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16 Secrets To Make Spring Cleaning More Fun, According to Experts

Jun 02, 2023

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A clean, clutter-free house is the dream, but working up the motivation to actually tackle your miles-long to-do list—from the dust-covered fans to the overflowing junk drawer—each spring is a chore in itself. It doesn't have to be that dreadful though. We talked to a bunch of organizational experts to get the inside scoop on how to make the process of spring cleaning more enjoyable so you can enjoy living in your space again.

Sure, it doesn't sound fun, but the actual checking off of items gives your brain a little dopamine hit each time, which is incredibly encouraging. Jess Klein, interior designer and founder of Jess Klein Studio in Boston, recommends going into a task with a gameplan. "Download a spring cleaning checklist or create your own, and mark items off so that you feel accomplished." Chances are, the more you mark off, the more you’ll want to keep going.

Research shows that music helps to increase efficiency in repetitive tasks like cleaning or organizing, notes Danielle Dorn, Creative Director at mDesign. "It can improve your mood and be a fun way to give yourself more energy and motivation—especially when you’re not in the mood for it!"

Just like a brand new outfit gets you excited to go out, cute cleaning supplies in fun designs—like these Papaya Fruit Salad Reusable Paper Towels—can be the kick in the butt you need to finally scrub those dirty baseboards.

According to Stephanie Greenberg, Creative Director at Jane's Addiction Organization, a key part of any spring cleaning project is to declutter and donate. "Invite friends over for a clean up/dress-up party! Organize your closet while donating some of your pieces that you are getting rid of to your besties." And have some fun with it. Catch up with some wine, and help them style their new looks.

If just thinking about clearing out the mudroom gives you hives, listen to a funny podcast to make it more fun, suggests life coach and parenting expert Stephanie Rosenfield. You can also put on some mindless reality TV, or tune into the next big true crime podcast and play detective while you create donate, keep and trash piles.

Having trouble getting started? "Think about what you can check off your cleaning checklist in under 15-20 minutes," advises Klein. "Do those first so you can start to mark things off the list." Once the timer goes off, you’ll likely be in a groove and want to continue. And if not, at least you got something done.

After you’ve finished giving your bathroom a good scrubbing, Greenberg recommends rewarding yourself with a nice, relaxing bath. You’ve earned it! "To set the spa mood, gather all of the candles from your home, spread them around the bathroom and light them." Now relax and enjoy a good soak—maybe even throw in some bath salts or bubbles.

If you’re the type that's easily overwhelmed, don't try to bite off more than you can chew. "Start with a commonly used spot like a junk drawer or your fridge," says home organizer Holly Blakey of Breathing Room Organization + Styling. "Turn on some music and toss, recycle or donate everything you don't use, is broken or belongs somewhere else. By tackling a small space, you get a small taste of how satisfying it feels to have a clean, organized space." You’re also more likely to get started in the first place.

The perfect motivator for kids and parents! For each space in the house, Blakey suggests giving it a comparable reward once completed. "For example, once you’ve cleaned out your linen closet, you can purchase pretty woven baskets to make it even tidier." Kiddo's rooms all done? Go book yourself a massage—your back will need it.

"Make sure that you have all your cleaning supplies, garbage bags and donation drop offs coordinated prior to actually getting started with your spring cleaning session," advises Professional Home Organizer Shantae Duckwork of Shantaeize Your Space. This means setting up appointments for any services needed—like junk haulers, home organizers or professional cleaners. "This will all help take the metal load off of cleaning on the day of, plus make it a lot more fun to get the job done!"

Have little ones? Enlist their help and turn cleaning tasks into playful learning moments. "When organizing the fridge or spice rack, for example, enlist a kiddo or other family member and make it a game to see who can guess the oldest dates of expired items," offers Blakey.

Briana and Erica Spruille, professional organizers and founders of Just Be LLC, love involving the family and kids too. "Set a 10-minute timer, grab a trash bag and a basket, pick a room to either do a quick toss of trash in the bag or place things that don't belong in that space in the basket," they suggest. "The instant gratification will motivate you to tidy and clean more!"

"When spring cleaning your closet, motivate yourself to fiercely edit your wardrobe by downloading a shipping label from somewhere like ThredUp where you can earn money by selling clothes," suggests Blakey. "The less clothes you don't like or wear, the more space in your closet, and the more money in the bank!"

As a holistic movement coach, Rachel Lovitt believes that your physical environment (AKA your living space) plays a significant role in your overall health and well-being. "So spring cleaning then becomes something you can do to create a more supportive and nurturing living environment for yourself," she says. "Cleaning is an act of self-love—not a boring, annoying chore. And that feels better, right?"

Principal Designer Natalie Rebuck of Re: Design Architects loves using spring cleaning as an opportunity to refresh a room. "During my spring cleaning I usually take all the small pillow covers off and wash them, and then when I put the covers back on I use it as an opportunity to switch things up and change the location," she says. "I also like to move vases and decorative books around the house at this time too." See something that doesn't spark joy anymore? Put it in a pile to donate or sell.

When cleaning out an area, like your closet, Rosenfield recommends listing out all the categories you're gonna go through: jeans, sweats, tanks, tees, long sleeves, etc. "But, don't expect to do it all at once," she warns. "Before going in there to tackle it all, set yourself up for success by knowing which area you’re going to tackle and how long you're going to do it for."

It feels overwhelming when your brain spins on all the areas that have to get organized. One way to minimize the overwhelm, according to Rosenfield, is to list out all the areas, estimate how long you think they are gonna take and then schedule them into your calendar in 30 minute bursts of time. "You'll be surprised just how much of the pantry gets cleaned out when you focus on it for only 30 minutes.

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