- Divide and Conquer. My husband tackled the office (which had turned into a dumping ground for anything and everything that didn't have a home) and the basement, while I tackled the living room/kitchen/dining room. We got so much more accomplished because we were focusing our efforts on different areas of the house, rather than working together on the same space (which usually leads to chatting, pondering the placement of certain things, etc). We also worked all day. After breakfast on Saturday we got started and wrapped up around 6pm, at which time we ordered pizza and ran out for some booze. Then my husband's brother and his wife (my talented, artistic sister-in-law, Lisa) came over to hang out. The best part? The house was clean!
- Be Systematic. I think the best way to approach cleaning is with a plan. I like to start higher up and work down (example: wiping down kitchen cabinets, then cleaning counters, then washing the floors). I also do one room at a time and don't move on until that space looks how I want it to look. Having a system that works for you makes the cleaning process move much faster, which is always a good thing.
- Be Ruthless. Do you need it? Did you even realize it was wedged in there behind five other things? No? Throw it out or donate it. This isn't the time to be a pushover; purge the trash and don't feel bad about it. And don't let yourself ponder for too long, either! Chuck it as soon as you realize an item is not crucial to your existence. Less isn't more; less is freer.
- Clean the Spots You Always Forget. We all have those usual places we clean; typically it's the more visible/higher traffic areas. But spring cleaning is the time to get up on those counters and scrub the tops of the cabinets, wipe down the topside of the ceiling fans, vacuum all the way under the couch, dust the baseboards you never see behind the TV console. In short: you'll feel better about cleaning if you take the time to focus on the places you pay less attention to. Plus that's less dust you're breathing in, and most people have a hard enough time with spring allergies without adding extra dust to the mix.
- Don't Take it Too Seriously. Unless you have someone coming through with a white glove to wipe a finger over your mantle and windowsills, don't take it too seriously. Get the work done to your satisfaction and move on; it's a living space... it will be dirty again before you know it.
- Schedule the Rest of Your Time/Work on a Deadline. We managed to fit a ton of things into this really productive weekend, probably because we scheduled it all. We knew we were having company over Saturday night, so we worked all day and knew when we could quit and kick back. Sunday was the same way: we went to church at 9, then ran to the pharmacy, grabbed coffee, and headed home to finish cleaning out the office. We knew we had to leave at 1:15 to go workout, and we planned on grabbing a few things for the office at CTS after that, so we were cleaning on a deadline, which helped us finish the office before we left the house. Cleaning on a deadline helped make us even more productive. Schedule something arbitrary if there's nothing on your calendar-- clean from 9-2, then stop so you can go for a walk or go shopping. Knowing that there's a set end-time makes you clean much more efficiently because you're forcing yourself to hit that deadline. Or if that doesn't work, just invite people over. That always makes me want to clean!
|Being able to see the top of the desk finally? Priceless.|
Hopefully these tips will help you turn your next weekend into a productive, fun 2 days!
Do you have any spring cleaning strategies that help you get the job done efficiently and quickly?