Today’s guest post is by Kacey Mya, formerly of The Drifter Collective. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She is passionate about nature and exploring other locations and cultures, and portrays her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing and inspiring posts.
As much as you’re looking forward to the upcoming spring weather, you’re probably dreading the annual chore that comes with it — spring cleaning.
But before you dismiss this task as “just cleaning,” consider this: studies have proven that having a clean, uncluttered atmosphere not only improves your physical health, but it also boosts your overall productivity. Without the subconscious distraction of clutter, your mind has the freedom to focus on the productive tasks you want to accomplish.
And getting a jump on your spring cleaning is even more beneficial. By taking preemptive strikes against your to-dos — rather than waiting for them to pile up on you — you can anticipate and prevent negative consequences. This means that you can actually save yourself from a lot of future stress.
As a bonus, you’ll already have all the heavy lifting done when your in-laws decide to visit at the last minute! So now that we know the benefits, I’d like to share with you this handy checklist that will help you do your spring cleaning and make you more productive.
Cleaning out the Attic
Cleaning the attic is a smart place to start because having a clean attic means having fewer irritants that might get you sick — the ultimate preventer of being productive. Here’s a checklist for basic attic upkeep:
- Dust all surfaces — wear a mask, just in case!
- Check for mold — call a professional if needed
- Do some (re)caulking if necessary
You may not spend much time in your attic, but this is a chore you’ll definitely want to be proactive about. If you don’t maintain your attic well, it can attack your home in the form of irritants seeping in through your ceiling and vents. Problems such as mold build up, water leaks or pest problems might find their way into your home.
So nip those potential consequences in the bud. Clean up the attic and start living cleaner, healthier and more productive.
Dusting Around the House
Another spring cleaning ally in the battle against seasonal allergies and colds is dusting. Most people dread it because they let the dust in their homes build up until there’s a thin, visible layer across every surface. A simple task becomes a nasty, time-consuming chore.
But you’re not going to let that happen to you this spring, right? Instead, you can be proactive by doing one really thorough dusting now, and a less intensive dusting once a week for easy maintenance.
The most effective way to get all the dust is to work from top to bottom. As you knock down dust and dirt from the top higher areas, you can finish up by sweeping what makes it to the floor. Below is a suggested order:
- Tops of cabinets
- Fan blades
- Book and cabinet shelves — and the items sitting on them
- Entertainment units
- End tables
- Any other surfaces you have not dusted
With your home clean and dust-free, you’ll be able to spend less time this season fighting allergies and more time tackling the projects you really care about. And — bonus — if, as you’re cleaning up, you find a few items you’d like to donate or sell, they’ll already be clean.
Organizing Your Garage
Spring is a great time to have a garage sale, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the cold weather to prep for that time of year. To get your garage at its best, you’ll want to do some preliminary planning and deep cleaning. Here are a few ways how:
- Separate the “keep” items from the “gotta go” items — call it garage sale prep
- Take what unused items you don’t want to sell to Goodwill or the Salvation Army
- Clean up oil stains
- Shelf and organize everything you can by category — the goal being to get as much off the floor as possible
Your garage is your greets you at home each day. Every time you pull in to it, you’ll have a good, organized feeling — whether you consciously realize it or not. What a great start to the winding down portion of your day!
Reorganizing Your Office
Sometimes rearranging things can give you a new perspective, and this outlook can even inspire new bursts of creativity. Where better to try this out than work? For instance, you can…
- Decide whether you should have a clean or messy desk — each inspires different kinds of productivity
- Try moving your desk to a different wall, facing another way
- Bring a plant or two into the room — they’ve been proven to boost productivity on top of purifying your air
- Do a little deep cleaning as you go
It’s not a bad thing to be comfortable in your office, but if your environment never changes, it bores the mind. Your brain needs to be challenged in order to consider other perspectives, develop different ideas, and arrive at new conclusions.
So don’t settle into the same old office arrangement. Move things around now and then. Embrace the change. See what ideas it inspires!
Cleaning and Stocking Your Car
Your car is a part of your regular environment, so this means it can affect the feeling of clutter in your mind just like anywhere else you spend time. Here are a few ways to make your car more enjoyable:
- Get rid of the clutter that piles up over time — drive-thru bags, empty cups, trash, etc.
- Dust and polish the dashboard
- Move out old CDs and tapes that are taking up space
- Vacuum the seats and floors
- Stock up on items that might come in handy — napkins for spills, a spare phone charger, a working flashlight, a blanket, etc.
That final point is extra important. Having a small stock of “just in case” items doesn’t just put your mind at ease. It also prepares you for potential emergencies. As you’re running through your spring cleaning checklist, make that a priority.
All in all, having those emergency precautions on hand — coupled with an overall clean mode of transportation — lifts a weight off your mind.
Get a Jump on Spring
Getting a jump on your spring cleaning checklist might just give you an extra boost of energy as you shake off the cold of winter. Productivity tends to snowball, so if you get your garage cleared out this weekend, you may find yourself charging ahead at work on Monday.
Once you finish up your spring cleaning checklist, you’ll be able to spend more of your time enjoying the weather and doing what matters most to you.