Where does an OCDite begin when presented with about as daunting a task as can be imagined? All of us are particular in the act of tackling the spring transformation, but some of us feel the need to perform each task with a sense of perfection which leads to either: 1) having floors that sparkle every day of the week (that's me!); or, 2) avoiding the task altogether because it's just too exhausting (which are my fellow OCDites who have those closets for which you can't open the door, because wrapping paper, Christmas decorations and Halloween costumes will all come tumbling out!) Whichever version of OCD you are, Spring Cleaning is necessary nourishment for our disorder. We have to wipe away the messes, so we can focus on fresh starts. With this post, I hope to help you through this annual dilemma with my past frustrations and a couple of tips, because I am the Queen of Clean. Have you been to my house lately? Impressive, if I do say so myself.
So, before I begin, there is one thing I have to admit: I hired someone about 6 years ago who cleans my house every 2 weeks. Now, before retracting the admiration you felt from the thought of my daily sparkling floors, I have to make it clear that I do clean . . . everyday - that's what many of us OCDites live to do. For some of us, it can even be relaxing. But, allow me to explain the severity with which I scrub and sterilize every surface in my house, starting with a picture of my weapons for combating chaos.
|Figure 1: My dedicated Cleaning Cabinet|
The thing is with us OCDites, the job has to be done flawlessly. When we clean a toilet, we do not forget the tiny cracks beneath the toilet seat hinges or the knobs around the base (I have been known to even take the toilet seat off with a screwdriver to clean); we clean that toilet until you could literally have a cocktail party on it. Has anyone ever seen that episode of Cougar Town where Courtney Cox actually hosts cocktail parties in her new sparkling bathroom?! Well, I could certainly relate and watched with wonder.
Upon recognizing my cleaning fixation and after forfeiting too much fun in my 20s (I spent entire weekends disinfecting my house instead of accepting invitations to go shopping, the beach or happy hours), Flora was sent to me like an angel from . . . wherever you believe your angels to come from . . . and I was finally introduced to the idea of cleansing myself of cleaning!! That's right, I provide you with Tip #1 to Cleanse yourself from Cleaning. Or at least cut down on the time you currently spend cleaning. Handing over the reins of removing dirt and dust from my life was difficult, but it was also a relief. The presence of Flora's magic every other week makes life more manageable. We OCDites live with 5,000 other daily compulsions, so don't be afraid to release some of the responsibility of keeping a fresh space to the "other cleaning professionals."
So, now turning your attention back to Spring Cleaning - organization with its own season! Now that you you've delegated the dirt, you can focus your neurotic needs on coordinating the clutter before summer.
Tip #2: I try to trick myself into making it fun by visualizing the end result with my items displayed in all of the glory they deserve. The best part about organizing is it is one of those acts that anyone can do, and it provides instant gratification. By using containers, bins and other storage items that are also stimulating to the senses, organizing can be enjoyable. The Container Store's Fabric Storage Boxes are amazing!
|Figure 2: My Shoe and Handbag Closet ~|
It's a vision of beauty.
Tip #3: Lay out a realistic schedule for the entire month of April. As determined as you are to organize the contents of the garage in one day, it's just not going to happen, and you'll be frustrated when it doesn't. So, plan one item to conquer each weekend during the month of April and the thought of Spring Cleaning may not feel so daunting.
Tip #4: Give things away! If you haven't worn, used or played it within the last year (unless it holds significant sentimental value), give it to someone who will!
And finally, I'd like to share a few cleaning product pleasers that I will never live without again.
- William Sonoma's French Lavender Countertop Spray: with essential oils, this surface cleaner soothes your senses like a spa, but really, you're spraying today's crumbs off the countertops!
- Fabuloso: What makes my floors sparkle? Fabuloso! A miracle worker introduced to me by Flora, this all-purpose cleaner cleanses everything from floors to windows and also has a light lavender scent!
- Distilled white vinegar: A product you're sure to already have in your pantry, I mix this item with water and use it to Swiffer my wood floors and disinfect my wool rugs!