Hurray for spring and an end to winter! I know we will still have some cool days and colder nights, and that more rain will attempt to dampen my spirits. But for the most part, I’m doing my happy spring dance.
I absolutely love this time of year and the upcoming months. I love seeing the little green shoots peeking through the dead leaves on the ground. Spring truly does represent a rebirth of nature.
Spring is also a great time to tackle those projects we’ve been putting off. Need some motivation and strategies? I’m here to help!
The best way to not get overwhelmed is to do an assessment. Begin by strolling through your home, one room at a time.
In a notebook (yes, I have an obsession with notebooks), and jot down things in each room that need to be done.
For example, in the family room, does the ceiling fan need a thorough cleaning? When was the last time the shutters or blinds were cleaned? Does the carpet need to be cleaned or are the hardwoods needing to be refinished?
I know dusting my bookshelves is in order. In fact, it may be time to empty them completely and clean them that way.
When is the last time the chimney was cleaned? That can be a real hazard if wood was burned in it this past winter.
Is it time to repaint a bedroom? I always say there is no cheaper way to spruce up a space than by changing the paint color. Ditto for an older chest of drawers or night table.
I recently made over one of our empty bedrooms. I painted the black iron bed white, got Paul to paint the walls a lovely light lavender, painted an old chest of drawers white and bought some adorable new knobs. I also purchased some white sheers and a beautiful shabby chic comforter. Voila, a beautiful guest room was born in just a few days.
Maybe the closets need organizing. This is the perfect time to pull everything out and sort it all.
Make three piles — throw away, give away and put away. There are so many amazing nonprofit organizations in our community that would love donations.
This is also a good time to put any bulky, winter wear away, perhaps in a closet that isn’t being used, or pack it in plastic containers to store in the basement or attic. Just make sure they are completely sealed.
Is the garage a magnet for clutter? Get the family involved and pull everything out of it first, and throw or give away things no longer used or needed.
Try to hang up bikes and get as much stuff off of the garage floor as possible. Perhaps the garage floor needs painting. That makes it so much easier to clean and looks great to boot.
Speaking of family involvement, this is a good time to get children to go through their toys they no longer play with. Take them along when donating the items and talk to them about giving to those less fortunate. Encourage teenagers to go through their clothes and give away the extras.
What sort of yard projects does the family have planned? If gardening is on the list, this is the perfect time to do some planning and getting that soil prepped for planting.
Is the pantry in need of a good make over? As with closets, the best way to tackle this is to take everything out first. Clean out the pantry and then assess the contents.
I love glass jars for storing beans, rice and pasta. They look pretty and ensures critters stay out and freshness stays in. I even open boxes of crackers, etc. and store them in plastic or glass containers.
While at it, why not empty the refrigerator and freezer and get that cleaned out? Even though I’m an organized person, I always find mystery things in my freezer that I neglected to label so they get tossed out.
If the freezer is packed, it may be a good time to try to have a freezer-dinner week where those leftovers or other frozen things are used up. This will certainly help lower the weekly grocery bill and create some space for stocking up on sale items.
Lastly, even if there are projects too big to take on alone, make a note. Does the front porch and driveway need to be pressure washed? Do some windows need replacing? Does the deck need to be redone or repaired?
I promise, once the spring cleaning is finished, there will be such a sense of accomplishment. And it will be time to celebrate the beautiful spring weather that is upon us.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.