Maybe it’s the flowers in bloom, the green leaves emerging on trees, or the chirps of baby birds, something about spring says renewal! And for as long as any of us can remember, this renewal makes us feel like cleaning – spring cleaning!

The idea of getting rid of the old and scrubbing away the past year feels good, and with longer days and nicer weather, now is as good a time as any to start.

So here are 4 tips to a successful (and less stressful) spring cleaning.

Set realistic goals.

Just saying spring cleaning makes you feel like you’re about to do something serious. This makes it really easy to get ambitious. You wake up one Saturday morning thinking you’re going to deep clean the house from top to bottom, only to find by lunchtime you’re exhausted and jealous of all the beach pics you see on Instagram.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and your entire house isn’t getting a deep cleaning in one either. Make a game plan and set realistic goals. Spread the project out over a couple of weekends. Try working only in the mornings or afternoons or just clean Saturdays and know you’ll have Sunday for rest and relaxation. Within a couple short weeks your whole house will feel anew.

Go one room at a time.

While it might be tempting to start tackling multiple rooms at once, it’s best to start and finish one room before moving to the next. This keeps the disruption to a minimum – quite literally and mentally. As stated above, to do a true spring cleaning, you may need a couple of weekends. It will feel less chaotic if you don’t have multiple rugs, bins and cleaning supplies scattered over your entire home.

Additionally, it’s proven that when your environment is a mess, your brain is a mess (think less energy and more stress). The big point of spring cleaning to feel relaxed and rid of the last year’s dirt and mess. To start experiencing this relaxed and rejuvenating feeling sooner, complete one room at a time. You can always hide in there until the rest of the house is done.

Look for small ways to make a big impact.

When deciding where to start, look for areas that won’t take much work to clean but will make a big impact on how your home looks and feels. Are the sliding glass doors covered in fingerprints? Do you have a table or counter that has been buried under papers for months? It won’t take long to clean those glass doors or sort through the papers but the impact will feel big. You’ll see that bright summer sun shining through and your home will instantly feel cleaner. And who knows, maybe you can even put some fresh flowers on that newly unburied table.

Know what needs cleaning.

Spring cleaning is often synonymous with “clean things that you don’t clean very often”, however, not everything needs to be cleaned annually. As gross as that might initially sound, knowing how often rarely cleaned items should receive your attention will not only save you time but prevent you from adding extra wear and tear to your belongings.

For example, area rugs don’t necessarily need to be cleaned every year (we’re talking steam clean here, not vacuum). In fact, many rugs can go 18 months or longer especially if they aren’t in high traffic areas and you don’t have pets. Use this same idea for other areas of your home. A rarely used guest bedroom probably doesn’t need the attention that the main living areas do.

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