It's that time of year again, where you start getting cabin fever and you are sick of looking at all the clutter and dust bunnies you have accumulated all winter. When you can't wait till it's warm enough to throw open all of the windows and let the fresh air and sunshine in! Why not get a head start on the cleaning part so when the weather is nice you can just head outside. Doing a little clean up, redecorating and reorganizing can often provide a much needed lift. I find it much more relaxing when the sun does shine in if it's shining on clean counters and floors.
I used to try and go at this full force, all or nothing, with a get it all done in a day attitude. Well, I have learned recently that going about it in stages can actually be much more effective and less stressful. Then each time I sweep through an area I find things I missed or thought I wanted to keep but changed my mind and am now ready to let go of. I also used to feel like I had to spend tons of money on baskets or boxes to get me organized. This time I'm choosing to just use what I have so I can keep paying down my debt.
I've also found that once all the clutter in an area has been removed then I can go back and wash curtains, dust walls, clean the hardwood floors under the carpet so much easier. The way I was doing it before was just way too stressful, like life had to come to a complete halt until I finished cleaning every thing. I would freak out if anyone made any kind of mess while I was cleaning because either I had to ignore that mess to keep cleaning the area I was working on, or I had to stop my spring cleaning to tackle the new mess which would slow me down.
I needed a new attitude, we live in this house and I can't stop people from making dishes and laundry while I clean. This way I do what I can and don't feel overwhelmed because I know I will do the best I can and get the rest the next time. We can still live comfortably in the house and I don't have to burn myself out. I also used to think I needed to buy new furniture to like my home more. But this time around I noticed that just rearranging my old things has made me feel differently about my space.
You should have seen me before I would take every curtain in the house down, they would be in a huge heap in the middle of the floor until I could get them all washed and put back up. This could be days later, as I would have to stop to grocery shop, drive the kids to activities, sleep, you know day to day stuff. I would end up feeling so angry, resentful and completely stressed out. Or I just wouldn't get anything done because I felt like I didn't have enough time to tackle it all at once.
Now I just try to choose one room , one section and I do it in small bits of time. Maybe I have 30 minutes today, I can tackle a book case or a small closet. Normally this would have taken me days or weeks to decide what to do with everything. Now I think of it this way. If I get two shelves done, that's still great, two less I have to do next time. I also have learned to make quicker decisions on organizing and reducing my belongings.
We have started a pile of things we are saving for a tag sale, this helps me because I'm clearing it from my closet or shelf but it's not gone yet so if I decide I want it back, no big deal. Or if I've forgotten about it by the time we have our sale I make a few bucks.
At the end of all my spring cleaning I plan to get some new plants and pots to freshen up my space. A little reward for all my hard work. I hope to get a little jump start on spring INSIDE my house at least. I've tried doing it the other way, where I skip the cleaning and go right for the plants. It just doesn't have the same effect LOL! Pretty flowers definitely look better in a tidy area rather than lost in a clutter heap.