Are you thinking about Spring cleaning your home... maybe your a homeowner who is planning to put your home on the market? Or have you recently moved into a new home and want to start fresh? Before you jump all in and break out the cleaning supplies to start the yearly clean-a-thon, it's important to declutter first. I know that the last thing you want to hear me suggest is adding a another step to your routine, but hear me out because it will save time and money in the long run.
Simply put, decluttering is the process of removing unnecessary items from your home, which not only makes your space more organized but also makes it easier to clean. By decluttering first, you'll save time and energy during your spring cleaning and create a more appealing environment for yourself and or potential buyers. When your home is not only cleaned but organized- protentional buyers can see beyond the clutter and focus on the value of your home.
One of the biggest challenges of spring cleaning is dealing with clutter, that why it is so important to dedicate time to go through your home room by room and declutter anything that you no longer need or use. This can be a difficult process, but remember that the less you have, the easier it is to keep your home clean and organized. Decluttering will help you easily stage your home to make it more attractive to buyers and when you get a last minute call for a showing- cleaning will be a breeze.
Even if your not in the market to sell you know what they say, "if you stay ready, then you don't have to get ready". Ready for what you might be thinking, ready to relax, to entertain, to easily maintain your home. The goal is to create a life and home that gives you the space to focus on what really matters to you. I'm guessing that's not spending hours, maybe days, spring cleaning.
Here are some tips for decluttering before you start your spring cleaning:
Tip #1 - Create a Personalized Decluttering Plan
While I absolutely love organizing as a profession, I don't want to spend all of my leisure time tidying and cleaning my home. I'd rather hang out with loved ones or simple enjoy a nap. Most people who have completed the decluttering process will agree that the initial time investment is well worth the return. You'll be able to spend less time cleaning and enjoy a more organized, relaxing home environment.
Start with a plan: Create a plan for decluttering each room in your home. Schedule specific days and blocks of time to keep yourself on track. Work floor by floor from top to bottom. As you decide where each category of items will "live" you'll see your vision for your home come to life.
Be realistic: Be honest with yourself about what you use and what you don't. Don't hold onto items out of guilt or sentimentality. This process will indeed help you to become a more mindful consumer.
Use the four-box method: As you declutter, sort items into four boxes: keep, donate, discard, and sell/give. This will help you make decisions quickly and efficiently. As a word of caution, when selling items calculate the value of your time and compare that to what the item is worth.
Be mindful of your new space: If you're moving into a new home, take the time to envision how you want each room to look and function. This will help you make decisions about what to keep and what to let go of. Planning your furniture layout ahead of time is a crucial step to avoiding clutter in your new home.
Get help if needed: Decluttering can be overwhelming, especially if you're doing it on your own. Consider hiring a professional organizer to help you get started.
Pro Tip: Decluttering along side your family or roommate helps everyone to enjoy the process more. When you give individuals a choice in what to keep, they will be less likely resent the process.
Tip #2 - Follow a Seasonal Cleaning Tracker
Once you've decluttered, you're ready for spring cleaning! Guess what? You're not only prepare for spring cleaning but you have set yourself up for better habit stacking and more practical routines through out the year.
Here are some tips to make your cleaning more efficient:
Start at the top: Begin by dusting and cleaning high surfaces, such as ceiling fans and light fixtures, and work your way down. Download a seasonal cleaning tracker.
Don't forget the details: Pay attention to small details like baseboards and window sills. A clean home shows the potential buyers that you have cared for the home.
Make a list of home maintenance items that need a pro's attention. For example, are you willing to take on carpet cleaning or will you hire out?
Organize as you clean: As you clean, take the opportunity to organize drawers and cabinets. During the walk through buyers will definitely look in the areas to asses the amount of space in the home, so be sure to showcase it.
Keep up with maintenance: To keep your home clean and organized, make a schedule for routine maintenance tasks like dusting and vacuuming.
Pro Tip: Download a cleaning tracker and customize it to the spaces in your home. After preforming each task note how long it takes, this will give you personalized data.
Tip #3 - A Simplified Cleaning Routine
Decluttering makes sustaining a clean home simpler in a few ways... When you have fewer items in your home, there are fewer things to dust, wipe, and scrub. This means that you can clean more efficiently and spend less time on the cleaning process. The truth is you also tend to organize your remaining items more effectively. This means that items have a designated place to be stored, making it easier to find what you need and put things away when you're done using them. Overall, decluttering allows you to clean more efficiently, thoroughly, and effectively.
What's simple to me may be unrealistic to you, that is why your cleaning routine should be based on you lifestyle, family, and space. Here is what you should consider when establishing your cleaning routine:
How often does each task need to be completed?
Who is most qualified to complete each task?
What tasks require your attention?
This is your clean schedule... don't over complicate it.
At the end of the day, the key to successful home organization is to start with a plan and take action. If you find yourself overwhelmed or in need of guidance, consider working with a professional organizer who can provide personalized support and help you create a space that truly reflects your style and needs.
So, declutter first, then spring clean! Your home will thank you, and you'll be one step closer to achieving your goals. I hope you found these tips helpful.