small amount of baking soda and the porous side of a scratch-free scrub sponge to scrub it clean before spraying it with vinegar and water. 

spring cleaning and decluttering

11. Keep all of your bathroom cleaning products together.   

Rather than storing several stinky bathroom cleaning products underneath every bathroom sink, keep everything in one handy bathroom cleaning caddy.  

Be sure to choose a bin with a handle so you can easily carry it when you clean. This bin should be large enough to hold everything you need for cleaning the bathrooms. This will allow you to reduce how many cleaning products you need to buy and store. 

12. To make progress faster, clean your house task by task, not room by room.

It takes less time to apply a task to your whole house than to clean one room at a time. For example, when you vacuum, vacuum the whole house. It takes too long to clean one room at a time. To ensure that you clean your whole home and don’t forget anything, use Molly Maids handy cleaning checklist.

When I clean, I do it in this order: I pick up any trash or clutter, clean all bathrooms, clean the kitchen, then dust the whole house. Next, I sweep and vacuum everywhere. The last thing I do is mop all of the floors including the bathrooms.   

To learn more about getting customized virtual help with organizing everything in your home, visit my VIRTUAL ORGANIZING page.  Get expert help from a professional organizer at a fraction of the price of hiring one in person.  

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