Spring cleaning: The art of decluttering

By Eleanor Stanesby

The time has come for some spring cleaning—the (often dreaded) organization of all of the papers you hid in a drawer for the past year, the items of clothing you no longer wear, and a deep clean of every part of the house. While this means focusing on the jobs that may have been neglected over winter, the goal is to make your living space feel more open and airy, paralleling the ambiance that this season brings. Meanwhile, decluttering will not only help you enhance your living space, but also your mental space, leaving you feeling satisfied and more at ease.

With these top tips, you'll be spring cleaning in no time, and you never know...you may even begin to enjoy it—or at least the end result!

1. Form a plan

Make a checklist to help you divide and conquer the house; these smaller goals will make you feel a less overwhelmed. With a big task, like spring cleaning, it can be difficult to know where to start, so writing things down can make you see things much more clearly.

If you don't want to create your own checklist, try a free, downloadable template that will help you organize your cleaning process. Want something a little more technological? There are even apps that can help you prepare!

Photo of a spring cleaning checklist from Page Flutter.

2. Stock up on supplies

Doublecheck that you have all of the cleaning supplies you'll need before you begin. There's nothing worse than getting halfway through and having to run to the store to buy replacements. It will hinder your progress and may demotivate you from wanting to continue cleaning when you get back home.

3. Play some music

No one wants to clean in silence! Music releases a chemical in the brain called dopamine, which plays a key role in keeping you motivated. An upbeat playlist is going to get you in the mood to clean and make time go much faster. If you can't find a playlist you like, you can try a podcast or the radio instead—or even just turn on the TV for some background noise to keep you company.

Photo from Best Life.

4. Learn to compartmentalize

Try not to think of everything you have yet to clean; break it down into bite-size pieces and just focus on one room at a time. Be sure to make your checklist for each room specific, as there are going to be different things you'll want to do, based on each room's contents and size. After each room is decluttered and cleaned, each one after that is going to seem so much easier, especially when you are able to look back at your progress.

5. Always declutter first

No matter which room you decide to start with, it's a must to begin with decluttering. Trying to clean around bits of paper here and random clothes there is only going to slow the process down. Try a systematic way to breakdown all of the items you find into four categories: put away, give away, storage, and trash.

Photo from Bestlifeonline.

6. Work from top to bottom

When it comes to cleaning, starting from the top of the room and working your way down is ideal. Dust falls naturally falls, so this will save you from doubling your workload and having to sweep or vacuum the floors a second time.

Our favorite cleaning tips

Photo from EllimanInsider.
  • Windows: Polishing the windows will make the room feel brighter.

  • Walls: Wipe down the walls to bring their true color back.

  • Vacuum: Move furniture, and vacuum ceilings—this household appliance will be your best friend!

  • Dust: Stock up on furniture polish to make the place shine.


Want to expand this project to the garden? Check out our tips for gardening in the most effective and sustainable way!