April 2019: Welcoming Spring

Spring cleaning couldn’t come at a worse time. The sun is shining, the air is warmer, and there are little green buds everywhere. Who wants to stay inside? The trick is, to get the job done without wasting time on unnecessary chores or convoluted cleaning hacks that don’t work. Whether you’re a seller trying to get open-house ready, or just want to get a grip on the mess, read on for our best tips and then get out and enjoy the season!

The Story: Well Begun is Half-Done

The Jump Off

Once you motivate yourself to start, cleaning and organizing can be relaxing, meditative and even cathartic. The goal is to make your daily life easier and bring a sense of calm to your home. So take the hint from Mary Poppins and get started!

The Process

While blind devotion to Marie Kondo is the answer for some people, for you it might just cause a whole other level of stress! Make sure you choose a system that works for your home and family. Simply labelling everything in sight and investing in hundreds of cute little baskets is not the answer. We recommend consulting your kids (and spouse) for how you can make organization and cleaning fun and easy so that once you’ve spent time putting in a system, you know it’ll be followed. And make sure to keep cleaning products handy — if you have to go searching for the all-purpose spray, you’re wasting those minutes you could have been cleaning and are likely to get distracted! We recommend a set of supplies in the kitchen and each bathroom to keep you on task.

The Wrap Up

Unless you’re selling your apartment, it’s not necessary to keep your home Insta-ready all the time (and if you are selling with us, we can help you stay open-house ready). But having a cleaning/organizing system will help you bring calm to the chaos and your life. And it’s ok if you prefer a bit of cozy clutter as long as you feel comforted and not confined by your things… and as long as you can still find your keys when you need them!

The Conversation Cheat Sheet

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can always call in professional help — or you can start with these 26 secrets from professional organizersto give your home an easy facelift. Also, try enlisting the help of smart technology — yes, there’s an app for that! Roomba, for example, can vacuum your floors while you’re at the movies. There are even self-cleaning litter boxes! (But we still recommend walking your dog yourself).

The Gabriele Moment: An Unlikely Housekeeper

Surprisingly, nothing organizes your home better than getting a puppy! For years I tried to get the kids to pick up after themselves. And while they occasionally felt inspired to make Mommy happy, there were always backpacks on the floors and toys on the couches. Enter Jadan. Our sweet Golden Retriever puppy came with a penchant towards chewing everything in sight. Early on, I made one magic rule: while I would sympathize if the puppy chewed my son’s favorite sneaker or my daughter’s American Girl Doll, I would not replace it. And guess what? Every member of my family has become a champion neat freak! Things are magically put where they belong — tucked away in the right basket, bin or closet, safe from orally-fixated dogs. Jadan now keeps to her chew toys and everyone’s happy.

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