I don't know about you, but I'm like a butterfly coming out of her cocoon after spending months indoors.  Although I could sit outside on my porch in the winter, I don't enjoy it near as much because it's freezing!  So, the past few weeks, as I've enjoyed the warm sunshine and fresh air, I've felt ready for a great big cleanup inside my house.  It feels so good to do a deep clean, simplify, rearrange things and freshen up.  Unfortunately, most of my house is in the middle of renovations, so those areas will have to wait.  The only completed rooms in the entire house are my bedroom and bathroom, so I will get to work to keep those spaces feeling clean and organized.

Are you ready to do some spring cleaning like me?  Here are my steps I love to cross off to feel most accomplished:

1.  STRIP.  The best way to start is to strip the room clean of everything except the furniture and mattress.  Take down the curtains.  Remove the linens from the bed.  Clear out all the clothes from your drawers and closet.  What's left should be about as much as you'd find in a hotel room.

2.  DUST.  Start at the ceiling and work towards the floor.  Crown molding first, then the light fixtures.  Door and window casings, followed by furniture.  If you have wood furniture, you probably will want to polish the pieces with something "oily" to give back moisture and shine.  Finish with shoe molding.

3.  CLEAN.  Go back and clean the windows.  Look around the room and see if there are any spots or stains that need extra attention.  The last thing you should do is vacuum.  I LOVE my Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner.  I can clean and spot treat everything in the room: molding, walls, floors, carpets, rugs, furniture, etc.  I've even used it to remove impossible stains from linens and clothing!  It's completely natural and safe, so it's ok if your pet licks or if you get your kids to help with the cleaning!  Plus, you won't be breathing in harmful toxins while trying to spring clean.  Oh yea, and did I mention it's FREE this month, with that adorable little spray bottle!  You know you want me to hook you up with a bottle of this!

4.  WASH.  Start washing all the linens, including curtains, beddings, mattress cover, pillows and any other type of material that has collected dust and can go in the washing machine.  Some items may need to be dry cleaned, so check labels.  Also, you may have bedding that is too large or heavy for your washer, so you might have to take a trip down to the local laundromat.

5.  SORT.  Look through the items in your room (furniture, linens, pillows, rugs, lamps, decor, framed pieces, etc.) and ask yourself if each thing should stay.  Do you still enjoy that item?  Is it in good condition?  Does it need to be replaced?  Can you up-cycle it by chalk painting it or getting a new lampshade?

6.  CAPSULE WARDROBE.  This would be the perfect time to start your own capsule wardrobe!  Just as you went through the items in your room, do the same with your clothing.  Go through each item and ask yourself:

-Do I feel attractive when I wear this?
-Does this cut and fit flatter my body?
-Do I feel comfortable in this?
-Does this color look good with my skin tone?
-Do I like this style?
-Overall, do I enjoy wearing this?

If you answered "no" to any of those questions, you might want to consider throwing away or giving away that item.  Do this with each piece of clothing that you own, including accessories.

If you want more details on how to create your own capsule wardrobe, check out this blog post.

7.  PUT AWAY.  Once you have gone through the every item in your room, including your clothing, only put back the best.  Items you love, enjoy looking at, wearing, etc.  Less is better when you have a bedroom filled of items that make you feel your best.

8.  FRESHEN UP.  Smells really effect how a place feels, so I love for my home to always smell clean and fresh.  One of my favorite tricks is to diffuse is Lemon and Peppermint essential oils.  Not only does it clean up the air, but it doesn't put toxic chemicals into my home like most candles.  The Lemon smells so clean and the Peppermint so fresh.  Plus, with all the dust you've been dealing with, they help you stay on top of the sneezing and itching...add Lavender to that combo and you're really in business!

9.  REPLACE.  When you sorted through the items in the room, you may have found that some things need to be replaced.  Old pillows are kinda gross.  A new rug could really change the look of the room.  Updated lampshades make a huge difference.  You don't have to spend a ton of money.  Just consider one or two items that would really pack and punch and start there!  You may even decide to simply chalk paint old furniture or take down the old curtains for good to open the room up.  Another thing to think about is the age of your mattress and your sleep quality.  If you really need a new mattress and you're in the market, you might consider checking out a company like Leesa for some online mattresses.  Not only will you get a new mattress, but Leesa also gives back to the community in some great ways with their One-ten, One-Earth, and One-Community programs, which involve donating mattresses, planting trees, and supporting national and local organizations. Check out their philanthropy efforts and how to get involved on their site. 

Do you have a tip for spring cleaning?  Please share in the comments below!

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