One of my very popular posts this time last year was all about making a plan for Spring Cleaning. I’ll admit it… from where I’m sitting here in New England, still surrounded by some lofty snowbanks, it’s hard to believe that Spring is upon us soon. But we did just change the clocks back, so the lighter-later evenings are helping me get my head in the right direction.
And, if you’re like a lot of people this winter (not just in New England), you’ve been inside your house WAY too much this winter, which means:
1) You’ve probably been creating a bit more wear and tear and mess on the inside of your home
2) The outside has been a bit more damaged by the weather and conditions and is going to need more TLC this spring (anyone else have flower box just rip out of the window sill? No? Just us?)
3) You’ve been seeing a lot more of the “ugh… this needs some work” spaces in your home, since you’ve had no choice but to stare at it much, much more this year.
So, the silver lining may be that we’ve got a much better sense of what needs to get done this Spring, and we’re anxious for any almost-nice-day to come along so we can get started on Spring Cleaning.
And so, here we go with Spring Cleaning posts for a couple of weeks! It will overlap with the last 5 weeks of our “15 in 15 in ’15 Challenge“, too, so feel free to get caught up on some of those if you haven’t gotten to the whole series so far.
A great plan has 4 steps before you kick into “launch” mode.
- Make a List of What Needs To Be Done (“Getting-it-Done” list)
- Create a Schedule For When It Will Happen
- Assign Tasks and Responsibilities
- Gather the Right Tools and Resources
Today, I want to focus on how to make the Getting-It-Done list that’s right for YOUR place.
First, we’re going to build the “Should Do” list. We’re just going to capture everything that could possibly be addressed, if you had all the time, energy and resources in the world to take care of it. (Don’t worry… just because you put it on a list doesn’t mean you’re committing to doing it. Right now, we just want to CAPTURE the items. )
Take a walk around every space, inside and outside your house. Bring a pad (yellow pad, i-pad, it doesn’t matter 🙂 ) and start taking notes. Look up. Look down. Look under and behind things. The goal is to capture a complete list of everything that could possibly get done in the space.
- Look for:
- Places that you need to dust, vacuum, wash, wipe, polish and shine
- Hard to reach, but should still take care of them, places (lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, vents, corners, sliding door tracks, etc.)
- Items that need regular service or maintenance (draining radiators, air conditioners, grout lines, granite surfaces, fridge or freezer defrosting, oven cleaning, mattress flipping, vent/filter cleaning or changing, etc.)
- Repairs (window screens, furniture, appliances, anything that needs mending)
- Think about those projects that aren’t quite “cleaning” but are seasonal, or on your “should-do” list:
- Changing out the clothes for the new season (and purging through the old ones to make sure you’re not storing items no longer worth keeping)
- Reviewing your photos and organizing them
- Checking out all your linens to make sure they’re in good shape
- If you didn’t do it already, where do batteries need to be changed (clocks, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, battery-backup items for your computer, etc.)
- Changing light bulbs to more efficient ones
- Do a walk around your property and give the structure and your grounds a good look. Any projects you need to take on? Painting? Repair work? Power washing? Clearing out brush? Not only should you identify the work that needs to be done, but figure out what YOU can do, and what really needs a professional, either because of skill level or your available time. If you need to bring in someone, get started on scheduling that person soon!
- Check out your outdoor entertaining items (furniture, grill, pool accessories, etc.). Plastics can fade and break over time. Metals can rust, fabrics can rip. Make sure it is all safe and in good shape for your entertaining season!
- Think about your lawn, bushes, flowers, planting beds. Determine a clean-out plan and what you need to start doing early to encourage new growth and any changes you want to make this spring.
Once you capture everything, you’ll get to sit on the list a bit and prioritize. It may not be possible for you to get everything done. We all get that. But here’s a list of things to consider to help determine if it is an item that moves from the “should do” to the ‘Getting-It-Done” list this spring. Ask yourself these questions… “Yes” answers get an item on the “Getting-It-Done” list.
- Is it a SAFETY issue? This can be anything from repairing items with rough edges, open wires, etc., to cleaning things that can contribute to allergies if left undusted or unclean, or items that need to be updated, batteries changed, etc.
- Is it an ENERGY or EFFICIENCY issue? Am I wasting money because my systems and appliances, windows, etc. aren’t working as hard as they can for me, and taking care of this item will help?
- Does taking care of it prolong the life of the item or space, allowing me to get my money’s worth out of it even longer?
- Does leaving it as-is cause me stress, embarrassment or anxiety?
- Will it interfere with my ability to enjoy this space to its fullest if I leave that task undone?
- Is it so easy and simple to do, it’s stupid NOT to?
So, get that list started! There are some awesome lists out there that can help you…. Just google “spring cleaning list” and you’ll find so many resources. But together, we’re going to talk about and take on a few here in the next few weeks, don’t worry!