Adventures in Spring Cleaning and Decluttering

I’ve been on a binge-watching kick of cleaning videos on YouTube and reading books about decluttering. I have some routines already established, like my morning routine and night routine. I am still looking for some kind of routine that will help with deep cleaning. I think there are a variety of types of cleaning like everyday cleaning, the weekend warrior, 10-minute tidy, and deep cleaning. I’ll talk more about those in an upcoming post. Right now, I want to focus on three different cleaning methods and some of my favorite tips.

Three Methods of Cleaning and Decluttering

1. Zone Cleaning

One of my favorite cleaning YouTubers is How Jen Does It. She uses a schedule called zone cleaning, a concept she learned about from FlyLady.net. Zone cleaning is used in addition to your regular everyday tidying up. This method will keep your house clean on a consistent basis, which appeals to me. This means you’ll never really need to do a big “spring clean”. Here are the basics of zone cleaning:

You section your house into about five to seven zones. For example, zone one could be your kitchen and entryway, zone two could be your family room and dining room, zone three is bathrooms and the master bedroom, etc. You focus on one zone per week and take about 15 to 30 minutes per day to clean that zone.

2. KonMari Method

I started reading “the life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo but haven’t finished quite yet. Many people call this the KonMari method. What I have read so far focuses on decluttering. I think she gets into ongoing cleaning tips later in the book, but I’m not there yet.

Instead of focusing on areas of the house as in the zone method, she focuses on stuff by category. Here’s an easy flowchart, created by MakeSpace, on the decluttering process to get started with the KonMari method.

Makespace_clutter_flowchart_x2_v03

Learn more about MakeSpace and see if there’s a location near you! 

3. Unstuffed

I’ve been following Ruth Soukup’s blog, Living Well. Spending Less. since the beginning of this year and like her down-to-earth vibe. She has a new book out called “Unstuffed. Decluttering Your Home, Mind & Soul“. I haven’t quite finished this one either (remember, I’m still in the process of finding my big cleaning routine). But am enjoying it so far! She has a 10-day plan to clean some of the major areas of the house and your life (like your email inbox!), downloadable worksheets that help walk you through your vision for your home and more thought-provoking topics, and great personal stories sprinkled in.

Choosing the Right Path

As I mentioned, I haven’t chosen my specific path yet. I feel like I might do some combination of these three methods because each brings a different perspective and I think I can apply something from each to my life.

I have picked up some cleaning and decluttering tips by looking into each of these methods, and I’d like to share them with you. They may not be life-changing, or mind-blowing, but they’re helping me in my continuous search for a spotless house and stress-free mind.

Cleaning & Decluttering Tips

1. Have a morning and night routine

I’ve talked about this in my blog series, “Get it Together. You’re an Adult Now.” but this is so important. When I don’t follow my morning and night routine for a while, the house gets out of sorts and it’s so much more difficult to get started again because there’s more and more to do with each day I don’t clean up. When things get overwhelming, I have a tendency to freeze up and become one with my bed at the end of the day instead of taking fifteen minutes to clean it. If you have a routine, it will help keep the dirt and clutter under control and your mind less stressed.

2. Don’t use a zillion cleaning products

Keep your cleaning products to a minimum. It’s easy to want to get the newest steam cleaner, five different fragrances of all purpose spray, a separate disinfectant for your shower, tub, toilet, and sink. But when you buy more and more different cleaners, it adds to your clutter problem. An easy DIY all-purpose cleaner solution is water and vinegar. It’s great for countertops, sinks, glass/mirrors, toilets, tubs and showers, and more (just don’t use it on wood)!

3. Only keep what you use or actually like

This is from the KonMari method. When you’re decluttering your closet, bathroom cabinets, linen closet, storage area or any part of your house, ask yourself: is it useful and does it bring you joy. If you answer no to both questions, donate, toss, store, or recycle it. Don’t keep things around just because someone gave it to you and they might come over. If you don’t like it or it isn’t useful, it’s taking up space in your house and life – and that can add a lot of stress.

What are some of your favorite cleaning or decluttering methods and tips? Comment below!

5 Comments On This Topic
  1. Andrea
    May 10, 2016

    That flowchart is magical <3

    • Margot Peterson
      May 10, 2016

      For real! :) It’s going to get a lot of use in my house! P.S. Thanks for reading!

  2. Lauren Rice
    May 10, 2016

    Super helpful!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Margot Peterson
      May 10, 2016

      Glad you like it! Thanks for the comment, Lauren! ?

  3. Margot Peterson:My May Favorites – Margot Peterson
    May 10, 2016

    […] Cleaning. I mentioned this in a recent post, but really enjoy watching Jen, a YouTuber on her channel “How Jen Does It.” She does a […]

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