Spring is here, which means it's the best -- or maybe worst -- time of the year. That's right, we're talking about spring cleaning! After the winter, it can be incredibly satisfying to open the windows, grab the trash cans and spray bottles, and get cleaning. But it can also be intimidating! Where do you start? How do you stay motivated? We've got a few tricks up our sleeve that can help you out.
1. Try the Pomodoro method
Maybe you tried this as a student preparing for a big test, but it works just as well for cleaning. If you're spending all day (or a few hours) cleaning, use 40 minutes each hour to work hard and the remaining 20 to kick your feet back and watch some TV or scroll social media. When the new hour begins, start again.
2. Keep cleaning tools handy
When you make cleaning mindless, it's easy to stay tidy. Keep a bucket with a grocery bag in your car to wrangle all of your car trash, or keep a cleaner-loaded sponge in your shower so you can scrub without turning it into a new task.
3. Sort all your stuff
Room by room or closet by closet, start making piles -- keep, toss, and donate. Be honest with yourself about how much you actually need or use certain items. If it's in good shape and someone else could benefit from it, donate it. If it's damaged or threadbare, it's time for the trash.
4. Put some thought into your products
Don't just use products that are on sale or handy -- be intentional about the scents and efficacy of what you're using. You'll enjoy cleaning more if you love the way your bathroom smells after, or if a product can do double-duty, saving you time and energy.
5. Associate cleaning with stuff you like
Put on a favorite series while you work -- something you've seen before so you're not too distracted by looking at the TV -- or play pump-up music or a juicy podcast while you're cleaning. It'll make time go by faster, and you're a lot less likely to dread getting started if you've got something fun to do along with it.
6. Think outside the house
Your interiors might be spotless, but how about your car, your garage, your yard, or your gym bag or reusable grocery bags? These are also worth spending some spring cleaning time on!
7. Give your fridge and freezer a reset
Come on, when's the last time you scrubbed the inside of your fridge or freezer? Start off by tossing anything that's expired or smelling a little off, or that you know you're never going to eat (sorry, popsicles from 2019). Then give the inside a good scrub to eliminate any stains or sticky spots.
8. Give the junk drawer a makeover
Not everyone can bear to part with their beloved junk drawer, and that's okay. But you may want to focus on tossing anything that you truly don't need and organizing what you do. It may be a catchall spot, but you can still use bags and bins to wrangle like items together so they're easier to find later.
9. Think about what you're touching the most
Your phone, light switches, computer keyboard, and toilet handle are all getting touched dozens of times each day. These should get cleaned to keep things tidy and germ-free!
10. Be realistic
If you have roommates, kids, pets, guests, or anyone else living in your home, you know it's never going to be perfect. The goal is to get things looking nicer, have more space, and be able to find things more easily. If that's what you end up with by the time you're done, you should be proud of yourself!