No matter where you live, the advent of spring often brings lofty cleaning goals, and one of the simplest ways to clean up your space is by organizing your rooms.

Organization is centered around a process, but your personal organization process depends on your particular needs. Follow these tips to get in your own unique spring cleaning groove—and make sure to crank up the stereo while you’re at it.

Work on One Room at a Time

Tackling your home room by room will make your organizing tasks seem more manageable. Once you have a system in place for the first couple of rooms, your cleaning process will spread to the rest of the house.

When you get around to organizing your first closet, go ahead and take care of all the closets before moving on to a bathroom or living space.

Why not organize all at once?

When you work a little bit on five rooms in one day, it splits your attention and energy. Instead, if you take care of one room before moving on to the next, it will look like you’ve made more progress and give your confidence and motivation a boost.

Where to start organizing:

  • Rooms you or your guests use frequently
  • Smaller areas that allow you to establish a process before moving on to bigger rooms
  • Spaces you don’t clean very often

Clean from Top to Bottom

No matter which room you begin in, start cleaning and organizing from the top of the room. That way, if any dust or dirt that you can’t see falls down from a top shelf or ceiling fan, you won’t exert double the effort.

Work through each space in a specific order, and be sure to make organization a habit.

Additionally, consider working in a circular direction around the room. It can be either clockwise or counterclockwise, but establishing a direction as part of your process keeps you from flitting around the room in a panic and ultimately increases productivity.

Reward Yourself for Meeting Your Goals

Cup of coffee with heart in foam

Work is more productive when you have an incentive.

Set a timer, and when it’s up, give yourself a mental break or a snack break to recharge. Don’t make it an hour-long break, because you might lose the motivation to clean.

While you’re on your mental break, you can do whatever you please. Try one or more of the following ideas.

  • Take a 20-minute power nap. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed, and you’ll get more done.
  • Go for a quick run, and then take a cool shower to boost your productivity.
  • Splurge on the expensive coffee at the shop down the street. Caffeine—need I say more?
  • Call a friend or family member to catch up for a little while. It’s a great way to distract your mind from the cleaning tasks at hand.

Whatever way you decide to spend your break, try not to worry about the next thing on your organization list.

Breaks not your thing?

Alternatively, set an incentive like going out to eat with friends after you get a certain number of rooms finished, or plan a weekend getaway for when you meet your ultimate goal—a totally clean house.

You’ll come home to a clean living space and feel rejuvenated from your time away.

Entertain Yourself during the Cleaning Process

girl with headphones cleaning

Cleaning doesn’t have to be boring. Play your favorite songs or listen to an audiobook while you work.

Having background noise or being able to accomplish some light reading—or rather, listening—will make the time fly by. Enjoying the task at hand is half the battle, and the other half will come naturally when you establish a routine.

On the other hand, TV shows and movies, while enjoyable, may distract you too much from cleaning, so it’s best not to tempt yourself with the latest episode of your favorite show while you clean. Instead, set it as an incentive for when you’ve finished your to-do list for the day.

Too easily distracted?

Consider tracking how many steps you take while you clean. Set a goal for the number of steps you want to reach for the day (the recommended average is 10,000 steps) or within a couple hours, and take a break or stop when you’ve reached your goal. 

To sum it up, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to help keep you motivated while you clean:

DO:

  • Pick one kind of room to clean at a time
  • Clean from the top of the room to the bottom
  • Set incentives and take short breaks
  • Listen to an audiobook, music, or background noise

DON’T:

  • Try to clean every room at one time
  • Make more work for yourself by accidentally shuffling dust from shelf to shelf
  • Set impossible goals or take long breaks
  • Turn on a TV show that distracts you from your tasks

There’s not just one way to clean. It’s your house, so you get to make your own rules! Just be sure to follow those rules once you set them.

Pick a room, start cleaning, and make it fun. Don’t forget to take a break every so often, too. You’ll be relaxing in your clean, organized home in no time!