A jump on spring cleaning, ala Diana Ross

Upside Down, Inside Out tips to start spring cleaning now!

DR Spring Cleaning A jump on spring cleaning, ala Diana Ross

It’s just about that time of year, readers – get ready for some spring cleaning! Since it’s always a good idea to blast some high energy tunes while cleaning (so that you maybe have some fun too) this post is inspired by Miss Diana Ross (who I’m sure has her maids perform a thorough spring cleaning every year) and one of my favorite booty shaking, spring cleaning worthy songs “Upside Down”.

Since this classic hit the air before the glory days of videos, check out this super peppy live performance with a great cameo from Michael Jackson that inspires Diana to really shake her thing! We’re going to start shaking our things by getting a jump on spring cleaning

Upside: I love the idea behind spring-cleaning – the freshness of the time of year that inspires us to give our homes the kind of detailed cleaning attention that the rest of the year just doesn’t see. That is the upside! If you get some great cleaning in now you never have to do it again! Er…until next spring.

Down: As in, get down with how hip and radical you are (spring cleaning in February!?) You’re not going to procrastinate on your spring-cleaning this year, are you? No way, because YOU have a plan!

While there are endless things to do for total spring cleaning, if you start off with just two little items: getting the kitchen in order and safely archiving your files, you will be a giant step forward in your spring cleaning duties. Plus, you’ll begin to feel better, inside and out.

Inside: As we get closer to spring everyone and their yogi seems to be either on a cleanse, or planning for one. Spring-cleaning internally! However, I’m going to keep my digits off of your digestion and focus on the insides of your kitchen. At least for now!

This way you will be set up for any dietary changes you want to make naturally with the season. I think we all start to eat more lightly as a matter of course as the weather heats up and that means we use our kitchens differently than we did in the cooler months.

Out: Finally, a little archiving – out with the old and in with the new! I love this part of spring-cleaning but I almost never see it done. Though it is simple, I think it gets overlooked because we just start the new year and never look back…until things get overwhelming. Don’t let this happen!

I’ve got some tips for jumping out and ahead of the spring cleaning time schedule – 5 tips to jump into spring cleaning:

The Kitchen

1. Make your move: Time to move some things around! Put the heavy baking artillery up high. The more it heats up outdoors the less likely we are to heat up the kitchen. Bring out all of the salad gear so it is front and center. Everything you use to prepare and present these beauties you want within arms reach. Make sure blenders and small hand mixers used for smoothies are nearby as well. If there is cookware that you realize you never use, no matter what the season, move it to the garage or better yet – donate it.

2. Breaking up/Stocking up: As you are moving appliances around, notice if there are broken appliances, plates etc that can be removed entirely. Things break all the time but having one full matching (or carefully mismatched) set of dishes for 8-12 settings and glassware is a good goal. Get rid of the odds and ends as they take up room. If you have a fancy set, you can save it for special occasions, but have a great full set you love to use daily.

Also make note of any supplies you are running low on and place an order on Amazon or wherever is easiest for you. Check the pantry and aim to get rid of 25% of the canned and preserved food. We usually have items for years and it can go bad.

3. The Fridge: I’m not gonna lie – this is a bear of job but so worth it. (This is your food we’re talking about after all!) Now is the time to set aside a few hours to tackle the beast. Go through every nook and cranny, pull out every item and and throw out anything past the date of freshness. Once every thing is out of the fridge wipe down the interior, sides and bottom really well. I suggest using a gentle cleanser like Dr. Bronner’s%name A jump on spring cleaning, ala Diana Ross since you are in an area that houses your food. Then place everything back in “like with like.” Place all the dressings together, the juices, etc. Get rid of doubles and things that are almost gone, (don’t forget to recycle!) That way you know what you have, what you have too much of and what you need. If you’re really feeling it, sweep behind the refrigerator too!

The Office

4. Archive the Paper: Each year whether you are filing documents digitally or in paper files, you still need to make room for the current year. Where should the previous year go? In an archive!
a. Get a Bankers Box %name A jump on spring cleaning, ala Diana Ross from Amazon, Staples, Office Depot, etc. Imo, this type of box is the best way to archive the past year’s paperwork. I like to use the boxes made with recycled materials, but there are many different options. You can even set up a subscription with Amazon to have these delivered every year!
b. Put the whole year of files in the box, label it clearly and move it to it’s office space, garage or closet. If space is an issue, check out my posts The Office Summer Slim Down which outlines how long you need to keep statements, invoices and other paperwork.

5. Archive the Digital: Purchase an additional external drive for archiving past files. This will make room on your current hard drive. I like the Iomega brand, but there are many out there that work just as well.

Are you ready to bring some serious spring-cleaning love and attention inside and out? You’ll be creating space for the new and the unexpected and soon see the upside Readers share your spring cleaning tips and advice in the comments!

Jennifer Palais clears chaos and brings order to offices, business systems, schedules and minds and is known as an organizing expert and coach. Her approach is 10-years in the making: Inspirational, well informed and practical. It is a process filled with fun, joy and discovery. For more organizing tips, follow her on Twitter.

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  1. Profile photo of irene

    I still haven’t winter cleaned! I’m so behind that it’s going to be a real undertaking to get started! I have tons to do and only a little time to do it! I love your post Jennifer, and will do my best to get started! I love when something is just cleaned too.. feels great!

  2. Profile photo of Shaya C.
    Shaya C.

    Love this post! We’re in the process of refinishing our basement, new paint, trim, and carpet as well as moving a couple of rooms around. I’ll be moving my office from the second floor to the basement so I’ll certainly be looking to use your tips of archiving all of the papers I’m going to find. I have a feeling as soon as we’re done with the basement I’m going to want to completely scrub down my house to get rid of all the dust etc.

  3. Profile photo of Stef Andrews
    Stef Andrews

    I actually kind of love Spring Cleaning, call me crazy! And not just when it’s done, while I’m doing it. There’s something kind of cathartic about it. It’s second to new year for that “fresh start” feeling!

    This year, I’m steam cleaning rugs (ok, this I don’t love), vacuuming curtains and cleaning blinds (yeah, I hate this one too). Oh, and I swear my microwave looks like a petri dish. That’s getting a clean as well.

    I really need to archive my photos. That’s my stumbling block for some reason…
    Stef recently posted..Budget Beauty – L’Oreal Infallible Le Rouge lipstick

  4. Profile photo of turboterp

    Great post @jpal – I have so much to do before summer and I need all the inspiration I can get! I have an entire room of clutter that must GO, then I’m going to build shelves that will help me be more organized in general. And spring really will be here before we know it!

  5. Profile photo of jpal

    @kellie76 my sweet hubby! glad to be of service :-)

    Shelves are such a great way to get things organized @Melissa – good luck with that space-saving project!

    @Stef – so many of us have trouble in the photo dept. If you ever find a way to love it the way you are inspired with spring cleaning – let us know! My secret isn’t really a secret…I organize photos as soon as I get them….I guess that makes it easier but it still isn’t my favorite thing.

    @shaya – You are going straight to heaven as the Irish say! Re-doing a whole room is a huge project! We want photos! (then you get to organized those…hehe)

    @samantha/@pamela there is always something to organize/clean – that’s the good and bad news. good news because you can’t get on yourself for having something to do and it is the bad news too because…there is always something to organize/clean!! lol!

    @holly so true – I feel great when I’ve gone through my list!

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  7. Profile photo of Amanda

    *sigh* I really, really should start digitally archiving. I have so much paperwork, and a lot of it is stuff I need to keep longterm. By having a digital archive I would have to worry about fires, etc, because an external hard drive is a lot easier to carry out of the house than the filing cabinet! Thanks for the helpful prodding @JPal !

  8. Profile photo of Tyna Werner
    Tyna Werner

    I’m trying to add some spring cleaning in with my spring organizing! I’ve had one closet stuffed with wht stuff for months that I finally got sorted – yay! And I cleaned and scrubbed the floors and baseboards as I sorted. Whoot.

    Now on to my phase two – prepare for a yard sale.

    Wow, @stef – that is not the sort of problem I would imagine you would have! Photos and organizing?! 2 things you love!
    Tyna Werner recently posted..Mattese Elite Semipermanent Eyeliner – a party in a tube!

  9. Profile photo of jpal

    @tyna – You are an inspiration! I think you must moonlight as a professional organizer!! Baseboards are definitely spring cleaning territory, woot!

    I feel your pain @sherrishera! Files and emails are a really common area that people struggle with. If you are that far behind with email I suggest taking 10 minutes each day to tackle your inbox. Start on the oldest ones and really decide to engage with this project during the 10 minutes.

    If you do that you won’t have to think about it at all during the rest of the day because you will know you are doing something about it and it won’t be stressful anymore. Slowly but surely you’ll be on top of it. Using smart folders and reducing the amount of email you get helps too (by unsubscribing to newsletters you don’t really read, notifications that are unnecessary and reducing the amount of email you send).

    You can do it! ;-)
    Jennifer Palais recently posted..Shop for Haiti

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