With many life changes on the horizon here at Haus Guerin, a good dust-off seemed in order as we prepare to leave Eastern Mississippi. While I truly hate moving, I hate unpacking the most. Keep reading for our tips to get the early jump on your spring cleaning blitz!
Ah, sweet spring! The alluring smells of awakening grass, the wetness of wintry doldrums melting into fresh shoots of green. One could just hug the longer days—even if it comes with
the dagger of Daylight Savings and sinus congestion that threatens a blush with death.
But after months of being couped up, the streaming light from opening doors and ushering in the brighter days means everything is suddenly more there.
You notice the smells. Lingering food odors. Neglected baseboards. The fiddle leaf fig down to its last leaf. So how does one tackle the ultimate spring cleaning beast?
What is the best way to get the the nest back in shipshape after years of straining to accommodate the additional heavy lifting of remote work, trouser-less Zoom calls and a few once hopeful plants that have seen better days?
Well, you do a lot. But you do it in small bites, over and over and over. For the next several weeks, the Haus Guerin team will be curating what stays and what goes as we count down our time here in Mississippi. So begins the purge!
Tip #1: Begin with the End
We really believe the best way to start cleaning a house is to purge all the other things you don't care to see in it. Oftentimes, a house can appear messy when actually it is just disorganized with clutter. If you think first about how you want the space to look when you are done, it becomes easier to work towards the end goal: a tidy-ish and more functional home.
It sounds easy. In truth, it's actually very difficult. Even organizing greats like Marie Kondo have become frustrated keeping up with tidy spaces when confronted with chaotic life moments. Difficult things are not impossible, but having a plan really helps. So here's to getting prime temps really in prime form.
" The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment." - Marie Kondo
Moss and dried floral arrangement by Haus Guerin | Photo by Mykiya Oliver
Tip #2: Baby Steps
Getting organized is a chore and cleaning isn't fun for anyone. That is why you start with the easy stuff. Toss anything that is broken beyond repair or missing vital functional pieces. Old puzzles, broken toys, and puppy-chewed rugs fit the bill here. You have stared at these items all winter with disdain. Remove the most heinous offenders first. Go on a mission to get rid of all the things that fit this description and place them directly into the nearest waste container or recycling bin. Note: This step should feel painless. If you still have use for item, save it for the next part of our series: functional storage.
Tip #3: Fill it Up
Now we move on to the more difficult items like your 100 cup coffee mug collection, stacks of old magazines, outgrown kid toys or clothing. The "we-will-need-these-later" items always start with the best intentions. Hot take: You don't and you won't. Make a plan to fill one box or bag to donate. Children's clothing are always needed at local shelters. Your school's STEM program would love that box of Legos. If sentimental belongings like baby blankets or Gigi's quilts are tied to strong emotions but need storage solutions, find a cedar chest to place select pieces long-term.
Try to fill a box or bag in every heavy-hitter area of your home. This applies directly to your home office, kitchen, closets and garages. Giving a label to the things taking up space in your space sometimes helps. Start by asking yourself:
Do I need it?
Do I want it?
If I want it, do I use it?
If I used it, when did I use it last?
If you are holding on to things with no functional purpose that bring no value to your home, it is time to let it go! Feel better about releasing these items by donating them to charity, church or a family in need.
Now that you survived all the cobwebs you are nearly ready for next step: actually cleaning. Grab your gloves and your steamers, it's time to really get in there! Subscribe today to download The List, a thorough guide to deep cleaning your home today!
Oh, and set a reminder to drop off those charity boxes.