Spring has finally settled in, and what better time to get ready for summer by clearing all the ski gear, and salt filled boots. Whether you are planning to get your home ready for the upcoming exciting new spring market, or just need to treat yourself and your home for a fresh start.
From the dawn of ages spring was viewed as the time of rejuvenation and renewal. Why not treat your own home to the same fresh start you can see budding from outside the windows. Here in lies our first problem, the windows - our dirt filled windows. After that part is over and you have plenty of sunlight streaming in, you see it all... And I mean ALL... The dust bunnies, stained rug, greasy hand prints on the wall, disheveled bookcase - where do you start?
I know many have heard the term “declutter” on various design shows, and it all looks so simple, clean, crisp, bright. We all know it is easier said than done. I would like to offer a few low-cost easy steps for you to take before you start tackling ALL of it in one day leaving you in a bigger mess than what you started with, become desperate and calling in for expensive solutions.
Master plan - Set your goals. Are you looking for a clean fresh feeling house? Is this house going on the spring market? Make sure you define your goal, while being well aware of your own abilities and time constraints. Don’t undertake a full blown construction project if you can’t tell the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver. And yes you might need to involve either a designer or general contractor to assess the costs of that type of project - but that is for a whole different entry.
Priority - I can’t stress this point enough, trust me in the next few days/weeks this will be your bible that will allow you to tackle your project sainly. Make a list that corresponds with your goal. If you are looking for a clean feeling house, the work entailed is not as intensive as getting a house ready for a showing. Start by categorizing things that need your immediate attention, things that will require professional help, and things that can wait for next spring. When starting your rummage around your things (or STUFF as a fondly refer to) start 4 piles of; items to keep, items to donate, items to store for next winter, and items that are no-longer-in-good-shape (i.e. recycle or trash).
Shopping - In order to start decluttering one needs to go shopping for a lot of boxes. I personally prefer clear medium size plastic boxes (I have had experience with all shapes and sizes). Get the ones with a lid, that will make it easy to showcase the things will be stored there. Using a lid and a plastic box will ensure longevity to your stored items. The size of a medium box is easier to store and carry by one person. An added bonus, if you are storing items before moving out of your home it’s easier to unpacked clear boxes.
Execution - After the clutter is safely boxed away, you now have a more or less clean slate to work with. Consider rearranging furniture, you’d be surprised how a simple change in the angle of your sofa will open up an opportunity for other changes in the room. Then look at all the work that needs to take place in order to create a clean and fresh looking home. You might add a fresh coat of color, new curtains. Maybe some new wiring is in order to create better lighting. At this point I would suggest that if there is any extensive construction work to be done, to bring in your chosen professional.
Gameplan - So decluttering, preparing and cleaning your home is not, and can’t be your daytime job. After asserting your goals and the ways to reach them, try to set a time limit to your efforts. It’s worthwhile doing some elbow grease, but sometimes the time and effort that that will take outweighs the cost of having a professional over - most will give you a free estimate and that will allow you to determine if this is worthwhile or not.
All that is left for you is to roll up your sleeves and spring into action.
Quick Tip - Use a soft sponge with dish soap water to wipe boot marks and scuffs off your stair risers, and baseboard. This will create an immediate clean feeling without the need to repaint.