We're well into spring now, and if you haven't really cleaned out your closets, your pantry, your car... you're forgiven. Sure, you try and keep things orderly, but the daunting task of really deep cleaning just sounds... hard. But if past years in my life are any indicator, spring cleaning can make you feel awesome. A nice house to hang out in, everything smelling nice, that sense of accomplishment. All this can be yours, but sometimes it takes a kick in the pants to get going. So here are 5 tips for how I get motivated for spring cleaning. 


1. Watch 'Hoarders.' What's that you say? It gives you so much anxiety that you get sick to your stomach? Good. Force yourself to watch one episode (don't watch "Obsessed" or it'll have an adverse effect), or as much as you can stand before you want to scrub every inch of your humble abode — neigh, it will also give you the urge to get rid of things. Voila. If you find yourself slacking, make a snack and pick up where you left off in the episode. If you are made as uncomfortable as I am by extreme clutter, this should have a profound effect on your motivation.



2. Buy some new stuff. Shopping is always a great way to light a fire under my cleaning buns. I like to go to Target and get, oh, a new soap dispenser. Or some new dish towels. And then I get home and I say, "Well these things can't just go into a dirty kitchen/bathroom/etc." and I commence the process. Goodbye stinky sponges, goodbye dingy shower curtain. And then I take a cleansing breath and marvel at my achievements. It's pretty fulfilling.


3. Make plans. You know, invite over some guests. You can't show them that dingy... everything. You can't serve wine on a cluttered table. So invite some people over for, say, a week from now. In the meantime it'll make you look at your junk from a stranger's perspective. Yeah, maybe it is time you threw out those bank statements from ten years ago. You're on the right track already.


4. Look at dream homes on Pinterest. Oh, the austerity. The perfect simplicity of it all. Okay, fact is you live in your house. It doesn't just exist for picture-taking, but seeing extreme cleanliness in its most beautiful form can not only inspire you to emulate what you see, but it might even give you some organization ideas to help you keep things in better order for the future. Thanks, Pinterest. Thanks again.


5. Get mad. Not like, mad mad. But it's the same kind of mad you get when you've let yourself put on a few pounds. The first stage is denial, the next is anger. The third in this case is hopping-to and getting the job done. And being p.o.'d can do wonders for your energy levels. I lost count of how many times my mom kicked into high gear housecleaning mode with the words, "That's it. I've had it." And then the whole house would smell like Pledge and 409 for a week. It sounds weird, but it works.

Spring cleaning, just like any other big task, is just a matter of tricking your own brain into the right gear. And after that, you get to bask in the glorious satisfaction of being a real, live grown-up with grown-up discipline. See? We can have nice things.

How do you get pumped for spring cleaning?

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