It’s nearing the end of May and, here in Pittsburgh, Spring has definitely set in. The signs of the season are plentiful – the rise in temperatures, the increase in rainfall, the closing of the Mon Wharf on a semi-regular basis, and the looming specter of spring cleaning.
If you haven’t started your spring cleaning yet, know that you’re not alone and that we’ve got your back with some tips, tricks, and resources to make your cleaning experience less overwhelming and more calm-inducing.
Make a spring cleaning checklist
Checking items off of a list can be cathartic. With that in mind, we suggest creating a checklists for each room you’re going to tackle (that way you can recycle your list after you’ve checked everything off of it – even more satisfying!) Need some list making inspiration? We’ve created a template you can use to create your own mini spring cleaning checklists.
Starting small means making those room-by-room checklists (see above), but it also means not taking on the entire attic (or garage or closet) in one go – break it down by area or by task. You’ve got this – the attic will not defeat you!
Limit your time
Spring cleaning burn out: the best way to end up with only half of your house or apartment clean. This is a marathon, not a sprint and your house will end up in a much better state if you pace yourself and make conscious, active decisions on what to keep and what to throw away or donate.
Don’t go it alone
If you’re like us, cleaning isn’t exactly up there on your list of favorite things to do. But it doesn’t have to be a silent, solitary task that is occasionally interrupted by the sound of spraying window cleaner or the rustling of garbage bags. Make a deal with your friends – they help you get with some of your cleaning and you’ll help them with theirs! Or enlist your kids, spouse, or that cousin who owes you a favor. Put on some music and catch up, it’ll make the time and tasks go by much faster.
Identify the necessities
Whenever you start a new room or task, identify the items that you have to keep – both for practical and sentimental reasons. Make sure the necessities find a prominent or easily accessible space in your newly organized home or office. That way you can cut down on any frustration from having to find something you use often and you can increase your happiness quota by looking at something that brings you joy.
Declutter your workspace
Your bedroom and bathroom are important places to clean and declutter, but your workspace should also be pretty high on your list of priorities. Whether that’s your car, your home office, or your work office, give priority to the place that you most likely spend a bulk of your time. Clear the extra paperwork, go through that giant pile of mail that magically appeared overnight, dust, and disinfect.
Put away the winter items
We’re pretty sure winter is finally over (knock on some form of wood immediately). Now it’s time to pack up those bulky sweaters, scarves, and hats for at least a few months. Free up your closet space for sundresses and linen by boxing up your cold weather attire and banishing them to the attic, garage, or under the bed.
Donate your discards
You’ve made it to the end of a cleaning session and your closet or office is now a clutter-free paradise! Congratulations!
So what do you do with the boxes and bags of discarded items you no longer need? Donate your gently used clothes and household items to St. Vincent de Paul!
Drop off items at any of our thrift stores (locations here) or donation boxes (locations here). For larger donation pickups of furniture, call our Donation Department to schedule a home pickup (412-321-1071 x1). Your items will provide support to thousands of local individuals and families in need of assistance throughout the Pittsburgh region.
Decluttering and organizing your home can help to decrease stress and increase productivity, so get on it! You’ll feel so much better with a clean house & the knowledge that your discarded items will support those in need.