3 ways to do Spring Cleaning better and never purge your house again
Updated: Mar 11
It's that time of year again. The sun is out longer, and the weather is warmer, and you're feeling a bit of extra energy. After spending some much-needed time outside of the house, you come home one day and decide that you want to polish off those dusty table tops, clean the garage, and tackle that bursting closet. There's only one problem: you've done this before, it was exhausting, and here you are doing it again.
We love that so many people are excited to clean up and declutter in the springtime, but we find ourselves asking this question: why is spring cleaning something that needs to be done on an annual basis? And it begs a larger question; what is spring cleaning? Is it just about cleaning the house from the long winter's dust, or is it about decluttering and getting rid of items we no longer want?
Once upon a time, spring cleaning was necessary primarily because wood stoves heated most homes and the dust & soot from a winter's worth of wood burning covered the home interior (plus, getting some fresh air and clean smells don't hurt either!). So, it made sense to do a deep cleaning at the end of the winter.
Nowadays, most homes don't even have a wood stove, and the task of spring cleaning has morphed from spraying some Windex on the windows into a total clean-out of unwanted and extra items. I'm not saying that's a bad idea. I think it's a great idea! However, what I don't think is a great idea is doing it over and over again. Every. Single. Year.
Here's how it usually goes. Spring comes, you declutter those items you bought that never got used or those forgotten items in the corner of the closet. Next spring arrives, you declutter again.
Has anyone ever stopped to ask why we are doing this every year? How, when we spend days or even weeks cleaning out unwanted and unused items, do we have an equal or more significant amount to do the following year? It can't be something that just happens to us, it is something that we create. Surely we do not do this intentionally, but ultimately we are the only ones responsible for bringing items into our home. Items that very likely, we will end up throwing out at a later date unused and forgotten.
It seems impractical to accumulate unwanted items unchecked throughout the entire year and only think about how much we own and want to keep in the springtime. First, it creates many months in which we live in a home with clutter all over the place, and second, it ultimately causes another big clean-out the following spring. Neither of those sounds like something anyone enjoys dealing with, and there's another way to go about this.
We've found it is much easier to first, get a tidy household by decluttering, and second, most importantly, maintain that orderly household for years by adjusting our behavior and shopping habits.
Of course, it's easy for us to sit here and say you should do this and you should change that, so instead, we'll tell you three things we've done personally in our own home to find success in this area, which also happens to be the same information we offer to our clients.
1. Declutter your home and keep only what sparks joy. You've probably heard that phrase recently, and yes, I am referring to Marie Kondo. If you're not familiar with her, or that phrase, check out her hit Netflix series 'Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,' or, read her best-selling book 'The life-changing magic of tidying up.' When new clients contact us, it's usually because they feel overwhelmed by clutter and can't stand to look at that messy living room one more time.
We hear you, and we're here to say that there is a solution. A proven method to reclaiming your space, and that is the KonMari™ method (which we happen to practice as we earn our KonMari™ Certification).
2. Going a step further from only keeping what sparks joy, for us, means just buying what sparks joy. It's excellent to declutter, but too easy and tempting to accumulate more stuff by picking up something cute from the dollar spot at Target, or a bargain you stumbled upon when doing your weekly grocery shopping. And we're not dollar spot haters by any means. We love the dollar spot. However, it's important to remember that these items add up quickly and they each need a place to go in your home.
When we are shopping and feel the urge to purchase something we weren't expecting, we always ask ourselves the following questions:
What is the purpose of this item?
Where will this item live in the house?
Do we already have something similar?
Does this item bring joy?
If any of those four questions make you second-guess your purchase, it's probably best to put it down and come back to it later if you still think it's something you want.
3. Tidy up every day. In our experience, the maintenance required in keeping an organized home (after first completing the KonMari™ method) is only about 15 minutes of tidying per day, and that's usually for a family household. For an individual or couple, it could be as little as 5 minutes of tidying per day. That means you, yes you, can enjoy a neat and tidy home all year long, while simultaneously avoiding a week of intense purging every spring.
If you're willing to put in the work up front to complete the KonMari™ method and do the daily maintenance, you can have the neat and tidy house you've always wanted. It's not too good to be true. It's just a change in thinking and habit, and it's taking the world by storm.
We encourage you to try something new this spring, and next year, leave it to just that, cleaning.
We are The Organized Couple, Professional Organizers based in Miami Beach, Florida, We've been transforming homes together for the past four years. Interested in working with us? CONTACT US NOW!
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