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AT HOME

By Sara Hall | Contributor

SPRING 2024 ISSUE

SPRING CLEANING IS IN FULL BLOOM

Coastal Organizing Company 2.JPG

Photos courtesy of Coastal Organizing Company

Spring is the time for fresh starts, both outside, as the flower buds start emerging, and inside, where it’s time to wipe off the winter dust. It’s the perfect time to tidy up, declutter, and get organized. And a revival inside the home that reflects the reawaking happening outdoors can also provide a boost to your health and overall well-being.

There are many benefits decluttering your items and getting organized, said Liz Wann, the founder and CEO of Coastal Organizing Company, in an email to Tableau. It can help reduce stress, improve efficiency of the space, and provide a greater sense of calm and control. An organized space can also help you feel more focused and productive, and can even improve your overall well-being, she added.

“Spring is a great time to start fresh and make positive changes in your home,” Wann said. “Getting organized and decluttering is a life changing process. Clearing the clutter in your home will make you feel more at peace and will give you more time back each day!”

Shanel Arnold of Newport Beach-based Home on Point agrees that changing a space can change lives. Getting organized, decluttering, and cleaning is an important step in creating a fresh start for your home and for yourself, Arnold said in an email to Tableau. When you get organized, you and your home can function at a higher level, she added.

 

“When your space is organized and feels good — so will you,” Arnold said.

 

To stay motivated while tackling spring cleaning, decluttering, and organizing, Wann noted that it can be helpful to break down the tasks into smaller, manageable steps. 

 

“Celebrate small victories along the way to keep yourself motivated,” she said. “Additionally, keeping the benefits of an organized space in mind, such as reduced stress and increased efficiency, can help you stay focused on your goals.”

 

There are many tasks that people can handle themselves when it comes to organizing and decluttering, Wann said. These can include sorting through items and deciding what to keep, donate, or discard, as well as cleaning and rearranging items in a space.

 

Although there are certain situations where it may be beneficial to call in experts, she added. Professional organizers can provide expertise, guidance, and support to help individuals achieve their organizing goals if they are struggling on their own, Wann said. Many professional organizers offer in-home and virtual services, depending on budget.

Arnold also suggested starting small with something that’s approachable.

 

“Don’t just jump into the deep end and burn out. Slow and steady wins the race when you’re tacking your own space,” she said. “My biggest recommendation is going space by space. Don’t try and do too many spaces in one day.”

 

Start with a drawer or part of the kitchen, she said, and when you’ve gained momentum, tackling something like your closet and garage will feel more doable. 

 

To stay inspired, Arnold recommended “editing” as you organize. You have to “edit” and let go of things that aren’t working for you anymore in order to make room for the new things that will serve you better. As you get rid of items, it will start to make the space feel less cluttered, she explained.

 

“Once you have a space that feels lighter, it is easier to get that space organized and functioning,” Arnold said. 

 

Both experts shared some of their top tips for tackling organizing and decluttering your home during spring cleaning.

 

Wann said the first step is to start by sorting through items and deciding what to keep, donate, or discard. It might also be helpful to create a system for organizing items, such as using bins, baskets, or labels, she added. As you work through the home, consider the function of each space and organize items accordingly.

 

She also suggested taking time to regularly declutter and reorganize to maintain a functional and efficient space.

 

Also, don't be afraid to ask for help or seek the expertise of a professional organizer or move manager, Wann added. Coastal Organizing Company created a decluttering course, Path to Peace, that helps guide people through the process of decluttering their home.

 

Arnold’s biggest tip for the most noticeable difference while decluttering is to focus on the editing process. Choosing what to keep, toss, and donate will be the start of any space or room, she commented.

 

“From there you work towards function,” she said.

 

She also suggests paying attention to the small details. Something as simple as changing out hangers so they all match (she prefers the cream-colored, non-slip style) can make a huge difference.

 

She also recommends getting a label maker. 

 

“Sometimes something as simple as putting labels on a drawer and the satisfaction of feeling organized on something small will help you feel motivated to keep going,” she noted.

While the process of spring cleaning includes decluttering and organizing, it also focuses on a deep clean of the home. It should be a more thorough scrub of the nooks and crannies than your regular tidying up.

 

According to a 2024 survey conducted by the American Cleaning Institute, the trade association representing the U.S. cleaning products supply chain, 80% of Americans plan to spring clean this year, which is more than a 10% increase from just three years ago.

“Spring cleaning is a great way to help achieve a safe and healthy home while getting rid of a winter’s worth of dust and clutter,” said ACI Senior Vice President of Communications and Outreach Brian Sansoni in a March 6 press release.

 

The survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, found that 49% of respondents thought the most dreaded tasks are cleaning spaces that hard to reach or access (behind or underneath furniture or appliances, for example), while 38% said spots that tend to get extra filthy (like bathrooms, vents, basements, etc.) are the worst.

 

For most (33%) of the survey participants, spring cleaning takes a day or two, while others said it takes more time (23% stated three to four days and 22% said five days or more) to thoroughly clean and some respondents (22%) said it takes less than a day.

 

“This shows that Americans are prepared to deep clean to create a healthy and safe environment for themselves and their families,” the ACI statement reads.

To prepare for spring cleaning, officials at ACI recommend taking an inventory of supplies and making a to-do list of what needs to be cleaned, divided up by task or room.

 

Experts like Martha Stewart and Merry Maids acknowledge that the annual chore may seem overwhelming, but these cleaning connoisseurs recommend breaking the project down by room to make it more manageable.

 

Stewart suggests creating a realistic schedule and focusing on a single task at a time. Bigger projects will take more time, but a checklist for each space will ensure a sparkling home. She also advised that making a list of needed cleaning supplies will help with the preparation.

 

Merry Maids note that the baseboards are often overlooked, but can collect a lot of dirt. They also remind spring cleaners to note the type of paint on walls before using a scrub brush and cleaning products on them.

 

Both Stewart and Merry Maids mention the usual tasks, like dusting, vacuuming, cleaning upholstered furnishings, and wiping everything down, including metal hardware and other fixtures.

 

The experts also share a tip that spring cleaning is a good time to ensure your home’s safety measures are up to date. Take the time to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and check the expiration date on fire extinguishers. Update first aid kits and toss expired medication or other products. Check all electronics, untangle cords, and test surge protectors. 

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