The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and many of us are coming face-to-face with a whole winter’s worth of junk. Want to start your spring with ease and give yourself a clean slate? Here’s how to spring clean your home and home office.
What’s the Point of Spring Cleaning?
Spring cleaning is the practice of deep cleaning your home to help you recover from winter and get ready for spring. There are a few different theories as to where the practice came from, but the basics seem to be true worldwide: Our homes get messy while we’re stuck inside all winter, so spring is the perfect time to reset.
For me, spring cleaning is all about making my home feel more relaxed, more peaceful, and more efficient. It’s my opportunity to take stock of my physical environment in order to improve my mental wellbeing.
5 Steps to Spring Clean Your Home & Home Office
Ready to start your spring cleaning? Here’s how!
STEP 1: Take stock of your space.
Before anything else, you need to make a plan for how you’re going to tackle your clutter. Take a walk around your home, and stand in each room for a few minutes. Open the closets and drawers. Pull back the curtains. Really consider how each room and its contents make you feel. Do you feel overwhelmed looking into your bedroom closet? Confused when you open your kitchen drawers? At peace when you let in the natural light? The goal of spring cleaning is giving yourself a fresh, clean slate and a space that makes you feel great.
For your home office, spend a workday taking notes about how your surroundings make you feel. Think about your desk, your chair, the view out your office window. Your home office should be organized in a way that makes you feel productive and at ease.
STEP 2: Keep, ditch, or donate.
Room by room, open all your drawers, cabinets, and closets, and get all your stuff out in the open. It’s time to Marie Kondo that ish! (By the way, did you know that only keeping items that “spark joy” is actually the result of a mistranslation?)
As you’re going through the items in your home, place them into one of three categories:
Keep. These are things you need, things you genuinely want, or things that add value to your life. Most of your belongings will probably fall into this category, and that’s a good thing! It means that you’ve curated an environment in which most of your belongings are beneficial or meaningful.
Ditch. These are junk items you’re ready to throw away. Think ratty old clothes, condiments past their expiration date, and that makeup palette you’ve been hanging on to since 2017. This stuff isn’t adding anything of value to your life, and chances are it wouldn’t be of value for anyone else, either.
Donate or sell. These are items that are doing you no good but might be valuable to someone else. Think clothes that aren’t your style anymore, duplicate kitchen utensils, and equipment for long-forgotten hobbies. Determine your “worth it” threshold. (For me, anything I can’t sell for more than $20 isn’t worth the effort of listing it online, so I donate it.) Anything that isn’t worth the effort of selling can be donated.
As soon as you’re done categorizing your belongings, take action. Throw the “ditch” stuff in the garbage. Make your Facebook Marketplace listings for “sell” items. Run to the thrift store to drop off your “donate” items. You’ve already decided these things aren’t worth keeping, so don’t hold on to the clutter any longer!
STEP 3: Reorganize your space.
Now, it’s time to reorganize the items you decided to keep. Try to consider the most efficient location for each of your belongings, not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing. Your fancy mixer might look great on your kitchen counter, but if you only use it once a month, it will feel like clutter in your day-to-day life. But if you use your toaster every single day, find a convenient space for it on your counter.
In the home office, I prefer to keep most things out of sight. Pens go in my desk drawer, charging cables go in a decorative basket with a lid, and important documents get filed away in an organized binder. This way, the only things in my line of sight are my computer and my inspirational bulletin board.
There are also some additional steps you can take to design your home office for your mental health.
STEP 4: Deep clean.
Unfortunately, spring cleaning does involve cleaning. It’s your chance to tackle those pesky chores you put off throughout the year and freshen up your home for spring. On top of your regular cleaning tasks (like sweeping, wiping down the bathroom, and washing your linens), consider some of these tasks:
- Dust and wipe down baseboards, vents, and ceiling fan blades.
- Clean all your mirrors and windows, including the window tracks.
- Wash any linens or towels that smell musty or stuffy.
- Shampoo your carpet and do a deep mop of all your hard floors.
- Vacuum your couch and chairs. (If you’re feeling wild, vacuum your car, too!)
- Deep clean your pet’s beds and favorite nap spots.
- Sweep your staircases and front porch.
- Remove everything from the pantry to wipe down shelves and containers.
- Remove books from your bookshelves to dust beneath and behind them.
Don’t try to do everything in one day. Just set aside an hour every day for a week or so to knock out as many tasks as you can.
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STEP 5: Celebrate
Treat yourself (and your space) to something nice. Buy some fresh flowers, invest in a new piece of art, or order some new candles. You’ve earned it!
Maintaining a Clutter-Free Space
Want to make next year’s spring cleaning a bit easier? The key is creating a regular housekeeping routine to stay on top of your household chores and avoid accumulating clutter.
Write a list of all the things in your home that need cleaned or attended to. Then, categorize them in daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly lists. Pop a “cleaning” block into your calendar, and stay on top of those chores!
Want to declutter your space and invite ease into your life?
Your environment–physical, mental, and digital–plays a huge role in your wellness. If you want to invite more ease into your life, check out my course, Clear Your Way to Calm!