Hate spring cleaning? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Spring cleaning is an outdated frontier tradition that has become a modern ritual.
It was passed down to subsequent generations to enter its current form: an overwhelming week in the spring where you feel pressure to make your home spic and span.
If you’re a home or apartment-dwelling American, there really is no practical rationale behind your compulsion to engage in this seasonal group activity, other than the fact that it is a deeply ingrained tradition.
Jennifer Lava, an Austin-based professional organizer says you should not feel bad if you aren’t jumping on the spring cleaning bandwagon.
“There is nothing wrong with you if you don’t do spring cleaning,” Lava said, “Perhaps, you are keeping up with the cleaning and organizing of your home throughout the year and a one-time big push doesn’t make sense for you.”
While a majority of Americans engage in spring cleaning, most of them don’t enjoy it.
A recent survey on Spares foot found 78 percent of Americans say they do some form of spring cleaning. Then there is the other 22 percent that skips out on spring cleaning all together.
The same survey also found 55 percent of Americans dread spring cleaning even more than doing their taxes.
Stacy Erickson, a professional organizer in Seattle, says she thinks so many people dread spring cleaning because what they picture in their head is a big production.
“In reality, it’s probably very similar to the cleaning that you’re doing year-round anyway. If it’s not, then that’s probably what makes it seem big and scary,” Erickson said.
If you aren’t the spring-cleaning type, I’ve asked Lava and Erickson for some advice on some easy spring-cleaning tasks you can knock out in less than a day.
Here are their best spring-cleaning tips:
1. Swap wardrobes.
Use your spring cleaning day to swap out your cold weather wardrobe for warm weather clothes.
“While you are swapping locations, you can clear out the clothing you don’t wear or that doesn’t fit,” Lava said.
2. Make your bed.
While you are at it, it is also a good time to put away heavy winter comforters and replace them with lighter blankets, Lava said.
3. Porch it up.
Take a day to bust your patio furniture out of storage.
Left it out all winter? Go ahead and wipe it down so you can start using it again as it warms up.
4. Go reverse shopping.
Erickson said to engage in what she calls “reverse shopping.”
Take a garbage bag and fill it up with stuff you no longer use, need or want.
“Being an organizer, everyone thinks that my home is perfect, when in fact, it’s very far from it,” Erickson said, “However, the less stuff I have, the closer it gets to where I want to be, so I go ‘reverse shopping’ once every couple of months.”
5. Go for glory.
Clean behind the stove and the fridge.
It is something you probably never do, but you know it needs to be done eventually.
“This is an easy way to feel accomplished and it doesn’t take a ton of time,” Erickson said.
6. Spread it out
If you truly dread spring cleaning, don’t feel like you have to tackle every cleaning task on your list into a single cleaning sprint.
“Instead of trying to get it all in one go, setting a schedule for doing one task a month for a year will make it more manageable,” Erickson said.