Should I Be “Spring Cleaning”?

Thoughts on organizing during spring

When visiting my grandmother as a child, I frequently heard stories about her cleaning her house every spring wearing her “old” high heels. Her home was located in a valley not far from a local steel mill, so this process mostly involved washing black soot from her walls, furniture, fabrics and floors.

The truth is, many of us feel a need to refresh as the days lengthen and the air warms.  We feel a desire to shed the weight of winter, air out and get things in order.  If you are feeling this inclination, take advantage of it by tackling one or all of these projects to “lighten up” this spring:

  • Refresh your wardrobe. Many of us “switch out” our wardrobe when the weather changes. This is the perfect time to take a look at what you own and pass on those items that you no longer need or want. Don’t store items which are ripped, stained or lack a mate (e.g. an unmatched glove!) In addition, if you’ve been moving an item of clothing back and forth for a couple of seasons without wearing it, there is probably a reason. If it doesn’t fit, doesn’t flatter, you don’t love it, or it is out of style, donate it.  If you are keeping it for sentimental reasons, move it to a “Memorabilia” box, and get it out of your closet.
  • Work the weather-sensitive zones.  Locations like garages, attics, sheds and storage units frequently acquire a build-up of belongings during cold months when we “run and dump” stuff inside. Take advantage of mild temperatures by emptying and sweeping out these zones. If you need help lifting & carrying, consider hiring a college or high school student for the day. Have a look at everything you own. Purge items that are broken (which you realistically are not going to get fixed) or no longer needed (caution: if you are holding an item “for the kids,” ask them if they are actually going to want it!) Set aside anything that requires specialized disposal (e.g. old paint, old oil) and research an upcoming hazardous disposal date to put on your calendar. If your space has never been organized, install some pegboard or other organizing product to keep things in order. Visit my Pinterest page for some ideas.
  • Lighten your load. Clear out your purse, backpack or briefcase. Dump out the contents and shake the bag out. Toss out any trash. Sort through loose paper and file what you need to keep. Return random items that have landed in your bag to their proper location. Look through your wallet and purge its contents as well.
  • Improve your view. We are much better at adding to a bulletin board than we are at clearing it off. The start of a new season is a good time to take everything off and start over. Get rid of old schedules, reminder notes and anything out of date. Hang up schedules, invitations, and reminder cards for spring & summer. If you’ve had the same photo hanging up for awhile, consider pitching it and putting up some new ones. Add a splash of your favorite color, a quote, a comic or an image of a favorite getaway to inspire you.

Spring is the season of new beginnings. Give one to your space, and enjoy the payoff for months to come.

What change do you always make in the Spring?

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12 thoughts on “Should I Be “Spring Cleaning”?”

  1. I don’t seem to recall my mother’s shoes, but when I was very young, at home she usually wore a “house dress.” Although I do find dresses more comfortable than most pants, I can’t imagine wearing one to do housework, let alone high heels! Although I sometimes wish styles weren’t so casual these days, I think this is one area where we’ve made a smart improvement.
    Janet Barclay recently posted…Call for Submissions to Professional Organizers Blog Carnival: Spring CleaningMy Profile

    1. I know – it sounds crazy! But I think she only wore dresses, so that’s what she cleaned in! It wasn’t an easy life, though, living where she did. They literally scrubbed the walls… very thankful I don’t need to do that!
      Seana recently posted…Before It Gets InMy Profile

  2. Love these fresh start ideas. I think clearing the bulletin board as each season starts is a great idea. It’s one area that build up prevents focus and movement. Thanks for sharing!

    1. My husband’s bulletin board is NOT cleaned off seasonally… ahem… and every time I sit at his desk I am tempted to hop up and and tear items off. But I restrain myself. I wonder if he appreciates that:) ?

  3. I have to agree with the bulletin board clearing too. The longer the items stay up, it becomes like wallpaper you no longer notice. And I remember hearing stories from my mother that when she was growing up you always had to change out your window curtains by a certain time in the spring and if you didn’t, the neighbors would talk!

    1. That’s a funny story from your Mom. Believe it or not, this is the first year I’ve ever changed out a window treatment. The old ones were very “fall/winter” and I just wanted something lighter. I’m thrilled with them. But will I faithfully change them out each season? We’ll see 🙂

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