I feel as though spring came a little later this year. Because even though spring technically began on March 20th or so, it’s been cold, rainy, and snowy well into April (sorry NYC!)
The other day, I was working with a high school freshman who had some out of control binders – fifty or so papers stuffed in the front pocket, some papers in the wrong binders, others crumpled at the bottom of his backpack, and yet others in digital disarray on his iPad (his school has a one-to-one iPad program). I proclaimed the beginning of our session Spring Cleaning Day, and we devised a system together and he set off to work.
A mere forty minutes later, he looked relieved and kept commenting on how less stressed he felt – just by organizing his binders and going through his planner and his school-issued iPad. Even though students often put it off (and let’s face it, the trunk of my car should have been cleared out long before last weekend…) the feeling of completion is, well, amazing. Maybe not chocolate chip cookie dough worthy, but amazing nonetheless.
A few tips to make spring cleaning more manageable:
- Make it fun. Schedule a time in advance and get everyone involved. I generally say two hours is the max before focus starts waning and you sit down with old photos and start posting on Facebook. Figure out beforehand what is to be tackled – closet, drawer, backpack – and get all the materials in place. For teens, maybe having a friend come over, putting on some loud music and organizing together can create make it a more collaborative effort. When I was in college, I used to have my best friend come over and sit on my roommate’s bed whenever I was trying to clean the room. I needed to be doing something other than just focusing on the sorry state of my dorm room.
- Keep it manageable. Simply focusing on one drawer or one cupboard or one bureau (and not the entire room at once) can make things seem a little more do-able. If you have time, and get to something else in the time allotted, bonus. If you don’t want to, NBD. You’re done.
- Have the right supplies. Sometimes organizing a closet or cabinet can seem impossible, or it can quickly revert to old ways. I refrain from spending excessive time at Target or the Container Store because they have such amazing options that I can go overboard, but creating a simple storage system can at least give everything its place and allow re-grouping to happen more easily.
And, don’t forget the trunk of your (or your child’s) car! It is amazing what long lost treasures can be found – umbrellas, books, favorite mementos, old letters… clearly an experience I am all to familiar with…
What is in need of a little Spring Cleaning in your life?