The fact that the words spring and cleaning have become nearly inseparable doesn’t make the task any easier. Nor does it make it any less avoidable. Just as the changing of the seasons signals a return to warmer weather, it also indicates to those that have spent the winter months slumbering that their excuses have evaporated away along with the snow.

Needless to say, the task of tackling months of neglect in one afternoon or even a long weekend is far easier said than done. While it might seem very little work went into getting things to a state of disarray, undoing all that neglect can prove to be a monumental task. However, with a plan in mind and a little elbow grease, even the biggest jobs can be accomplished.

Start small.
One of the keys in avoiding a sense of being overwhelmed when cleaning is to not tackle everything at once. Begin in one room, or perhaps one corner of your yard and move outwards, dealing with jobs as they come. By not trying to deal with everything at once, you’ll be able to get some sense of accomplishment before moving onto the next job.

Get everything you need first.
No one likes stopping halfway through a job, so even if heading out for supplies could provide a well-deserved break, resist the temptation by gathering any you might need beforehand. An early morning trip to the hardware store could make the difference between achieving your goal and just spending another day spinning your wheels.

When in doubt, toss it out.
Or better yet, recycle it. Although sentimental value might have you clinging to that old china, putting too much value in unused items can be the first step down the long road to appearing on Hoarders. What better tribute to those old items and those that passed them down than to give them a new life by donating them to the Salvation Army, or even collecting a few bucks for them at a garage sale?

Stick to it.
The easiest way to ensure that you don’t have to repeat the whole process come next spring is to not revert back to your old unkempt ways. Instead of simply tossing that box into storage, figure out if you really need it, and then put it away neatly. It might take a few more minutes to stay tidy in the short term, but you’ll be thanking yourself later.

Outsource it.
In the event your clutter is just too considerable or you can’t find the time, there are those who can help. A quick scan of the Internet reveals hordes of companies aimed at ridding your home of refuse. While most are reputable, the Better Business Bureau recommends ensuring anyone hired to work in your home is licensed, bonded and insured. A bond is a form of insurance that protects you from any dishonest or criminal acts by the people who will come into your home to clean it. Insurance protects you if the cleaning people cause an accident, such as forgetting to shut off a faucet or losing a key.