Spring has finally sprung! Yesterday—in the Northern Hemisphere, at least—the vernal equinox marked the point at which day and night last roughly 12 hours each, and also the beginning of the growing season.
But spring has a more universal meaning for most busy households in the United States. Not only is it time to emerge from a state of relative hibernation, it’s also a time to make a new start in the ongoing effort keep our homes and lives clean and organized.
Spring cleaning can be a big job, though, and there are tons of ways to tackle it. The Oprah Network offers a single-day checklist to ensure that every part of your home is dusted and sanitized without ruining an entire weekend.
The methodical approach goes from bathrooms to bedrooms to kitchen to family room, using a top-to-bottom strategy to ensure dust won’t re-attach itself to surfaces for a while. Bonus: The final step in this 9-to-5 plan is ordering a pizza for dinner.
Reader’s Digest takes the top-down approach a step further in “10 Ways to Spring Clean Like a Pro,” starting on the top floor and working downward. Shedding excess stuff is a vital step in the plan: “Clear out your junk!” the story says. “If you haven’t used it in the past year, you don’t need it.”
Then, the story says, hold a yard sale or donate lightly-used clothing, books and household goods to charity. To make this stage of the spring-cleaning process even simpler, point your browser to ClothingDonations.org and request a pickup.
Spring cleaning won’t just make your home fresher and more inviting, says Britain’s Spring Cleaning Week site—it will also help you feel more motivated and liberated. “Removing the gunk, ensuring every surface is shiny and every room is filled with cold, fresh air can change you as a person,” the site says.
You may even feel more energized and satisfied once spring cleaning is complete, the site adds. And anyone who has tackled the job in the past knows the sense of satisfaction that a job well done can create.
“The subconscious exercise that takes place when you clean helps release endorphins, therefore renewing your physical self by the end of the day,” the site says. “Going through with the spring clean can give you the satisfaction and thrill of having achieved something.”
There’s no reason to put off that seasonal cleaning and organizing any longer. Get started immediately, and you’ll be finished before you know it. The new you will thank you later.