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Start spring cleaning by making a list

Does the thought of spring cleaning make you cringe? Does it seem like the Mount Everest of housekeeping — something that only a few can ever claim they attempted and succeeded? Don't fear. Spring cleaning doesn't have to be so scary, but it is something we should all do. It's also not just about cleaning blinds and sweeping baseboards, though that is good, too. Instead, you can use spring cleaning as a great way to remember to schedule maintenance and service checks on your home that will prevent problems down the line. So pull on a pair of rubber gloves and get to work. Here are some tried-and-true tips for tackling this task.

Make a list: There really is nothing better than seeing a laundry list of everything that needs to get done and then being able to cross things off, one by one. Make a big list of all the seemingly small tasks and chores, and as you're knocking them off, you'll get a little thrill each time you check something off.

Break it down: Look at your place room by room. If you think of everything that has to get done in your entire home, you'll feel defeated before you even begin. Start with one room and map out the critical tasks for whipping it into shape. Doing so also makes it easier for you to figure out how accomplish the next step.

Divvy it up: Don't be a martyr and try to tackle the project by yourself. If you live with others, they should pitch in as well. Make sure to sit down with your roommates or family and decide who should do what. You can let them pick which tasks they want, delegate based on age and ability or give them the luck of the draw. If you choose the last option, write down each task to be accomplished on a scrap of paper. Put the pieces in a bowl and have each person pick a chore to do from the bowl. (But even here, age and ability may need to be taken into consideration!)

Get started: It sounds simple, yes, but it's true. Once you get the ball rolling, it's much easier to keep it rolling. If you're procrastinating, start with something small. For example, grab a bottle of glass cleaner and go to town on one mirror or window. You'll get some instant gratification, which will make you more likely to just keep on going.

Give yourself a break: Nobody said spring cleaning had to be perfect, or be done in one day. Start small. Consider devoting one hour a week for five weeks, rather than picking one "doomsday" for spring cleaning.

Start spring cleaning by making a list 04/20/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 5:30am]

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