The thought of spring cleaning can be as entrancing as a fairy tale — but getting through a giant list of tasks while having a busy life can be unrealistic The key to successful spring cleaning, then, is to not try to do it all.
Start with clutter clearing, because the less stuff is in your way, the easier it will be to clean surfaces. Just don’t consider the decluttering done until you have actually removed the items you don’t want from your home; otherwise, it will have a way of working itself back into your closets, cupboards and drawers. If you know you will have many items to donate (especially if some of them are furniture) call around in advance and see if a local charitable organization will do a pickup — having a pickup scheduled can be a good way to get motivated to get the work done.
For any clutter-clearing endeavor to be a success, it’s best to get the other members of your household on board. Ideally, each person would be responsible for decluttering his or her own belongings — at the very least, try to garner some support for your clutter-clearing efforts and encourage people to pitch in as they can. In each space (room, closet or cupboard) you tackle, follow these three steps: Remove everything. Vacuum or wipe down the empty space. Put back only what you want to keep.
Focus your energy where it will count. And if you decide to put on music, fling open the windows and twirl around with your mop, we won’t tell.