The 7 Day Deep Clean Challenge: Bring Your Home Up to Par in a Week, Part 1 Decluttering

dust ceilngIt’s spring cleaning time! This is the time of year when dedicated homemakers dive in and do a thorough home cleaning, tackling jobs that aren’t part of their regular cleaning routine. It’s also a great time to take control if you’re the type who doesn’t have a regular cleaning routine and you want to whip your home into shape.

Either way, this seven-day plan will arm you with all the information you need to deep clean your home in just seven days. Day one will start you off right by purging all of the unnecessary clutter that is eating up your valuable space. Day two will get you going in the right direction by taking a look inside your closets. Day three will be all about window washing. Days four and five will be devoted to bedrooms and bathrooms. Day six will get your living room and family room into tip-top shape. Day seven will wrap up with the kitchen.

Once you’ve gotten your home into shape, keeping it that way will be easy if you establish a regular cleaning routine. Even if your housekeeping hasn’t been so great up ‘til now, this is your fresh start, a new beginning. And isn’t that what spring is all about?

Day One: Decluttering

The first step to house cleaning of any type is de-cluttering and organizing. It’s just plain easier to clean spaces that are free of unnecessary objects. De-cluttering isn’t difficult unless you have years of clutter to clear out. In this case, you might want to check out my blog post De-Clutter and Organize Your Home in 7 Days.

basket with papers

Hopefully you don’t have that much clutter, so your task won’t be that big of a deal. It’s a simple process: throw things away, give things away, and put things away.

The key principle of organizing is that all items have a permanent spot where they live when they’re at rest. This allows you to put things away when you’re not using them and readily recover them when you need them again. The end result: everything you own doesn’t end up on the island in the middle of the kitchen, leaving you with nowhere to eat breakfast.

Toss Out Trash

The first step to de-cluttering is tossing out anything that’s just plain trash. Take a good look around, and I mean really look around. Often we overlook stuff that’s right in front of us because we’re so used to seeing it. Piles of old newspapers or magazines or Amazon shipping boxes that you think you’ll use sometime are trash. Toss ‘em (or recycle ‘em).

Get real, be honest, and if it’s something that you might use but probably won’t, don’t let it keep taking up valuable space that you could be using for the things that are of value to you. Be ruthless.

Donate Stuff

Once you’ve got the outright trash out of the way, take another look around for stuff that’s not trash, but that you’re not using. These are things that have value and that someone else could use. Again, be honest with yourself. If you’re never going to use it, isn’t it better to pass it along to someone who will?

Put together a donation box and pat yourself on the back for doing your part to help others while also doing yourself the favor of eliminating stuff you don’t need. Win-win.

donations box

At this point, whatever clutter you’ve got left is the stuff that you want to keep, so put it away somewhere. If you’ve already got a great system for organizing your stuff, this step should be easy.

Organize

If not, get busy. Find a logical place to store each object and put it there. It should be a place that makes sense and that you will remember so you know where to look when you want to retrieve the object for later use. Do this over and over again until everything is put away. It’s very easy once you get the hang of it.

See my Home Organizing Guide for tips if you want advice.

If you’re finding that you haven’t got space for your stuff, don’t worry, because tomorrow you’ll clean out some closets.

Tomorrow: Day Two, Closet Cleaning

Want more house cleaning tips and ideas? Check out my book Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like a Seasoned Professional, available on Amazon.

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