Spring can be the perfect time to get organized, both at home and at work. There are plenty of spring cleaning tasks and projects that can make your life easier in the long run — but most of them are pretty time consuming. You can still get the same benefit, though, without doing all that work, if you’re ready to outsource your spring cleaning. (Wouldn’t you rather be spending your leisurely time outside?)
- A Thorough Housecleaning: The most important aspect of spring cleaning is remembering all those little cleaning chores that slip past you the rest of the year. Most cleaning services are aware of that fact and offer a deep cleaning special in the spring.
- Store Winter Gear: From heavy coats to snow shovels, you can get your winter gear out of the way during warm months. Both cleaning services and professional organizers often offer the service of getting your winter gear organized and into storage.
- Seasonal Maintenance: Your house or office building often needs a little seasonal maintenance as winter turns into spring, like changing the air conditioner filter. Check with local handyman services to have someone else take care of these necessary but time-consuming tasks.
- Appliance Maintenance: While you have a handyman out, have him check over your home appliances. Even something as simple as a new filters can extend the life of your appliance. Appliances are also notorious for consuming excessive amounts of energy. That Frigidaire refrigerator may have been the prime contender for efficiency in its day, 10 years ago. However, now it could use replacing, or at least some new, updated Frigidaire parts that offer better efficiency. That can be said for just about any appliance.
- Declutter: Spring is the perfect time to get all the clutter that builds up out of the way. A professional organizer can get you decluttered and destressed. The National Association of Professional Organizers is a good source.
- Garage Sales: Depending on just how much clutter you have, you may want to hold a garage sale. Some professional organizers will arrange all aspects of garage and estate sales, although you may have to check around to find an organizer in your area who offers such a service.
- Donate Unneeded Items: You may have had a few items sitting around your home for a while — but you don’ t want to hold a garage sale to get rid of them. Many professional organizers will take charge of taking such items to donation centers and getting you a receipt for your taxes.
- Eliminate Paper Clutter: If you have more than a few pages laying around your office that you want to get scanned and shredded, a specialized scanner like the NeatDesk can not only convert paper to computer file but also turn the information in your documents into something you can use on your computer.
- Home Inventory: A home inventory can come in handy if you make an insurance claim — but most people don’t actually keep their inventory up to date. Many personal organizers offer services to get your home inventory up-to-date.
- Scrapbooking: Your spring cleaning is likely to turn up photos and memories that you’ve been meaning to put into scrapbooks for years. If it’s not one of your preferred hobbies, though, it’s worthwhile to hire a professional scrapbooker. Local supply stores can direct you to scrapbookers available for hire.
- Landscaping: Spring cleaning includes the outside of your home or office as well as the inside. Whether you need major landscaping or just someone to mow the lawn, finding someone during the spring means you’ll beat the summer rush.
- Energy Efficiency: With a few updates, you can make your home and office more energy efficient — and the cost of bringing someone in to do those upgrades will be offset by the money you’ll save and the tax credits you can qualify for. Contact your local utility company for a list of service providers in your area.
- Update Interior Designs: When spring comes around, you’re often ready to update a room or two. Rather than searching through interior design options for something unique, you can usually find some inexpensive pieces — perfect for updating a room — on Etsy. Start your search by typing in a color and specify what you’re looking for, like throw pillows.
- Wardrobe Management: Storing your winter clothes offers an opportunity to go through your wardrobe and get rid of anything you don’t use, as well as find new uses for pieces you already have. An image consultant can help you make sure that your wardrobe is right for both your personal style and your career.
- Archive Old Files: Many businesses keep files around indefinitely, but spring offers an opportunity to bring in someone to purge files and box anything that really doesn’t help you with your business anymore — perhaps more than a few years old. Depending on your filing system, even an office temp can make a big difference in the number of files you need to sort through before you find the paperwork you actually need.
- Backup Your Files: We all say that we’ll get around to backing up our computer files sooner or later, but it’s definitely worthwhile to make that backup now. An online service, like Mozy will take care of your backup needs automatically.
- Office Inventory: If your business maintains inventory — or you have more than a few pieces of equipment — it’s important to conduct an inventory on a regular basis, if only to make sure that everything is where it’s supposed to be. You can bring in an external service to complete the inventory.
- Financial Organization: When you finished this April’s tax return, you probably swore that you were going to be more organized with your receipts and other financial paperwork this year. Get a system in place while you’re still thinking about it. Start by talking to your tax preparer about how he or she would prefer you to submit your paperwork.
- Clean Out a Storage Place: It’s not uncommon for a person to open a storage unit, drop off a bunch of stuff, and then leave it for months, if not years. If you have such a storage place, you can hire a cleaning service or organizing service to come through and clean it out. Many people find themselves just asking such a service to throw away or sell everything in a unit.
- Trade In Old Books: If you’ve got a few books that you don’t plan on re-reading, you can get them out of your home — and get books you’ve been wanting to read — from trading sites like BookMooch. Best of all, you can import your Amazon wishlist and just pick out the books you want.
- Process Review: For businesses and individuals who use processes to work more efficiently, it’s important to do an occasional review to make sure those processes still work efficiently in your changing business. Business organizers, as well as consultants, can provide an objective review.
- Online Spring Cleaning: Clutter can infect your email inbox just as easily as your desk. A virtual assistant can help you get your online clutter under control.
- Plant a Garden: Even if you don’t have a lot of time to care for a garden yourself, you can still enjoy the benefits of having one. Many landscaping firms will take on at least the initial phases of getting a garden ready to grow.
- Yearly Checkup: It’s easy to add yourself to the list of items to be given a once-over whenever spring comes around. If you already work with a virtual assistant, you can even outsource setting your appointment for a yearly checkup.
- Plan a Summer Getaway: Travel projects can be easily handed over to a virtual assistant — and if you want to take a great trip this summer, you better get it planned now.
Image credit: Andyd / iStockphoto