It feels as if it has been spring for a while, but technically March 20 was the official first day of the season.
I love springtime. There is something about seeing those first shoots come out of the ground, or planting that first flat of flowers that always makes me smile.
I love hearing the birds singing, the constant pecking by our woodpecker doesn’t bother me and even the onset of pollen can’t dampen my spirits.
This is the perfect time of year to tackle projects, both inside and outside, around the house.
Those who have been putting off getting organized, now is the time. Here are some tips to get started.
First, assess the situation. Make a list of all of the potential projects an be specific. Writing down, “clean the house,” is not detailed enough.
I like to go through each room in the house and make a list of what needs to be done. Perhaps a room needs a new coat of paint or the carpet needs a professional cleaning.
Making the “to do” list is also the perfect time to start a wish list. A new rug for the foyer may not be in the budget, but keeping it on a wish list is a reminder to keep a look out for a good sale.
This is also a good time to list any needed organizational items. We recently “gutted” our closet and bought organizational shelves, drawers, etc., that dramatically transformed our fairly small closet into a well-organized space.
There are many systems out there that are quite affordable for those who can do the work themselves.
On that note, how many closets need to be cleaned out? For those who have a hard time parting with “stuff,” try thinking about it this way: There is somebody out there who can probably truly benefit from any excess things.
There is something so freeing about purging. If the closets are bursting, it’s hard to top the feeling of opening a closet and being greeted with an organized space.
Remember the outside of the house too. Is it time to have the gutters cleaned? Do the windows need to be cleaned? What sort of yard/gardening projects need to be tackled?
Get the entire family in on the act. Even little ones can be assigned certain tasks.
For older children and teenagers, bribery is always a strategy. For young children, promise a reward of going to the movies and/or dinner. For teenagers, money is usually a good motivator.
Once the lists are together, make a plan of action. Sit down and take a look at the calendars and schedules.
Decide on what tasks will be accomplished on what days and write it all down. Keep the mood positive by focusing on how good everybody will feel when these projects are completed.
Be ready for the days to tackle these projects. Have cleaning supplies on hand. Go ahead and buy special items such as paint.
For those with super young children, try to arrange a play date in order to really concentrate on the tasks at hand.
Have a simple meal plan for lunch and dinner, so they don’t need to take much time off to deal with that.
Check items off as they’re completed. This always motivates and keeps everyone on track.
Lastly, put some music on (loud) while working. Music makes everything more fun and it’s hard to be in a bad mood when humming or singing along to favorite tunes. Happy spring.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.