Organizing For Changing Seasons

SPRING IS IN THE AIR (and officially here!)
My favorite time of year always creates a sense of possibility and a desire to ensure that the rest of the year flows as comfortably and smoothly as possible. This makes spring cleaning a more pleasurable act (what, you didn't think anything made major cleaning a pleasure?) because it's a gift to myself and those I care about that will reap benefits for a long time to come. And the results just feel so good - I get a rush when I walk into the house and see order and cleanliness, and smell good scents. You can too.

That said, what constitutes spring cleaning (as opposed to the regular kind) for a city dweller. I see it as a time to look at the bigger picture of what is needed: rather than just vacuum or mop, shampoo the carpets or buff and wax the floors. Activities such as this have the benefit of not just looking and smelling good, but of reducing allergens which improves health and well-being. AND in the process, you will almost necessarily have to engage in immediate decluttering and organizing, another long-term benefit (that'll probably reduce dust and allergens too ;-) )

So here's my list for apartment dwellers. If you are a homeowner, your list needs to include a lot of preventive maintenance and cleaning-up-after-winter tasks that I will skip unless I hear from a goodly number of you that this is needed. Please don't feel overwhelmed by the list: nearly all of these tasks can be done in short sessions.

1. Look around your space and identify the areas with the greatest need for improvement. Your self-esteem will be aided by tackling these first. As always, relax, look for ways to simplify the tasks and do them in small pieces.

2. After clearing surfaces, the next level of spring cleaning is to look for areas that need more than the basic level of attention. Some of these are
    * carpets - if you have wall-to-wall carpets, shampooing or steam cleaning may be all you need; if you have area rugs, you may want to lift them up and clean under them as well

    * windows - in addition to cleaning (and being able to see all the lovely spring weather!), this is a good time to remove any frayed or loose weather stripping since it will need to be replaced next year anyway

    * drapes - while cleaning, this is a good time to check for damaged areas and mend small problems before they become big one

    * walls and workwork - a quick wipe will not only make your home look and feel better, but it may stave off the need to re-paint, an onerous and disruptive project

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