It's spring time! Spring is the season of transition. It's time to get tidy, healthy, and ready for summer. The weather is improving, the birds are chirping, and it's time to get CLEANING.
When it comes to Spring Cleaning, it's not just about your living space (home, apartment, bedroom, etc.), but it's an opportunity to make some changes in your living as well to "clean yourself up a bit." Let's break Spring Cleaning down to three major areas:
The home is literally your home. Whether you live in a house, apartment, dorm or whatever you find yourself sleeping and eating in these days, this is your opportunity to spruce the place up.
Believe it or not, your tech gets just as dirty and unmanageable as your closet or toilet bowl can. Clean out your computer, phone, and other tech spaces in order to keep your devices safe, secure, and working properly.
Time to reflect on yourself. I'm not one for believing in any kind of self help or new age-y crap, but at the end of the day it can be good to do some self sprucing. Whether it's setting fitness goals, changing up your diet, learning a new skill, etc, give yourself the chance to cleanse yourself for a season of opportunities.
DO: Come up with a game plan.
It's important to know what you want to get done and what you need to get done. Cleaning can get crazy pretty fast. Come up with a plan for what you need to do. For example, you can break up the cleaning by room, or by specific tasks that you want to get done.
DON'T: Go overboard.
I know there shouldn't be such a thing as "too clean," but there is a line that should be drawn in the muck. Sometimes people can overwhelm themselves with cleaning tasks, or perhaps even clean things that didn't need cleaning (which can get costly if you end up breaking the thing by accident. Don't try to get it all done at once. Pace yourself.
DO: Change out air filters.
During the winter, air filters can get pretty gunked up. This is a good time to give them a good cleaning/replacing. You don't need to do this on a monthly basis contrary to popular belief. It should be a seasonal task, bi-monthly at the most.
DON'T: Clean when you feel like it.
Nobody wants to clean. No one wakes up in the morning, "Ahhh, you know what I'm going to do? Vacuum, clean the gutters, scrub the baseboards and then for a treat clean out and scrub the fridge!" However, if you hold yourself accountable to a set time and date, there's a higher chance you will get the cleaning done. If you pace yourself for a month of spring cleaning, set every Saturday as a cleaning day with a specific section of the house. You'll get it done.
DO: Yard Sale, Let-Go, auction, etc.
Most of the stuff cluttering up your home can't just be Windexed or wiped or swept away--it's actually stuff. However, some of that stuff has value, so make some money back with your cleaning! Host a yard sale, post on selling apps such as Let-Go, or bring your stuff to auction. If you don't feel like selling stuff, or if you have stuff you can't seem to get rid of, drop the items off at your local Goodwill. Not only will you be cleaning house, but you're not being wasteful--and you might make some money too, which is always rad.
DON'T: Use too much cleaning product.
You'd think this one would be a no brainer, but more often than not people use way too much cleaning product when trying to get the job done. Utilize and make the most out of your cleaning products.
DO: Read the cleaning products label, and use the correct product for the job.
Please don't use Pledge to clean your windows. Figure out the products that are best for you, and are best for the job at hand.
DON'T: Mop/Swiffer the floor before you vacuum it.
Again, you'd think this would be a given, but many people--including myself, I'm sad to admit--in an attempt to just get it done, try and skip the initial step. Vacuuming and sweeping/dusting the floor is crucial to the success of a clean floor. If you try to mop/swiffer initially, then you're going to run into the annoying problem of having wet, gross dust and muck all over the floor.
DO: Clean where your food is!
Pantry, bread drawer, cereal cabinet, spice cabinet, refrigerator give them all a cleaning. Throw food out that's expired. Wipe shelves down.
DON'T: Forget the overlooked spots of your house.
It's a given that you're going to scrub down your toilet, and vacuum the rugs, but what parts of the house do you normally look over when it comes to cleaning? Baseboards, walls, door frames, etc.
DO: Buy back ups.
Before you start cleaning out your tech, make sure that you have a hardrive or a couple of USB thumbdrives to store information on. When you're cleaning out your computer, you probably don't need your tax files from 2009 on your computer, but having them on a special drive you can store in a safe, allows you to always have the information, without it taking up any room on your computer. Back everything up!
DON'T: Download apps you don't need.
DO: Uninstall programs that you don't use.
DON'T: Forget other tech tune ups.
Don't forget there's a lot more tech in your life than there has been before. Make sure all of the tech in your life is up to date and speed from your phone to your washing machine to your cable box.
DO: Update your tech.
Update your laptop, phone, etc. If it has an operating system that needs an update, update it!
DO: Set goals.
Set goals for yourself. It'll keep you motivated, and in a constant state of improvement.
DON'T: Try to change yourself.
There's a difference between trying to be more positive, and completely altering your personality in order to fit what a specific set of people would consider you being more positive would be. Think of ways to improve yourself, not change.
Write down what you want to improve, or what's happening in your life. It's interesting to see how you are prioritizing or spending your time. It also allows you to work through stuff much easier, and with more of a plan because you have to work through it on paper.
DON'T: Give up.
You can do this.