When I hear the words “spring cleaning,” I groan. I don’t do it, I don’t like it, I don’t have time for it. But my house is one of the cleanest around (at least, judging by my friends’ houses, which I don’t. Judge, I mean. I’m just saying. I’ve created a system of spring cleaning hacks over the years to automate my housework because I never, ever, ever want to give up doing something I love because I have to clean.
Here Are 6 Spring Cleaning Hacks That Can Help You Do The Same
1. Clean up after yourself.
Don’t I sound like your mom? Or like yourself talking to your kids?
But how often do you pass by things that need to be wiped down or picked up and think, “Ugh… I’ll get to that later”? Listen—it piles up, and that’s when it gets overwhelming.
Make a new mantra for the week: I will clean that up NOW. If it only takes a few seconds to do a task, do it immediately. You won’t even notice that you’re doing it, and your home will stay perpetually clean. That is, until the kids come home from school.
So wash that cutting board now instead of waiting until later, when the food is crusted on and you don’t have room in the sink. Pick up those shoes in the middle of the floor now so that you don’t have to chase down the dog when he tries to eat them later. Wipe down the kitchen table as you’re clearing it, throw out the junk mail as it comes in, and wipe that toothpaste gunk out of your sink as you’re rinsing your mouth.
2. Time yourself.
I used to avoid clearing the dishwasher as though it was infested with roaches or something. (It wasn’t—I just said that for drama). But neglecting the dishwasher led to a chain reaction of overwhelm. If the dishwasher was clean and full, dishes got stacked into the sink. We couldn’t actually WASH the dishes in the sink, though, because it was so full. Not to mention what would happen at dinner time. One meal would lead to a horrific muddle of chaos in the kitchen. And the last thing I ever want to do after cooking dinner is clean.
One day, I decided to time myself while emptying the dishwasher. Guess what? It only took me 2 minutes and 30 seconds! You guys, that’s nothing! I was making my life miserable when it only took a 2-minute fix to make it quite blissful and easy.
The awareness that it only took 2 minutes to clear the dishwasher helped me do it. I would tell myself, “It only takes 2 minutes—just do it.” And I would do it. Every time.
When there’s something that you’re resisting because it just doesn’t feel like you have time to do it, get real about how long it actually does take. You might find that it’s much less intrusive than you thought. If it is something that takes a long time, at least you can realistically work it into your schedule.
3. Do a quick clean.
At least once a day, I’ll do a quick clean somewhere in my house. Sometimes, I run around and pick up 25 things that are not where they’re supposed to be and put them in the right place. Sometimes, I take 5 minutes and fill up a garbage bag of stuff I don’t want anymore (and label it to throw away in 3-6 months if I haven’t used it.)
The quick clean is a great way to keep things under control before they get out of hand. And it’s so quick that you don’t even feel like you’re doing it.
4. Take advantage of wait time.
How long does it take for your skillet to heat up? You can get a lot done in those 3-5 minutes. When I’m in the kitchen, I’m never still. In fact, I try to compete with time to see how quickly I can get things done.
If I set the microwave for 45 seconds, I try to see how many dishtowels I can fold in that time. If I’m waiting for something to simmer, I take care of the dirty dishes in the sink. It’s amazing how much you can get done in less than a minute (and how it piles up if you don’t do it.)
I usually organize my pantry and clean out my tupperware cabinet this way.
5. Clean in passing.
There is always laundry to be put away in my house. However, one of the things I hate doing is putting away laundry. Therefore, I contain it all in baskets in the laundry room. I’ll fold and put away a few towels every time I walk by.
I mostly clean things in passing. I’ll swipe everything off the kitchen table and wipe it down in one pass. I’ll grab a bunch of stuff that needs to go to the other room as I’m walking in that direction. If I’m moving around the house, there is often something in my hands that needs to be put away. Cleaning when you’re already moving around prevents you from having to actually make time for cleaning.
6. Make it easy on yourself.
If you don’t have as much stuff, it becomes much easier to clean. In the 10-Minute Challenge group, we’re doing a mini 5-minute challenge, during which we’re filling up garbage bags with stuff we don’t want in just 5 minutes a day. Less clutter = less to clean.
Another way that I make cleaning easier on myself in the kitchen is by using cast iron pans. As soon as I spoon the food out of the pan, I swish the hot pan with water and wipe it out with some oil and a towel, and I’m done cleaning the pans that I just used! The cleaning just takes care of itself!
Stay The Same Or Make It Better
You can look at cleaning and decluttering in two ways: You can either keep things the way they are (and keep complaining about them), or you can make things better.
These are not my words of wisdom; I got them from Fay Wolf’s book, New Order: A Decluttering Handbook For Creative Folks (And Everyone Else). Wolf founded New Order Love, a professional decluttering company. I’ve been working through her book, and it’s a super quick read and worth every minute. In the book, she talks about:
- Setting intentions (Why do you want to declutter anyway? Likely it has something to do with anxiety, order, money or time)
- How to break down big tasks into small tasks (a woman after my own heart. You know I’m all about the baby steps!)
- Screwing perfection (Decluttering is about BETTER, and perfect is the archenemy of better, she says)
- The exact steps you can take to declutter (Hallelujah!)
Want to get a hold of some of this genius? Buy the book. You won’t regret it.
Click on the image below to get it for yourself.
Plus, Fay Wolf will come INTO THE GROUP during the next 10-minute challenge to talk decluttering and answer your questions in person! (She’s also an actress and a musician, and you can check out here website here.)
How Do I Make This Type Of Cleaning A Habit?
It’s hard to get into a routine. That’s why I founded the 10-Minute Challenge!
If you’re ready to do some organizing and decluttering, join me for the 10-Minute Challenge! We’re starting with spring cleaning/decluttering on March 18 (this Sunday!).
What Is The 10 Minute Challenge?
This is a mini-course that you can buy here. It can be used to create space in your life for ANYTHING, including:
- Establishing a consistent exercise routine
- Clean eating
- Awareness practices
- Learning something new
- Practicing self-care
It’s basically the FIRST PRACTICE that you can use to establish ANY OTHER PRACTICE in your life.
When you sign up, you get:
- Forever access to a member site that walks you through the 10-day program with daily videos and inspiration
- A printable workout to help you follow along throughout the challenge
- Daily email and text reminders
- LIFETIME access to the MYP 10-Minute Challenge group on Facebook, where you’ll get accountability, sisterhood and support as you go through the challenge.
Here’s the beauty of this challenge: You can use it any time, for anything. Basically, you just pick ONE thing to do for 10 minutes a day, 10 days in a row.
BUT—in the Facebook group, we’ll be doing one SPECIFIC challenge each month! We’ll be doing exercise challenges every 6 months or so to make sure that we keep our bodies moving. We’ll probably do more decluttering from time to time.
If you need to enhance your motivation and consistency when it comes to ANYTHING in your life, this is the place to be!
Other challenges coming up:
- Awareness challenge
- Creativity challenge
- Intention setting challenge
All of the challenges that we do will help you reconnect with yourself through creativity, pleasure and flow.
Want IN on the 10-Minute Challenge?
After you join, you’ll get a welcome email with your next steps.
If you join after 3/18/18, you can use the 10-minute challenge website to do your own decluttering challenge at your own pace. However, we will be going through a different challenge in the Facebook group every month. You can join in on that with us too!
What are your favorite tips for making spring cleaning and decluttering easier?
Drop a link in the comments!