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Simple Steps for Tackling Spring Cleaning, Room-by-Room

Simple Steps for Tackling Spring Cleaning, Room-by-Room

    After a long winter, the first signs of spring – new flowers popping up in the garden, buds on the trees, and warmer temperatures – may have inspired you to clean your house and yard from top-to-bottom, making it sparkly and new-looking again. But sometimes spring cleaning can seem like an overwhelming task leaving you unsure of what to do and where to start.  By breaking down the big project into smaller parts, you’re more likely to find success.  We’re going to break down your spring cleaning plans by room, and then task.  You’ll feel more accomplished looking at a completed room than a partially cleaned house.

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    The Bedroom(s)

    1. Go through your clothes.  At the change of seasons, many people simply pack up their warmer winter wear and put them in a big plastic container to store until the cold weather rolls around again.  That’s all fine and good, but if cleaning and organizing are your goal, you’ll want to take it a step further.  After you’ve gathered all your winter clothes up, go through them and ask yourself whether your wore each item that winter.  If you didn’t wear it, you may want to consider donating it.  Don’t hang onto it for another year. If you didn’t wear it this year, you’re unlikely to next year.  If you have clothes laying around needing to be washed, don’t leave them lay or wait to wash them until next year, do it now.  Gather up anything that needs dry cleaning and drop those off, and wash at home any other items that may be soiled.  If something is damaged, like missing a button, fix it now, otherwise it’s likely to end up in your pile of unworn clothes next winter.  If you have children, a spouse/partner or others living with you, try to get them to do the same and go through their clothes.
    2. Revitalize your bed. Things are starting to warm up, so now’s the time to trade those cozy but heavy flannel sheets for lighter, airier linen ones.  You may also consider putting away a blanket or two.  Wash it first, then pack it away.  If it’s in disrepair, consider getting rid of it altogether if there’s a chance you won’t want to use it again when the cold sets in next fall or winter.  Before you put on the new sheets and blankets, flip your mattress.  That is, of course, if you have a traditional mattress. It will last long and wear better if regularly flipped.  Want to treat yourself?  Get a new, fluffy pillow.

    The Kitchen

    1. Get rid of any expired foods. Go through the cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer. Look for any old and past date food, or containers that look like they may be growing mold (ew!).  Toss them.  While you’re at it, wipe down the shelves in the cupboards and in the fridge.
    2. Sweep & mop the floor, wipe the counters. Nothing makes a kitchen shine line a freshly mopped floors. Sweep it with a broom or a vacuum set for hard floors to pick up any crumbs first. I hope you regularly wipe down your counters, but if you don’t, do that now too.
    3. Clean & polish the cupboards. The cupboards below your sink or nearest the store are the most likely to be dirtied, through drips, spills and splashes of various foods and drinks.  A rag and some wood cleaner are all you need, and it shouldn’t take too much effort to wipe things down and get them in tip-top shape again.
    4. Clean the stovetop. The stovetop is another prime area for grime to accumulate.  Get yourself a multi-surface kitchen cleaning spray and get to scrubbing.  If you have an electric stove, you’ll need to pick up a special cleaner to wipe on and wipe off.

    The Living Room & Dining Room

    1. Dust. Clear off all your table tops and dust them well. Pull out your vacuum and its hose and brush extensions and vacuum up any dust on your lampshades.
    2. Refresh your decor. Instead of completely redesigning your interior, you can instead swap out little things, like putting new photos in your frames.
    3. Vacuum and get your carpet cleaned. Vacuum all your carpets really well, and use the crevice tool to get in the corners well.  Since you likely tracked in a lot of snow and dirt in the winter months, now’s an excellent time to get your carpets professionally cleaned.  Getting your furniture cleaned once a year is also a good idea to keep it fresh and long lasting. Be on the look out for spring specials!

    Outdoors

    1. Replace your welcome mats. If they just have a few leaves stuck to them then a a good shake will suffice, but if they’re looking dirty and worn, it’s time for new ones.
    2. Clean out the gardens. Rake the dead leaves from the gardens.  You can compost them or bag them up and toss them out with the trash.

    All Over

    1. Get rid of clutter. Are there toys laying around that your kids no longer play with?  Box them up.  Anything you haven’t used recently can be considered for removal.  And the best thing to do with the things you no longer need is to either donate them to Goodwill or another charity (if in good condition), or make a few extra bucks by holding your own garage sale.
    2. Wipe down the walls and baseboards. Get yourself a good bucket full of soapy water and a big sponge.  You’ll get the fingerprints and other little impurities off the walls and they’ll look new again.
    3. Clean the windows. Windex and some rags will suffice, but if you want to go all out you can use a squeegee.

    The are undoubtedly a million other things that you could thing of to do to get your house clean and in tip-top shape, but this list is a good start.  And like I said, when you work room by room, it feels like you’ve accomplished a lot more than just don’t little projects scattered around the house, and it won’t be so overwhelming.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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