For many, spring cleaning is as much of a tradition as BBQs on Memorial Day or turkey on Thanksgiving. Each year, millions of Americans set out to de-clutter and reorganize their homes. But the stress of spring cleaning is all too real. In fact, one survey on common causes of stress revealed that 47 percent of Americans are worried that their home isn’t clean or organized enough.
However, there are ways you can clean and reorganize your home, relieve some stress and make the most out of disposable clutter.
Start with a plan.
Feeling overwhelmed is completely normal. You may even ask yourself, where do I even begin? It’s crucial to have a strategy before you start cleaning to prevent inefficiencies and frustration. Houzz.com suggests a simple strategy for tackling each space in your home: 1. Remove everything. 2. Vacuum or wipe down the empty space. 3. Put back only what you want [to keep]. This approach allows you to simultaneously clean while de-cluttering each space. If you feel energized by marking things off your to do list, The Spruce offers its own complete spring cleaning checklist.
Focus on giving back.
Once you’ve gotten each room clean and organized, it’s time to determine what should be done with all that unwanted stuff. While trashing things may seem easier, there is a greater use for gently used goods, particularly at charitable organizations, thrift shops and homeless shelters.
Donate to charity.
Local thrift shops, charities and nonprofit organizations like Goodwill of Virginia, graciously accept donated items year-round. Each article of clothing you’re no longer using may be cherished by someone in need. On a single night in 2017, more than 550,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States. Keeping those less fortunate in mind will make parting with that winter coat or pair of boots you rarely wear much easier.
Share leftover home improvement supplies.
If you’re familiar with the local Habitat for Humanity, you’re well aware that they welcome donations of both time and resources. This may include leftover mulch or grass seed for a yard or unused lumber from building a patio or staircase. Volunteering to lend a hand to give a family the home they need to grow and succeed is truly rewarding. You may even learn a few worthwhile tips from other volunteers to help with completing projects around your own home.
Don’t forget about the outside.
Spring cleaning shouldn’t be limited to just the indoors. The warmer weather means you can enjoy a sunny day outside while tidying the yard or finishing outdoor projects. Once your back deck is completed and your garden is in full bloom, don’t forget to gather leftover materials to drop off at Habitat for Humanity or other area nonprofits who can put them to great use.
A new season means a fresh start.
The start of spring offers relief from a long, cold winter and an opportunity for a fresh start in a new season. No matter the task, don’t allow the stress of spring cleaning overwhelm you. If you stay organized and think about the greater good, your home will sparkle inside and out and you’ll be making a big difference in your community