Spring Cleaning Guide

Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring cleaning is one of my all time favorite activities, and there is zero sarcasm in that statement. I love the feeling of starting fresh with a clean home, less clutter, and more space for abundance to grow. Fun fact? I considered becoming a professional organizer as a career at one point. I’ve helped many friends along the way, and used to even get hired for closet clean outs. Although I don’t have professional training, I’m kind of a pro.

After years of spring cleaning for myself and others, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.

Plan ahead. Make a schedule, set time aside in your calendar, commit to that time. There are nine areas of cleaning below, and I suggest tackling only a few per day so that the whole process is less daunting. If you have more time, go for it, but it’s easy to get burnt out when cleaning your own space. For some reason, it takes an emotional toll. You can schedule one project after work on weekdays or up to three projects on weekends.

1. Digital declutter. When you think of spring cleaning, it’s usually with your home or office in mind. Your email inbox and apps don’t usually get a second thought. Start with these tips (which include cleaning/organizing your inbox, deleting old apps and organizing the ones you use, making storage space for photos on your phone, and disabling notifications), then take it a step further by unsubscribing on a massive scale. I use unroll.me for email subscriptions and Catalog Choice for physical catalogs (not digital, but the process is online so I’m including this task here) It will take some time, but I promise it will be worth it. And think of how many trees you’ll save!

2. Purse purge.  Take everything out of your wallet and purse or tote… and I mean every single thing. Throw away any trash, old receipts, and unused loyalty cards. For receipts that you need to save for work, put them in a pile and schedule a time to add them to your expenses.

Organize what’s left in your bag and wallet so the items you use more often are the most easily accessible. I keep this clear large pouch in my day tote at all times and switch it when I switch bags. I like to have a clear one so that I can see what I’m looking for on the go.

3. Bathroom binge. Think about all the products and make up that you have had sitting around for weeks, months, even years! Spend some time cleaning out old products that you haven’t used in the last three months months. If you want to take it a step further, check out the products that you are keeping and read the ingredients. Are they full of chemicals? Every day we come into contact with harsh chemicals and toxins in laundry detergent, make up, shampoo, and even toothpaste.

Try to remove one chemicalized product in your bathroom and replace it with a clean and natural organic version of the same thing. Check out this website to find out how healthy and green your products are.

4. Closet clean out. I’m doing my spring closet clean out this weekend and I’m beyond excited to get rid of some old things I never wear, to make room for new pieces that I love. I wrote a post two years ago with my step by step instructions for closet clean outs and they still stand strong. The only thing I’ll add on now is that if you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s book, I’d recommend getting it first. Learning how to let go of everything that doesn’t “spark joy” makes a huge difference.

5. Kitchen confidential. We’re lucky to be going through a kitchen reno right now because it jump started our spring cleaning. We had to take every single item out of our cabinets and drawers, and I encourage you to do the same! Granted, we had to do it all at once, but I suggest one drawer/cabinet at a time.

Do the same with your fridge and pantry. Don’t be surprised if you find a jar of something or another that expired over a year ago!

Here’s how to do it: Take everything out, assess if you use it or not, wipe down the shelf or drawer, and put everything back. Create three piles:

  1. I eat/use this regularly
  2. I’ve had this for months but want to use it
  3. I will never eat/use this, ever.

The number 1s, organize by food group and put back. The number 2s, put in a pile and write out a recipe or date for when you will use them. The number 3s, put in a box and donate or throw away if it has gone bad.

6. Ditch your ratty socks. Someone once told me that there’s not reason to live with holes in your socks. When you clean out your sock and underwear drawer, only leaving the things that feel comfortable and make you happy, it can be weirdly life changing. I know that sounds crazy, but try it! And invest in some new socks and undies. They don’t have to be fancy or expensive… just preferably not falling apart.

7. Tackle your work space. Whether you work from home, at an office, or are a stay at home mom, everyone has a space where they do their work. Keeping this clean and organized is essential for her productivity and success.

  • Take everything off of your desk/table/area and wipe it down
  • Put things back only that you use often or that make you smile when you look at them (e.g. put your stapler in a drawer unless you’re always reaching for it. Clutter on your desk is known to distract you from work, so keep it as open as possible
  • Clean out each drawer and get rid of whatever you don’t need. Organize the drawers so what you use most often is easiest to reach

8. Get organized. Think of the spaces that you use often, but probably don’t pay much attention to like a linen closet or laundry room. Take a few hours to organize these spaces. Next time you go to use them, you’ll smile at how nice it feels, I promise!

9. Deep clean. When we lived in NYC, we used to hire a service to deep clean our apartment twice a year. In Connecticut, the weird black dirt/soot that ends up in every crevice is no longer a problem, but we like to do a deep clean yearly anyway. You can hire someone or easily do this yourself. Clean your house as you usually would but add on some extras like washing your windows, scrubbing your oven, microwave, and fridge, taking a Magic Eraser to any marks on the walls, and getting your carpets cleaned. You won’t realize how dirty things have gotten until you see how clean it all is in the end.

I recommend doing this as your last step, after you’ve completed everything above. That way it won’t get messed up while you’re completing the other tasks.

10. Plan for the future. This isn’t cleaning per se, but I find spring to be a great time to get done those pesky plans you’ve been “meaning to do forever”. For us, that means hanging curtain rods in my new office, painting the nursery, buying a rug pad for one of our rugs that’s always sliding, changing the knobs on my dresser,

Blue Stripes

Photos originally from this post.

  • I’m currently having a major spring clean while I’m at my mums for week and I’m slightly disgusted with myself and the fact I have many products that are at least 6 months out of date…oops
    Alicia x
    http://www.aestheticobsessed.co.uk

    • Don’t be! It happens to all of us, I promise 🙂

  • Michaela

    Great article! Random question–what service did you use for apartment deep cleaning in NYC?

    • Not random at all! I used Wizards of Homes. Funny name but they were AMAZING. I tried to get them to come to CT, but they weren’t into that 🙂 http://wizardofhomes.com/

  • Christine

    Great tips! We started a little spring cleaning in our yard this weekend. Hoping to tackle a few inside jobs on this rainy day.

  • Caitlin Hill

    Love this list! What was the company you used for deep cleaning in NYC? Thanks!

  • OMG, Catalog Choice is live changing. Our tiny (apartment) mailbox is always stuffed to the brim with catalogs we definitely did not sign up for. Thank you for sharing that!!!! And love all these tips, obvi. I spent the last two weekends doing massive closet cleanouts, even donating some old things of Lucy’s to a local senior dog rescue. Felt so good to not only re-organize and purge, but also donate her stuff to such a good cause!

    • Right?! It’s so worth it to spend the time doing that. Yay Lucy, thanks for sharing your old toys 🙂

  • I laughed when I read #6. I just cleaned out my sock drawer this weekend! Threw out a whole darn bag full!

  • I love this! I am on a massive mission to clean and purge in April to make room for baby, and this will be a huge help!
    xoxo,
    Catherine // Classic Catherine

    • Yay! Nesting at it’s finest. I’m the same way 🙂

  • Charlotte

    Love this! Can you please do a post about how you tackle these things (obviously on a much smaller scale) on a weekly and monthly basis?

    • Fun idea! I will think up how to write about that for sure 🙂

      • Charlotte

        Yay, thanks! I need to get a good organization system going. 🙂

        Also- totally agree on the deep cleaning. I’m in DC and have our apartment deep cleaned about once every three months. Living in the city is great but things do get dirtier, faster.

  • Lindsay Crouch

    LOVE this. so. much. Such perfect timing as I am currently going through a huge closet binge.

  • Love this list! Now I just want to take the week off work and tackle my entire house! (And then two hours in, I would give up and just sit with my cat and watch a movie…)

  • Julia

    I am moving out of my tiny apartment into a house. It is the perfect time to put some of these tips in use. I keep throwing out things I had no idea I even had because they have just gotten pushed deeper into the drawer. The more I get rid of the less I have to move!

    • Yes! Moving is the perfect time for spring cleaning. Good luck!

  • Spring Cleaning is such a relief. I definitely could use going through the cupboards and my purse. Definitely two places I don’t always think of! Thank you for sharing!
    Caitlin

    • The purse is a good one! It feels so good 🙂

  • Sylvie Hart

    Thanks for the great tips! I need to dust off my M. Kondo book again. We went through our entire house a few years ago, using her “spark joy” method. The result was amazing on all fronts…less clutter, more space for creativity and productivity! One quick question – what do you do with your nicer clothes that you are looking to purge? Consignment? I would love any tips on this front. As always, thank you!

    • Great question! I usually let my sister go through them first and take what she wants, then I either sell them on ThredUp or Poshmark. I’m doing a big clean out this week so will keep you guys posted on Friday if I’m selling anything!

  • Monica Duggan Webster

    Love this post! I actually love to Spring clean and purge too!!

  • Love this! I always love to do spring cleaning haha!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com