In our last post, we went over a few very important things — like the theory that if every New Yorker started their spring cleaning right now, spring might actually come. (We know it’s a long shot, but at this point, we’ll try anything to stop the frigid temperatures.) We also went over more practical spring cleaning steps, including setting a date, assessing your tools, decluttering your apartment, donating things you don’t want and putting the things you want to keep in your personal mini storage unit.
Have you done all of the above? Yes? Fantastic! You’re ready to clean!
Step One: Get Inspired
Having a vision of what your space will feel like once it has been de-grimed is a great motivator. It may also remind you of what a truly clean apartment looks like, and how lovely it is to evict chaos and implement order. This is where the interwebs come in really handy.
Head on over to Pinterest, do a search for “OCD organization,” and, lo and behold, you will be awash in images of meticulously organized everything — from how to fold plastic bags to strategies for purging and taming your refrigerator. Spend a little time exploring how true organization addicts treat their spaces, and you’ll get some great ideas about what you can do in yours.
Step Two: Get Down (and Up!)
Spring cleaning is your everyday wipe-and-mop on steroids. To do it properly, you must expand way beyond your regular cleaning routine, tackling all the out-of-the-way places that are typically left to fend for themselves.
So instead of just addressing the usual suspects, get down on the ground and take a look at whatever has been lurking under that couch of yours for the last year. Then stay down and look around — chances are you’ll find families of dust bunnies lurking in every corner.
Now do the opposite — take a look at the top of your refrigerator, your cabinets, your curtains. You may be surprised to find an entire ecosystem of forgotten stuff and an even more thriving population of dust bunnies. Since out of sight is out of mind, start by tackling these out-of-the way dust magnets first.
Step Three: Get Dirty
One of the ironies of spring cleaning is that it is truly a dirty business — something you’ll quickly discover when you go to battle with the dust bunnies. You’re going to get grimy if you’re doing it right. Prepare for this by wearing your rattiest clothes and stocking up on paper towels and cleaning supplies. Once you’ve vanquished the dust balls, cat hair, and corner clutter, you’re really ready to rock.
Focus your efforts by moving strategically from room to room, beginning with the space in which you spend the most time. Now, assuming you’ve decluttered, target that one area that you’ve been meaning to clean forever — the one that’s been bothering you since Thanksgiving. Do this, and you’ll feel richly rewarded for finally vanquishing that little stressor that’s been nagging you for so long. This feeling of reward should propel you forward to the next cleaning target and keep you motivated to complete your spring cleaning project.
Good luck, spring cleaner! We hope this helps you transform your space into a comfortable apartment to which you’re actually happy to invite your mom/coworkers/crush over. And if you do take the challenge and get your place clean, send us a picture of your success story. We’d love to see how it went!