How to Make Spring Cleaning Fun–for Haters

For someone so incredibly type A in so many areas of life, I am surprisingly messy at home. I know where everything is, but I usually cycle between having a super tidy, recently rearranged space and a swamp of piled-up clothes. The effects have been magnified since I moved into my cozy 8′ x 10′ bedroom–even a pair of socks on the floor makes the whole thing look disorganized.

How to Make Spring Cleaning Fun (for Haters) | Tips from Jaybird Blog

So if there are stacks of papers and piles of clothes all over, you may be able to guess that certain tasks don’t happen (ahem) too often: dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and so on. Then spring cleaning time rolls around, and I start to feel like I should take action…but then the days become sunny and warm and beautiful. Sure, I would love for my apartment to be free of dust and winter’s leftover salt stains, but do I want to do anything about it? Ehh…

Last year, I wrote about spring cleaning for the messy at heart, and readers who are adulting pros left some amazing tips. This year, I’m trying to break my horrid habits before our dust bunnies have another litter and take over the apartment. Once I get in the cleaning groove, I do start to find it fulfilling: the almost-instant gratification of sweeping a floor or reorganizing a shelf has some perks. I just have to get myself to that point–and here’s how I did it this past weekend.

How to Make Spring Cleaning Fun for Haters

1. Find the right time.
Any time can be the right time to get started, but there’s definitely a sweet spot if you generally dislike cleaning. Don’t try to spring clean when it’s a gorgeous day and your friends are hanging on the patio. Pick a rainy, cold morning when there’s nothing better than staying inside.

2. Get the right gear.
Make sure that you own, purchase, or make all of the cleaning supplies you need in advance. You want to seize that golden moment when you actually feel like dusting–like Santa, it might only come once a year. If all your materials are just sitting in your house, there’s no excuse not to seize the day and start cleaning.

3. Grab your favorite beverage.
Brew some strrrong coffee, add fresh lime juice and strawberries to seltzer water, or crack open a beer. Now get to work, and later you can survey your newly sparkling home with a drink in hand.

4. List your tasks in the right order.
I’m always rusty when I start cleaning, and 99% of the time will start by sweeping the floor because it’s easy…forgetting that when I dust later, stray particles are going to land right on that clean surface. Write out what you want to tackle, then add a number beside each task before getting started. Think top to bottom, literally.

5. Make an amazing playlist.
I generally blast a Walk Off the Earth playlist from YouTube, but listen to whatever gets you moving! It’s the perfect time to break out embarrassing pop from your middle school days or ’80s dance music.

6. Give yourself a break–but watch it, before it becomes a stopping point.
Last year, Kara suggested using the Pomodoro method for cleaning. She cleans for 45 minutes, then takes a 15 minute break. When I give myself a break, I make sure to set a timer–if I want to read a book or diddle around on the internet, I’ll lose track of time and never get back to cleaning.

7. Break it up into multiple sessions if necessary.
My apartment is a cozy three-bedroom, but if I tried to deep-clean the entire thing, it would take at least a full day’s work. Eight hours of cleaning is the stuff my nightmares are made of, so I pick one room and assign it a day. Yes, the whole apartment might not look perfect at the same time, but at least it’ll get done. This past weekend, I moved furniture, dusted, and vacuumed the living and dining rooms one night, then the next morning, I put the furniture back in the right places and started on the kitchen.

8. Celebrate.
Send a Snapchat, have friends over to ooh and ahh over your spruced-up space, or just take a nap on the couch–you deserve it!

Love it or hate it, spring cleaning feels great when it’s done. What are your favorite tips for enjoying the process?

Time for a Confidence Boost!

Today’s post is a reminder of three very important things: you are awesome, you can do this, and you deserve to feel amazing. Maybe you have a big presentation coming up, and you want everyone to leave thinking, “wow!” Or you have a first date tonight, and butterflies are rampaging through your stomach. Or maybe you just need a pick-me-up–we’ve all been there.

How to Boost Your Confidence in 5 Minutes or Less | Jaybird BlogWhatever your reason might be for wanting a confidence boost, own it. Recognize why you’re feeling that way, and then do something about it: take a few minutes to be your own cheerleader so you can get back to seizing the day.

Leslie Knope Inspires Herself

Write yourself a love note, or read one you’ve already written.

You can write anywhere: your journal, a note in your phone, Twitter (check out #DearMe), your bedroom mirror, or your office whiteboard. Write something sweet to yourself–think about a recent moment when you felt proud of your actions or a time when you felt completely in control of your fate. The point is to make your reminder visible and tangible (so don’t just think it!). Keep it somewhere that you can easily access it the next time you need a boost.

Step into a power pose.

Power poses are positions in which your body feels strong: you are standing tall, your stance is assertive, and you aren’t afraid to take up space. Think about how you physically react when you feel uncomfortable. You might slouch, cross your arms, or tilt your head towards the ground. Striking a power pose instead actually changes the hormone levels in your brain to help you “fake it til you make it.” Watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk to learn more.Inspirational Desktop Background

Download a new phone or laptop background.

I’m guessing you look at your phone and computer more than a few times throughout the day. Why not use those glances as personal reminders to be brave? There are thousands of free, inspirational graphics floating around the web. Download one and set it as the lock screen for your phone or wallpaper for your desktop. My phone currently reads “Above All, Make Yourself Proud” (the image is a download from Offswitch Shop‘s newsletter), but my favorites often come from the Dress Your Tech series on Designlovefest. You can download the background above here.

Change your password.

Have you read this Change Your Password, Change Your Life article yet? Your passwords don’t have to all about security. Take Mauricio’s advice and turn your password into a regular message of self-love. 4gettheh8erS? YouFreak*ngRule? HiB-u-tiful? Those are pretty cheesy, but you see what I mean! It only takes a minute to change your password, yet it can create a daily confidence-building habit.

Quick Confidence Boost: start your day by writing a schedule, putting on makeup, or doing whatever makes you feel polished.

Prep for success: put on makeup, write down a schedule for the day, do whatever makes you feel polished.

People often have morning routines that start them off on the right foot. If I want to exude poise–no matter how I’m feeling–I take the time to put on makeup. If I have a lot to get done, I spend a few minutes blocking out my time for the day so I feel good about all there is to accomplish. These little steps take just a few moments, but they help us feel good all day long.

Talk to one of your people.

True confidence comes from within, and I’m all for self-reliance…but reinforcements never hurt. Talk to someone who cares about you and ask for what you need: reassurance, a Leslie Knope gif, a super quick dance party.

When you need a confidence boost, what makes you feel strong? Have any delightful Leslie Knope gifs to share?

A Love List for Valentine’s Day

I guess I was bit by the Valentine’s Day bug, because I’ve been feeling a lot of love this week. In the spirit of this sweet holiday, I’m sharing a few things I love in what I hope will be an occasional feature here: a love list. This list is a mashup of lovely links and a gratitude list featuring the people, experiences, articles, and belongings that I’m currently loving. Let’s dive in!

A Love List: 02-14-15 | Jaybird

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