Does the very thought of spring cleaning make you cringe, wanting to give up before you’ve even started? Not unlike New Year’s resolutions, spring cleaning seems to be ridiculously short lived? Let’s be honest, despite our best intentions how long does it really last?  A week or two at best? The key to a successful spring cleaning, including making it last is all in how you look at it.

Look at it this way: pretend you’re moving into a new home. This is usually when we go through our house and garage; getting rid of things we don’t use or want. One of the best feelings after moving into a new place is unpacking that last box and taking a moment to admire our own handy work. Everything has its place, there’s no unnecessary clutter, and the décor is on point. Now imagine having that clean, organized fresh-start feeling again where you currently live!

Step One: “Move Out”

  1. Pantry Purge: Waste not, want not!  Consider creating a menu with recipes featuring items found in the back of the pantry. It not only clears out some space but can added some much needed variety to weekly meals. If you’re more of a “rip the bandage off” type, box up non-perishables you aren’t using and donate them to a local food bank. Please, for the love of everything good, throw out anything that has expired. (All foods have expiration dates, even canned goods)

  1. Closet Cleanup: Pick one closet and empty it out completely. I mean everything! Make four piles: keep, donate, recycle and store. If you can’t remember the last time you used something or didn’t even know you had it, get rid of it!

  2. Seasonal Selection: Assess the condition of winter wear,and other seasonal clothing. Will it survive another year? If so, clean them up prior to storing. If you an item doesn’t pass the test and needs to be replaced, throw it out. Keep a list of the items that needs replacing so you don’t forget. Get rid of one old item for every new item.

  3. Giveaway Gathering: After you’ve completed sorting unwanted or unneeded items, throw a party! Showcase items in a specific area of your home. Be sure that each of your friends knows to pick one or more items to take home with them. This is a wonderful way to visit with friends, and declutter at the same time!

Step Two: Get Fresh

  1. Lighten Up : Store heavy fabrics, blankets and extra pillows. Fewer things and lighter textures will make you feel cool and clean.

  2. Go Green: Fresh plants help improve the flow of oxygen in your home, bringing in that clean spring-like air. Stop by a local nursery or flower shop and ask for help picking out the perfect indoor plant.

  3. Picture Perfect: Take pictures of your “new” home and place them on the inside of a closet or drawer for reference. This will empower you to keep things clean and organized for much longer!

So, spring into action! You’ll love your home’s new look, clean space and yourself for digging deep and letting the sunshine in!