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Spring Cleaning Made Easy: 6 Simple Tips and Tricks

Unclutter your space, and still have time to smell the roses.

Don’t panic.

Spring cleaning can seem like a lot, especially if you’re giving yourself a deadline to get everything done. Take a deep breath and stay calm; being afraid of your spring cleaning means you’ll put it off.

Don’t go space-by-space.

The goal of cleaning is to reduce overall clutter. Five hours toward a pristine closet isn’t much progress in an otherwise messy space. Distribute your efforts around your property, and don’t let yourself get caught up in one project for too long.

Stay organized.

Proper home maintenance is all about organization. Group your stuff: things to throw away, things to keep, and things to sell or donate. Don’t make new piles out of your old junk; put the items you’re not keeping into labeled or color-coded trash bags. Sort garbage into trash and recyclables and donation items by type (e.g., clothing, books, games). Check the policies of local thrift stores; many offer store credit for used items in good condition.

Recognize when you’re being a pack rat.

You’ve got a lot of junk. This is why you’re cleaning. If you’re unsure whether or not you want something, ask yourself if you’ve used it in the past year, rather than speculating about when you might use it again. Home maintenance is also easier when you can access portions of your home that aren’t congested with junk.

Have a home maintenance cleaning plan.

Throw out everything that’s obviously trash: the crumpled up papers in your drawers, the pile of receipts from five years ago, and anything you won’t feel bad about pitching a week from now. Clear your flat surfaces and anything on the floor that’s not furniture. Wipe down and vacuum your counters and floors. Don’t think too hard about it; nothing will kill a cleaning flow faster than taking 10 minutes to reach a verdict with every individual item that you own.

Make it fun!

It’s kitsch, but it works. Put some dance music on Pandora that you can hear from all of your rooms. Make a game out of throwing junk into trash bags. Invite friends over to help. People hate cleaning because it’s mundane; mix it up every now and then to prevent yourself from getting in a spring cleaning slump.

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