Spring Cleaning 101: Creating a Command Center

Before you begin spring cleaning, it’s a good idea to set up a command center to keep yourself on track.  Once you’ve decluttered your home, then you can start a thorough cleaning with vacuums, steam cleaners, and dusters.  Pick a room that you don’t use often such as a guest room.  You’ll need space to put five large bins for the duration of your spring cleaning.  When you’re ready to get started, designate each bin with the labels "trash," "donate," "fix," "sell," and "relocate."

Trash
This bin should contain items that no longer work, or that have lost their pair.  Rogue socks and earrings as well as pens that no longer work should go into this bin.  Take care to recycle items that can be recycled; those made of wood, plastic, or paper should be disposed of properly.

Donate

This bin should contain items in usable, working condition that you no longer need or want.  It can include items from all areas of the home, including the kitchen, bedroom closets, and garage.  The items should be clean; so when you’re going through your closet put out a laundry basket to wash clothes you’ve decided to donate.  For items coming from cabinets, garages, or sheds, give them a quick wipe-down with disinfectant wipes.

Fix

If you’ve been meaning to fix that necklace with a broken clasp, replace the missing button on a blazer, or sharpen those dull knives, place them in the “Fix” box.  Your goal is to fill this container with items you’ve been meaning to get around to but keep putting off.  Once you’ve gone through the house and properly placed the items, you can begin tackling them each week until the box is empty.

Sell

These are items that you may be able to raise a little cash with.  Whether you list them on Craigslist, Ebay, or organize a yard sale, they should be in good condition.  For items in this bin, it’s a good idea to set a time limit.  If they aren’t gone within a month, then donate them to a charity of your choice.

Relocate

Items in this bin are misplaced throughout your home.  We’ve all hurriedly stashed something when cleaning up and forgotten all about it.  This is your opportunity to return items to their proper home.  Doing so now will help you find all your items later.

Once you’ve thoroughly organized your home, it’s time to clean it.  Completing the organization stage first will allow you to clean more thoroughly.  All the surfaces of your home should be clear from clutter, as well as the spaces under beds and in the closets. 

Now, when you vacuum and dust, your cleaning will be more effective.  The vacuum will be able to reach further into the nooks and the dust will have fewer things to settle upon. 

And don’t forget to motivate yourself while spring cleaning; treat yourself to a delicious coffee after each room of the house is decluttered and again when each is sparkling clean!