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5 Tips For Productive Spring Cleaning (Without The Overwhelm)

March 5, 2023

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Hello, I'm Jen
As a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization® (CPO-CD®), I am uniquely qualified with the knowledge and experience to help you with ADHD issues, hoarding, chronic disorganization, and aging. 

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Ahh, Spring. Just saying it out loud welcomes a sense of newness and brings on fresh feelings of excitement for a new season. It’s a time for budding trees and fresh-cut flowers. 

The time of year when you feel the urge to open your windows and let the fresh breeze filter through your home. It’s also a great time for sweeping out the dust that’s accumulated over the winter.  

This brings us to this month’s popular topic of conversation – spring cleaning. 

Now we know it may not be on the top of your most desirable things to do, but there are some great benefits to clearing away the clutter and scrubbing at the grime this time of year.

So let’s get to it. 

Why spring clean?

We all know it to be true – the many months of the winter season tend to produce clutter and hoard dust and dirt. Whether you live in a colder climate where you’ve had your windows locked up tight and fire burning every night, or in a more mild climate like ours here in California, the back-to-back holidays and busyness that comes with the winter season can leave your home piled with stack after stack of things you’ll “get to later”. 

As soon as the days grow longer and the evenings warm just enough to leave your light jacket behind, you may find yourself primed with the urge to clear out your space. 

Whether you feel this urge or not, there’s no denying the physical and psychological benefits that come with a deep clean. 

Spring cleaning can leave your space feeling: 




Which leaves you with feelings of:




But looking around now, your space looks:




And this leaves you feeling: 




-out of control 

It’s so incredibly hard to feel this way in a space that should feel like your sanctuary. 

But it’s also hard to know where to start and how to be productive with a spring clean – especially when you already find day-to-day organizing tasks difficult. 

So read on for some tips to make the daunting task of spring cleaning much simpler (even enjoyable and life-changing). 

5 Tips To Simplify Spring Cleaning And Reduce The Overwhelm

First and foremost: don’t try to tackle it all in 1 day. When we first get an idea in our minds, it can quickly snowball into lofty expectations. Remember – we’re wanting to keep the overwhelm at bay here, and in honor of that, we’ve honed in on some tips to keep the focus on staying intentional with your tasks at hand.  

Take these tips to heart and watch your life SHiFTⓇ.

1. Break it down

The part that can be the most overwhelming is trying to take on a large cleaning project when you’re already struggling with the tasks that need daily attention. 

It’s hard to focus on cleaning the parts of your home you haven’t touched in months with that pile of dishes taunting you. But here’s the thing – the dishes will always be there…the laundry will always be there. Every. Single. Day. 

Right now, you’re choosing to take on a new task, and it’s going to require breaking things down into groups and prioritizing them. 

To start, take out a piece of paper and jot down 4 rooms or cleaning tasks you want to focus on, and write out a specific goal for each one. 

For example: 

Kitchen: I will make this space less cluttered on the counters and find a home for everything so that it’s less visually stimulating.

Clothes closets: I will sort through clothes and drawers and get rid of things I no longer wear to make room for things to be more organized. 

Now we understand it can be hard to even know where to start, so when forming your goal, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Which space do I spend the most time in? 
  2. What about this space has been neglected for too long? 
  3. How do I want to feel in this space?
  4. What specific thing can I do to achieve that feeling in this space? 

Bonus Tip: Make a schedule for daily/weekly cleaning tasks 

Write down a list of cleaning tasks you have to tend to regularly, such as laundry, vacuuming, etc., and make a schedule for keeping on top of these tasks.

Stick to one 15-30 minute task each day, and focus on tidying rather than feeling the need to deep clean.  

For example, one day clear out old food from the fridge to make room for groceries, dedicate another day to cleaning the toilets and bathroom sinks, another day to vacuuming the floors, and so on. 

Creating a schedule that works for you will help you to stay on top of things so that the bigger cleaning projects don’t feel so daunting.

2. Make a checklist 

Now that you have your spring cleaning tasks broken down into goals, break each one down even further into small steps.  Make it into a checklist format that you can mark off as each one is completed. This is really satisfying to your brain and will increase your motivation moving forward. 

For example: If your goal is to declutter and dust the living room, break it down into steps such as: 

1. Collect everything to be put away in a basket 

2. Fold blankets and rearrange throw pillows 

3. Dust curtains 

4. Wipe down windows and windowsills 

5. Dust lights 

6. Dust floorboards

7. Sweep or vacuum 

8. Find a home for every item in the basket 

Create a system that works for you, with as little or as many steps as you need to help stay focused on the task at hand. 

3. Set a timer

For each step that you’ve listed out, decide on a time that you will commit to each and set a timer. Do as much as you can for that allotted time until the timer goes off. Once the time is up, move on to the next thing. 

This will help you to focus on the time that’s in front of you. Making a little headway on each task is better than fretting about not having enough time and ending up having made no progress at all.  

4. Wrangle your random thoughts

As other thoughts and ideas pop up while you’re cleaning (and they will) have a list ready to write down projects or to-do’s to worry about at a later date. Remind yourself that these other things are important, but your attention is needed elsewhere right now. This will keep you from bouncing around from task to task.

5. Take breaks!

It’s inevitable that you’ll feel drawn to other things when you’re trying to focus on cleaning. Whether it’s a check of social media or scouring the fridge for a snack, you may be wired to distract yourself from the discomfort you feel of taking on an overwhelming task. Often times when we find ourselves distracted like this, it’s just our brains signaling that we need a break. 

Have some water, take some belly breaths, and choose 3 visual things that you’ve accomplished in cleaning your home so far. Did you finally clear that corner of the counter that’s been accumulating loose papers for the past month? Doesn’t that feel great? 

Revel in your progress. Remember even a small amount of progress is progress all the same. It’s so important that you feel that sense of accomplishment, and it will fill you with more motivation to keep pushing forward.

Your Bonus Toolbox

Still feeling that dreaded sense of overwhelm? Feel like there’s too much to take on by yourself? Don’t allow that to leave you feeling defeated.

Take a deep breath, pause, and fall on the SHiFTⓇ Method. 

The overwhelm that comes with chronic disorganization can be a heavy burden to carry, but with a little guidance and some time on your side, you can SHiFTⓇ to create positive change in your life, and learn to tackle these tasks with more ease. 

By referring to the SHiFTⓇ Method, we talk about what your pain points are and help make sense of them. We help guide you in how to take on projects like spring cleaning and reduce the overwhelm that comes along with it.

Ready to learn more about taking that first step?

Schedule a call with me today. 



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