spring cleaning guide

I have shared with you my spring cleaning rules and tricks and I hope you got motivated to start! One of the biggest challenges when starting the spring cleaning process is deciding where to start. If you have your own apartment or if you are still living with your parents, it is a big challenge to just start cleaning. Questions like what room do I start in, what do I clean out first, how do I purge a closet and other questions begin to snowball and it will never get done because you are over thinking it. I am not a closet organizer or a professional cleaner, but one of my talents in life is that I can deep clean a room in record time and have amazing organization skills. I love the feeling of a clean home that is organized and clutter free. That doesn’t mean that my living space is bare with nothing in it! I just know how to decorate a space or collect items that do not look like clutter.

This is going to be a very long and detailed post so you can clean your home step by step!

When I am bored, I clean and the more bored I am, the bigger the projects I take on. It is impossible for me to just sit still in front of a tv and do nothing all day. So lets just say, I have had years of practice of cleaning and organizing a home, so I have a few lessons I’ve learned over the years.

Plan One of the biggest challenges during a spring cleaning is dedicating the time to actually start. The key part of this is to be realistic about how much time you have and how much you are willing to take on. You can’t clean out an entire house or apartment on a Sunday afternoon and when you make unrealistic expectations, the failure can set you back big time! Instead, look at your calendar and pick a day during the weekend and plan to clean out one room a day. You may think you can get a lot more done in a day, but trust me when was the last time you went through all of your clothes or vacuumed behind your dresser? After work you can pick smaller projects to tackle like where you store your towels or organize the tupperwear drawer. Don’t rush yourself and remember to go at your own pace. Cleaning up a living space can become emotional when deciding to purge items or going through momentos.

Entertainment  For me the most important part about getting this cleaning project started is to set up some sort of entertainment while you cleaned. Put on a good playlist or start a new series on Netflix to watch while you clean. I promise that if you have something playing in the background, you are less likely to get distracted while you are cleaning!

Be prepared Before you start cleaning a room, designate a bag or box for donate, get a garbage bag for trash and get a bucket together of Clorox wipes and Endust. Make sure you have everything you need right next to you before you get started so you can keep going without any interruptions.

 

After Work Projects

If you have some time after work, there are many cleaning and organizing projects you can get done that only require 20 minutes to an hour. Just remember that you had a full day of work and that you may not have as much energy as when you plan to clean something!

Bathroom This should be an easy 30 minute cleaning project if you keep up with cleaning your bathroom. If it takes you more than an hour, you may want to clean your bathroom a few more times a year!

  • The first step is to take out everything that is under the sink and all of the storage containers you have in your bathroom. Have everything on your bathroom floor so you can see how many hair sprays you actually own and easily decide what needs to be tossed. If you have a lot of products (like me!), I suggest going on a a spending freeze for a year. I haven’t purchased a new hair product or lotion in the last year and I am forced to use up what I already own. I am guilty in stocking up on products when they go on sale or impulsively buying something I don’t need and then it just sits there collecting dust.
  • Deep clean with Clorox wipes inside of your cabinets and under the sink before you put anything back. That means clean the walls, use Endust to collect the dust on your trim and use a vacuum to clean out any vents.
  • Before you put one thing back, decide if you really need it. If you have a lot of lotions, try putting one in your car, at your desk at work or at your bedside table. If there is a hair product you never use because it makes your hair greasy, toss it. It is much easier to live when you have very little products to choose from!
  • Once you have decided what you are keeping, try to keep all of you hair or skin products together. I have a tall but skinny cabinet I use to store all of my products and I have separate shelves for my hair or skin products.
  • If you have the room, I like to keep a bucket of cleaning supplies nearby like Clorox wipes, paper towels, toilet bowl cleaner and a magic eraser in my bathroom so I can quickly clean up my bathroom at night before I go to bed.
  • Once you have everything put away, wet Swiffer your floors and make cleaning your bathroom a weekly to do!

Digital Declutter Everyone has a night that they watch their shows on tv, but why not be productive while you are at it? Organize your email and unsubscribe to unwanted emails instead of just deleting them. If you cannot see your desktop background, find places for your files or just create a folder on your desktop to store them in. One of my biggest fears is that I will lose my photos when my laptop crashes. A few years ago, I downloaded Google Photos onto my laptop and it is honestly the best thing I ever did! It automatically syncs your photos to your Google account and in Google fashion, has it organized in albums. One of my favorite features, is that you can pull up your photos by searching for a location or a person in the photos. Google Drive is also a great tool to back up all of your documents as well!

Kitchen Whether you have a small kitchen or a large kitchen, cleaning you kitchen can be done quickly!

  • While you wait for dinner to cook, take on a drawer or cabinet. Remember to take everything down, wipe it down and toss items or put things back to where they belong.
  • In kitchen drawers, your best investment is drawer organizers. You can purchase them for cheap at Ikea or any other store. Give everything a place in your kitchen and make sure you put everything back where it belongs!
  • When was the last time you threw out expired items in your fridge? Take everything out and toss what needs to go and wipe it down.
  • There are a lot of areas in the kitchen we neglect when we think about cleaning. Take out the trash and clean your garbage can. Wipe down your microwave inside and out and when was the last time you cleaned inside your oven?
  • Vacuum and wet Swiffer your kitchen and make it a habit to clean up the kitchen while you cook dinner at night.

Laundry Stick to a weekly or bi-weekly laundry schedule and it will never get overwhelming. I wash my sheets weekly and try to start the week off with no laundry. For a while I could only fit my clothes in my closet when I had a full laundry basket of dirty laundry. That is when I knew it was time to purge my closet! My helpful lessons regarding laundry is to fold laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer and put it away immediately. Or else it will sit there for days just staring at you! I recently fell in love with Downy Unstopables and it has made a difference in my laundry! When you are doing laundry, it is a great time to toss dirty socks and socks with holes in them. Once a year I get a new pack of socks from Costco and toss my old ones. Throw out anything that has holes or stains that just won’t come out. Also toss out all your ripped or stretched out undies. I love a lace detail but I find that they rip very easily. I know I am getting old when my underwear drawer is filled with more practical every day undies!

Desk Put on a Netflix episode of something, and when it is over, you should be finished. My desk is where bills and paperwork accumulate. The piles build when I bring my mail into the house and things get lost.

  • Take everything off of your desk or work area and wipe it down.
  • Put everything on your floor so you can see it and then put it back to its proper place. Avoid putting anything on your desk to prevent clutter unless you reach for it everyday.
  • Clean out your drawers and try to toss everything. I recently did this and threw out boxes of pencils, markers and sharpies. I kept a few and tossed the extras. I promise you won’t need crayons unless you are a teacher!
  • I have a small table next to my desk and on it I have cute pencil holders I got from Target. That way, all of my pens are together and I have my sharpies and markers in another holder. If it doesn’t fit in there, I tossed it. I go through so many Bath & Body Works candles that I try to reuse the containers as much as I can. In one of them, I have my paper clips, rubber bands and thumb tacs. In another, I store extra nails and screws.
  • I use an accordion document organizer for my important stuff like car documents, student loan or credit card information. Shred anything that you do not need to keep.

Linen Closet How many towels does one person need? I like to have to have two towels per person and then a set for guests when they come to visit. When I did my parents linen closet a year ago, I found towels that were so old that needed to go! The same goes with sheets. Your bed should have two sheet sets per season. You should be using flannel sheets in the winter and cotton or Jersey sheets in the summer. Guest beds should only have one set that can be washed after guests leave and put back on the next day. To save space, I put my towels under my sink in my bathroom or invest in a cute basket to store them in your bathroom. I use a storage container under my bed that I had in college to store my sheets so I can easily make my bed. My usual rule applies, if it doesn’t fit, toss it!

Day Long Projects

These take a little more dedication and scheduling, but once you get started you won’t be able to stop (as long as you have music playing or watching Netflix!)

Closet I suggest starting your first day long project with your closet. In my opinion, this one takes the longest and is the most emotional project to do.

  • First step is to make your bed so you have a clean surface to put all of your clothes.
  • Take all of your clothes out of your closet and lay them on your bed. This is the best way to see what you have hiding in your closet. If you have dressers as well, take out all of your clothes in them as well. You want to be able to see all of the shirts you own on your bed.
  • Before you put anything back in your closet, vacuum and clean every inch! I like to put a Glade Solid Air Freshener in my closet in a linen scent so my clothes keep a fresh scent.
  • If you have a small closet or big closet, you still need to have an organized closet. The last time I cleaned out my closet, I got a hanging closet organizer and it has been a big help in keeping my closet clean! I am able to put all of my t shirts organized by color of course in a cubby so they are easy to grab and go. It saves up so much hanging space so I was able to hang more of my work clothes.
  • I had a few storage containers left over from college, so I used my three drawer storage container to hold my scarves, leggings and socks/tights.
  • Once you have all of your clothes on your bed, it is time to put clothes back into your closet. Everyone has a different approach on how to organize a closet, but I will share how I have mine organized.
    • I have all of my short sleeve shirts hung first in color order and then followed by my long sleeve shirts.
    • The shirts hanging in my closet are shirts that I can wear to work or are more dressy. Since most of us spend the majority of the week at work, it is smarter to have your closet hanging with shirts you wear most often. All of my basic and casual t shirts are folded and put into a cubby in my hanging closet organizer.
    • I use my hanging closet organizer to separate my button downs and my other shirts by having the organizer in the middle. I wear button downs every day to work so I like to have them steamed and ready to wear hanging in my closet.
    • When you go to put clothes back in your closet, hold it up and try to recall the last time you wore it. If it has been a year it is time to donate. I have dozens of J Crew tees that I love to sleep in and wear in the summer that were taking up so much room hanging in my closet. When I changed over to having them folded in my closet it made so much more room!
  • Pants are tricky because hanging them is annoying and in a dresser they get lost. I have a three shelf bookcase that I moved into my closet and I put my folded pants in there. That way I can see what I own right away. I have my work pants on one shelf and denim on another. On the bottom shelf I have my corduroy and colored pants. It makes grabbing pants to wear in the morning so easy because I can immediately see what I have!
  • Get rid of it! Every year I toss all of my white tanks and shirts and buy new ones. After a year of wearing clothes they get their wear and tear. Get in the habit of donating clothes that don’t fit or that you never wear. Throw out clothes that have holes or are stained. Also, if you have had it since high school… throw it out!
  • When organizing your closet, take all of your clothes out, go through them and put them back the Marie Kondo Method!
  • Space really determines how you store purses… I have a small closet so I had to purge about 30 bags I haven’t used in years or that were out of style and have my remaining dozen in a basket tucked away. I wish I had a better solution, but space wise, this is what works for me.
  • I have my shoes in multiple places. It drives me crazy but I just don’t have the room for everything! I have my flats in a shoe organizer on the back of my closet door, my boots are lined up next to my closet and the rest of my shoes are in a trunk in my guest bedroom. (In my future apartment I realllyyy hope I can get a walk in closet!)

Tired Yet? Let’s keep going!

Bedroom If you do it properly, your closet should take a full day to go through your entire wardrobe and put it back. If you don’t have more room than when you started, you did it wrong lol Now that you have a bed clothes free again, it is time to tackle the bedroom. Take everything off of your dressers, off of your shelves and put everything in your room on the floor. Wipe down everything, pull your furniture out from the wall and vacuum everywhere. Now put things back. The key here is to realize what you really need in your life and what you can get rid of. Is there a better place for something instead of where it was originally? Keep a bag designated for donations and a garbage nearby so you can easily toss it.

Room by Room Pick a day and then pick a room to clean from top to bottom and go through everything in it. With the changing seasons, you may not need that many throw blankets out or you may find some Christmas decorations hidden somewhere that need to be put away. I feel like we are always bringing more stuff into our homes, but rarely do we donate or toss our possessions taking up rooms.

Memories While cleaning out my bedroom, I found a few detention slips from high school and some college momentos that I wanted to keep but didn’t need to have displayed on my bulletin board anymore. I have boxes for college, high school, middle school and my younger years to store things I want to keep for sentimental value. This way I can keep these things but they don’t have to be in my way all of the time.

One thought on “spring cleaning guide

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