Photo courtesy of Real Simple
The Spring Cleaning Party starts this Monday, and I hope you’re all as ready as I am to start the spring cleaning process in your home! Decluttering, cleaning, and organizing your living space will not only freshen up your home, it will lift your spirits and get you motivated to live more simply and fully.
Here’s the general process of how this will work:
1. I will post my work I’m doing in my own home every day for the next two weeks. Next Monday, May 4 will be Day 1; Tuesday, May 5 will be Day 2, and so on. I’m actually working a few days ahead of the Party, so that I can post each day’s task for you and encourage you in your work for the day.
2. Mandi at Organizing Your Way will be posting each day as well, sharing her own unique angle and perspective on this spring cleaning process. Her blog is all about helping home managers find their unique organizing style, so she’ll be great at tweaking my process and making it her own.
3. Keep your camera with you, and take before and after shots of your work. I’m doing this as well – it really helps to have this visual mile marker of your progress.
4. When you’re done for the day, post your before and after shots on your own blog, along with a short paragraph or two of what you worked on and how you’re doing.
5. Come back over here, and share your blog post’s link on the corresponding Simple Mom post. That way, readers can follow your progress on each day’s tasks.
6. If you have a Flickr account, share your before and after photos in the Simple Mom Flickr Pool. I’d love to get some great shots to include in the upcoming book! If you’d like to be included and have your photo published, be sure to include your photo here.
7. As you finish your work for the day, hop on to Simple Mom and check out the work of your fellow readers, and don’t forget to comment on each other’s work. This is where the Party part takes place! And it will be the fuel to keep you going.
Here are a few tips to get you prepared for Monday, and for the next two weeks:
1. Prepare to work.
I wish I could tell you this will be a breeze, but you’re probably going to sweat. You may even get dirty. We’ll make it as fun as possible by sharing before and after pics, and by visiting each other’s sites and high-fiving our accomplishments, but don’t expect the Spring Cleaning Party to be hours of entertainment.
2. Prepare your family.
Get your kids as involved as possible. If they’re at home, have them work with you – or at least keep you company. Explain what you’re doing and why. This is about decluttering and cleaning, sure, but this type of spring cleaning is also a crucial first step towards living more simply. If you want your kids to embrace this idea, their parents need to be simple living’s biggest cheerleader.
And it would be great if both spouses were on board. Sure, you need to work around work schedules, and maybe one of you does the dirty work while the other one encourages. But do what you can to work as a team.
3. Clear the calendar.
This guide to spring cleaning in 10 days is meant to work with real life – so you don’t need to cancel Little League practice or order take out every night. But do what you can to keep your commitments to a minimum. Don’t host a last-minute dinner party next weekend.
4. Get your gear ahead of time.
The e-book clearly lists all the supplies you’ll need for each day, and Appendix A has ten recipes for homemade, eco-friendly, frugal household cleaners. Don’t waste time on Monday gathering supplies. Do it over the weekend, so that you can wake up that morning, ready to go.
5. Don’t jump ahead.
I can understand the temptation on this one, especially on those days where the work isn’t too heavy. But enjoy those lighter days, and use it to rest up for the other days where the work load is much larger. Even though the Spring Cleaing Party lasts two weeks, it ideally should take you only a few hours for ten days.
6. Customize it to fit your needs.
For some of you, this might need to take three weeks, if your house is larger or if your schedule is already packed. Or if you’re single and live in a smaller place, this process might only take you a week. Don’t stress over following the guide verbatim – make it work for you.
Likewise, tweak the room assignments as needed. If you have a room that really needs attention, and I don’t have it listed in the e-book, either tack it on to your to-do list, or substitute that room for one of the guide’s days.
Head over to Organizing Your Way for inspiration in this area – Mandi will share ideas and tips for making this spring cleaning process work for you. Today, her post is about choosing your cleaning supplies.
7. Spread the word.
You may have already written about the Party on your blog, but if you’d like some real-life accountability and encouragement, tell your friends, your family, and your neighbors. Work together, and call each other throughout the day to stay encouraged! Make it as fun as possible.
Let me know if you have any questions or ideas to incorporate in to the Spring Cleaning Party! Don’t forget to download your e-book copy, if you haven’t yet.
Are you joining the party?