By Rob Holbrook
Spring is in the air, and with it comes spring-cleaning. Here are some tips to revitalize and rejuvenate for the sunny days ahead:
A PLAN OF ATTACK
For some, just the idea of a total home cleaning is an undertaking. Like most things in life, a list can help break down daunting projects into manageable tasks. Write down all the rooms in your house, with particular projects for each room- from the ceilings to the floors. Walk through the house (into each room if necessary) to visualize each task to complete. It can turn an overwhelming idea into a tangible goal.
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Reach far into those closets, attics, garages, cabinets, and storage areas. Try to avoid the natural inclination to hoard- you probably aren’t going to use all those plastic grocery bags under the sink, or that stack of coupons for discounts on cat litter. Donate clothing that has sat unworn in the closet for years. Toss the broken patio lounger you’ve been meaning to weld together since last winter. It can be initially difficult on the psyche, but in the end, the simple act of clearing clutter lifts the metaphorical weight off your shoulders.
DON’T DO IT ALONE
The hardest things in life can often be made easier just by asking for a little assistance. Sure, sometimes the kids don’t want to put down Flappy Bird, or perhaps the spouse has a tee time, but with manageable goals and incentive-based duties, even the most obstinate young child can help get the home in shape for the springtime. Be sure to keep kids on task so you don’t find the dirty clothes stuffed under the bed a week from now. If nobody’s home, a bottle of wine or twelve-pack of oat soda can be an inexpensive incentive for a good friend to give you a hand. You may need to help them move their oak armoire next week, but it’ll be worth it.
STICK WITH IT
Everyone’s been there- cleaning the attic or garage of clutter and you come across some old artwork from your kids’ preschool days, or those ripped up journals you kept when you were pregnant. Nothing’s easier to avoid as you clean, than cleaning. Keep yourself motivated and task-oriented. Set time limits or deadlines for certain projects so you don’t get lost in the sea of nostalgia certain to hit once you open up your box of high school mementos.
MAINTAIN, MAINTAIN, MAINTAIN
Feel accomplished. You’ve taken days off from work when you could have been doing almost anything else, and refreshed and reclaimed your home from winter hibernation. But it doesn’t end there. The key to succeeding at almost anything is maintenance. Even fifteen minutes a day on different tasks for yourself, your spouse, or your children can keep that fresh energy continuing into next year’s spring cleaning.
CLEAN THE HOME, CLEANSE THE SOUL
Okay, the patio is power-washed, the light fixtures, blinds, and baseboards are dusted, closets cleared, and the garage is uncluttered and organized. Now it’s time to park on the couch and catch up on “House of Cards”, right? Sure. Or, take ten more minutes and cleanse your home’s energy and soul by burning some white sage. It may seem “out there”, but civilizations have practiced some form of energy cleansing for centuries. It’s a simple process that can leave you feeling lighter, calmer, and energized in your home- ready to take on the stresses of the outside world.