Use these six steps for dealing with spring cleaning overwhelm to avoid feeling stressed and instead enjoy the beauty of the season.
I actually love winter time. The cold grey days that make you want to hole up at home in front of the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book. Winter time feeds my hermit like tendencies. However, January always seems like such a long month. It feels as if the days are moving in slow motion. By mid-February I think even those that love winter are over the season of it and ready to move on to spring.
As the flowers just start to bloom, the grass begins to turn green and everything seems to be coming to life, you start to feel more alive inside too. I definitely get that feeling and love that about spring time. What I don’t love is that all of the imperfections of my house that were hidden in the grey of winter are now magnified under the bright light of spring. Do you ever have that feeling?
It’s like everywhere I look I see something that needs a little cleaning or TLC. The bathroom window didn’t look dirty until the spring sun was shining directly on it. Now I see that the outside of the window pane has a layer of grime and there are cobwebs in the corner. The paint on the walls leading up the stairs has been unnoticed all winter. But now I see a path of discoloration where hands have trailed the wall as they descend the stairs day after day.
So many things that I didn’t even know needed attention in the house are now in a literal spotlight. And all that excitement about the new life sprouting up everywhere? It’s now taking over the yard in the form of weeds. It feels like the to do list multiplies by 20 once spring hits and it can be a bit overwhelming.
Don’t get me wrong. I know these aren’t real problems. If all I had to worry about were dirty windows and a few weeds coming up in the yard, I should consider myself pretty lucky. The reality is, few of us are ever dealing with just a couple of dirty windows and a few weeds. So in the face of everything else we have to deal with in life, I don’t think it’s too much to want your home to be a place where you feel peace and not another source of stress in the form of more unfinished tasks on your ever growing to-do list.
Here are 6 steps for dealing with the feeling of spring cleaning overwhelm:
- Make a list of the top 5 to 10 things that need some attention.
- Prioritize your list in order of those that you will tackle first.
- Forgetting that you just made a list in priority order, pick the one task that is the easiest and quickest.
- Tackle your easiest and quickest project first. The sense of accomplishment will give you the motivation to keep going.
- Begin gathering supplies so that when you can find a spare hour or two to knock something off your list you are all set to go (for example go ahead and buy that weedkiller even though you may not be ready to use it yet; or buy a quart of paint and a new paintbrush so you can paint dingy trim work on a whim).
- Force yourself to find time each week to chip away at the list. Even if it’s just rounding up the whole family to spend 30 minutes picking up sticks in the yard one evening, it will add up quickly.
Sometimes even when I try to follow these steps it all still feels like a bit much. When this happens I have a fail proof way of curing that feeling:
- Forget the to do list.
- Take your family outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.
- Return home after the sun goes down. All of those imperfections that are highlighted by the bright day light will be gone and you can relax in your perfectly imperfect home for the rest of the evening.
- Repeat as needed!
Taking care of the to-do list is important, but sometimes you need to leave the spring cleaning overwhelm behind and instead take the time to soak in all the beauty that the season has to offer.