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.
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.
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?