Yes, But How Do You Clean?
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Carrie McBride
Apr 14, 2010

Many people have spring cleaning rituals they stick to every year, but is it the most effective method for you? Last month Sue Shellenbarger wrote a fascinating article for the Wall Street Journal about a spring cleaning experiment she conducted at home to put different cleaning strategies to the test. And what did she find out?

Shellenbarger divided her home into three distinct zones and used a different approach to do a deep clean and declutter for each. She looked at ten books by "experts" and then boiled their philosophies down to three approaches: The Multitasking Method ("It entails seizing upon spare moments and attacking one messy room at a time in five- to 10-minute spurts."); The Scorched Earth Approach ("you seize upon a slightly longer block of time, of about 15 minutes, and set a de-cluttering target—such as removing 27 unneeded items."); and The Project Management Method ("this approach requires some work in advance, assembling a list of dejunking supplies such as boxes and bags, thinking about which items you don't need and researching places to receive donations and discards.").

The result? Shellenbarger shed 800 pounds of trash and recycling (including donations to thrift shops) and donated 17 boxes of books to the library. What method worked best for her? More importantly, what method could work best for you? Find out in her article Ditching 800 Pounds of Clutter.

What's your overall strategy for a deep spring clean of your home?

(Image: Flickr member eyeliam licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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