Spring Cleaning Tip #2: Don’t Get Overwhelmed!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We are saying this to ourselves as much as anybody. Spring cleaning can be a big chore. If you’re anything like us, you don’t want to do it half-way. (Or, kudos if you think going half-way is a perfectly fine way to go. We tend to be a little neurotic sometimes.) But actually, that’s essentially what we’re trying to tell ourselves: we don’t have to do it all at once. One step at a time. Going half-way is a good step for today. Finish the other half tomorrow. Breathe. Resist the urge to have a nervous breakdown. Jump below for some of our coping tips…

1. Set your goals and make a list. No, you don’t have to clean your house from top to bottom, clear out and re-organize all your closets, do all the laundry, have a garage sale, and take your giveaway stuff to a thrift store in one day. Make a grand list of everything you’d like to do in the next three weeks, and do a few things every day, or over the course of 3 weekends. If you write it all down, you’ll feel like you have a control over the situation, and setting daily/weekly goals will ensure you’re making progress.

2. Make your bed every day. In the midst of a massive undertaking — whether it be cleaning, renovating, re-organizing — this simple task will give you a small sense of peace and order.

3. Don’t take your frustration out on your partner/spouse/kid/cat/dog/fish/landlord/neighbor/co-worker. We believe your home environment has a profound effect on how you feel, live and work, and when it’s disrupted for any period of time, you can feel jarred, unnerved, and irritated. (We’re speaking from some serious personal experience here.) Acknowledge that cleaning sucks and you’d rather be outside. Acknowledge that you hate having to deal with all this dirt and dust and crap everywhere. Then let it go. It won’t last forever.

4. Buy flowers every week. Yes, so the only current available horizontal space is on the floor next to that pile of books. So be it. Seeing them will make you feel better and remind you’re doing all this to make your home more beautiful, healthy and organized.

5. Schedule a reward for when your Spring Cleaning is over. Schedule a dinner party or backyard barbeque for the beginning of June in celebration of having cleansed, cured and cleaned your home.

Any other de-stress tips?

(Image: Flickr member splityarn licensed under Creative Commons)

Originally published 2009-05-12 – CB