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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Spring cleaning

This time of year, when the trees begin to bud and the daffodils have bloomed, when even the air begins to have hints of spring in it, I get the urge to clean and cull. If there's a warm day, I like to open the windows and let in some fresh air. I go through closets and start bagging up stuff for the Goodwill. I start making lists of what spring cleaning tasks to do each day. So I thought I'd share some of my ideas with you.

1. If you only have a little bit of time a day to clean, divide up the tasks on a calendar or task sheet. For instance, you can take a room a day, or perhaps a different task each day -- like washing the windows one day, cleaning closets another, shampooing the carpets another. You can even tackle one room at a time, but perform different tasks in that room each day. However you need to divide it to get it done. If you're in the mood for a different look in your home, plan how you want to rearrange your furniture or if you want to change it out for new. Maybe all you need to accomplish the desired change is a new shade of paint on the walls or new drapes.

2. Cleaning the house isn't the only spring cleaning you can undertake. Has it been awhile since you cleaned out your filing cabinets? Take a drawer each day and toss/shred any paperwork you no longer need to keep. This gets rid of clutter and frees up space.

3. You can do the same with your e-mail accounts. Go through saved e-mails and see if you need to either answer them or send them to the trash.

4. Tackle the garage or other outbuildings. Clean, organize, cull.

5. One task I have to undertake each year that I don't particularly like but which is necessary is weeding the flowerbeds. Ugh. Plan your yard work the way you did the housework -- different tasks each day. Weeding, mulching, trimming, mowing, changing your landscaping. It can be divided as easily as other tasks that will take you several days.

6. If you have a rainy day, maybe you can use that time to organize photos albums, scrapbooks or other projects that have been put on the back burner for months (dare I say years?).

As you are able to mark these tasks off your list, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment. Not to mention a lot of it counts as exercise. :)

Happy spring cleaning!



At 7:56 AM, Blogger Terry Odell said...

I keep meaning to do this kind of thing, but I keep avoiding the chores by curling up with a book instead. I don't think anything's going to happen until we're finally faced with biting the bullet and putting the house on the market. Which isn't all that far down the road. Right now, I look around at everything and ask myself, "Would I want to take that when we move?"

At 8:41 AM, Blogger Karen said...

I read once that the easiest way to redecorate your house is to take down all the wall art and rehang it in a different place. I've done this a couple of times and it really makes a difference. You begin to see things you haven't noticed in years. I'm faced now with painting--ugh, and carpeting--double ugh. The only thing I'm looking forward to is the project being done!

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Terry, ugh on the moving. We've been in our house for going on 9 years now, and I wouldn't relish the idea of moving -- unless, of course, it was to a beach house in Florida. :)

Karen, that's an interesting way to redecorate. Hadn't thought of that. We're in the middle of getting our living room floor repaired. Then we'll have to re-carpet it and several other rooms. The 8-year-old carpet has not worn well. Time to go. Here's a tip: don't buy light-colored carpet. Live and learn.

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Lee McKenzie said...

Cleaning. Ugh. Spring or otherwise, I hate it.

This winter I decided to hire a cleaner, but that didn’t work out. So my husband and I decided to work together and spend an hour to an hour and a half doing housework. Amazing what two focused people can accomplish in so little time.

Now, like Trish, I’m starting to get spring fever. Time to look beyond the visible surfaces, throw open cupboard and closet doors, and clear out the clutter. Here’s what’s on my spring cleaning list:

* linen closet
* filing cabinet
* cutlery drawer (husband keeps putting tools in it!)
* patio planters
* sock drawer (how many pairs of old pantyhose does one person need?)
* basement storage room

I suspect this will keep us busy well into summer :)

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Lee, I need to attack the sock drawer, too!

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

We're looking at new carpet for the upstairs, which means I somehow have to remove the furniture and put it somewhere. The bathroom? Even more scary, my office/bonus room--where will all this stuff go?? It will force me to clean the blinds, cull books and files. I'd rather do something else! :)

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Maureen, I think it'll be fairly easy for us to do the carpet, except for in my office. OMG, there is a lot of stuff to move, including several packed bookshelves.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

I read this post and broke out in hives. I SO need to clean up my house. Since I started writing it has turned into a disaster even FEMA won't touch. My day job is so exhausting and I try to write every day so there is very little time to clean up this wreck. I am going to try and take some days off later in March so that I can at least make a stab at it.

I think a big part of my problem is that when I look at the whole house and everything that needs to be done I become completely overwhelmed and that tends to paralyze me. I need to break it down into really small tasks - 30 minutes to an hour at the time - and then maybe I can get it all done!

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Louisa, I break down the housework like I do other tasks (writing, whatever). Like you said, it's easier to tackle "I'll spend 15 minutes cleaning" than trying to look at the whole, big picture.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Ladyhawk said...

I need a different mind set. Like some of the others here, I hate the thought of tackling all this. It was helpful to realize that cleaning requires a certain amount of destruction, which simply feels wrong somehow. So, I need to learn to think of it as not destroying the piles and familiarity, but creating a haven that is more peaceful and inspiring. Now, I've written it, we'll see if I can do it. :-)

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Judy, good luck with the new mindset. Sometimes that's all that's needed to tackle something we've been putting off.

At 4:19 PM, Blogger MJFredrick said...

I TRY to do a room a day, 15 minutes, intense, including decluttering. If my dh was more like Lee's, maybe it would make a difference, but no.

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Lee McKenzie said...

LOL, Mary! I just reread my earlier comment and realized that I forgot to qualify our hour/hour and a half of housework. It's ONCE A WEEK, not every day!

Trish, you and Mary both mentioned 15 minutes. Do either of you use a timer? I use mine for all sorts of tasks - my logic being that it's possible to do anything for 15 minutes.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger MJFredrick said...

Honey, I'd settle for an hour and a half a MONTH :)

Yes, I use a timer, and I race it :)


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