- Spring Cleaning Checklist: Although this checklist, from Housekeeping Guide Sarah Aguirre, is intended for Spring cleaning, it can be used any time. It provides an organized framework for tackling what could seem like a big job, in smaller steps.
- Toward an Organized Home: As you’re cleaning things up, it really pays off to toss or donate as many things as you can, and organize the remaining belongings. This will make your home more orderly and streamlined, and it’ll make it much easier to keep things clean in the future.
- Gardening Tips: Don’t forget the outside of your home! Having a beautiful yard gives you a wonderful welcome when you first come home, provides a beautiful view from your windows, and keeps you in touch with nature. Here are some landscaping tips for beginners to get you started, and tips for low-maintenance landscaping so gardening can stay simple.
- Feng Shui: Here are some additional decorating tips for creating a soothing energy in your home, once you have it cleaned and de-cluttered.
The work outlined in these resources may seem daunting, but they needn't be. Here are some tips that can help you move through the process and end up with a cleaner home:
- Set a Schedule: I recommend that you set a schedule for tackling these areas of your home in a timeframe that you can handle. Whether you spend 15 minutes a day, a few hours on the weekend, or some other time configuration, take into account whether you get bored easily with cleaning or if you enjoy working in a focused, prolonged manner.
- Enlist the Help of Your Family: If your home is quite messy, chances are the mess isn’t all yours. This means you probably have people whose help you can enlist to tackle this job! If you have kids, even small children, you can get them to help you. Here are some tips for getting help from family members (or roommates) with minimal conflict, from Sarah Aguirre.
- Make It Fun: If you’re cleaning, I highly recommend throwing on some lively music to make it as fun as possible. See how much you can get done with each song, and you may find yourself working faster and having more fun as you do.
- Reward Yourself: Once you get an area completed (and I recommend that you finish one area before moving on to the next, as you get more of a sense of accomplishment that way), give yourself a reward! Take a soothing bath, go out and play, or relax in the area you just made beautiful. Whatever you do, pat yourself on the back for a job well-done.
- Hire Help: If, after taking an honest look at the job to be done and your situation’s limitations, the task of organizing, cleaning and decorating seems like too much for you to do on your own, consider hiring someone to help you with some or all of the job. A professional cleaning service, a gardener, a professional organizer, a decorator or other professional might be just what you need. If you have the means, you might want to explore this option; the initial money you invest may be offset or surpassed by what you’ll save in time, money and stress by having a more orderly home.