Do you get “cleaning anxiety” before you start a big cleaning project? This is very common as cleaning out the old to bring in the fresh uncluttered new can be a daunting task. Although the finished product of reorganizing and cleaning your home has definitely been shown to have relaxing and calming effects, getting there can be the issue. It is possible to clean AND have fun with just a few preparations and steps. Let’s take a look at some ways you can destress to achieve success.
Blueprint and Prep for Your Journey
Every big journey needs a map. Starting a huge task (like spring cleaning) is no different. Before you begin your journey, you can sit down to make a checklist of the tasks you would like to complete. You can put these in the order you would like to get them done, what is most important to least important, or just get them down on paper so you don’t forget. The ability to check off completed tasks on your list is gratifying, and they can help keep you motivated to keep moving.
Would you just get in your car, drive to the mountains, and begin hiking to go camping without any preparation at all? Probably not. The special care you would take to prepare yourself for a trip or an outside activity is just as important in this situation. Some things you can do to help prepare yourself and the environment for your cleaning event include:
- Disinfect any cloth or sponge you intend to use. You can make this extremely easy by simply filling the sponge with water, set it on a microwave safe plate, and zap it for 2 minutes. If you prefer to use a cloth, you can wash it with bleach in only hot water, and dry it on the hottest setting.
- Clean your vacuum and all attachments with a mild detergent and warm water (unplugged of course). If your vacuum has filters, you will want to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacing it or cleaning the filter. If you have a bag-less vacuum, just ensure to rinse out the canister before and after you use it. Those who have devices that use a bag, remember to change the bag before use.
- Sanitize your mop if you are using one. There are so many different floor cleaning tools out there that it is sometimes hard to keep up with them all. However, the tried and true mop is still used. Those items can house bacteria that you would not want to spread around your nice clean home. You can sanitize your mop by simply using a bucket filled with hot water (approximately 1-2 gallons) and a cup of white vinegar. Now let your mop soak for 15 minutes, and voila!
- Gather all of your desired cleaning supplies to ensure you have everything you will need to begin your journey.
Set the Scene
One of the most important things you can do for yourself to prepare for the huge undertaking of a big project (like spring cleaning) is to set the scene. This doesn’t mean you have to do anything extravagant, but you should make the environment feel as comfortable as possible. This could include ensuring the temperature of the room is comfortable, playing energizing or enjoyable music, and even turning your phone off (airplane mode works too). Yes, I know that could be very scary for some, but the consistent or constant interruptions can cause delays in progress, divert you from your goal, and even increase stress while you are cleaning. The goal is to remove anything that could increase the likelihood of stress. And honestly, do you really need up to the minute facts on what Suzy ate for lunch today? You will enjoy that information more after your home is refreshed and you can devote your attention to other things.
Enlist Help (if needed)
If you have found that you could actually have a starring role on “Hoarders” (TV series on TLC), don’t stress. You can always phone a friend, and make it a cleaning party! It is very common for you to save things throughout the years, but you will find that those things build up. Some of those things are very sentimental and important to you, while others you begin questioning what you were thinking when you saved it. Not only would having some help speed up the process of cleaning, but you could have fun with it too. If you do not have anyone who is super excited about cleaning with you, then you could also call in some professional cleaning services to assist. Either way, the help is out there if you find yourself too stressed to take on the spring cleaning task on your own.
Kingdoms were not built in a day. Set a start and end time for yourself with reasonable breaks built into your day. Don’t be discouraged if you are not able to get all of the tasks on your checklist completed on the first day. Experts recommend keeping breaks short, but also setting a stop point for the day. By keeping breaks short, you are more likely to stick to your task. However, if you have not set an end in sight, you may become too overwhelmed to continue. Basically, be fair to yourself.
Work Smarter Not Harder