Questions on Ultimate Spring Cleaning, Answered

by Michael on April 14, 2010 · 0 comments

(Photo by Alan Cleaver)

First, I want to thank you for reading and participating in the Ultimate Spring Cleaning. If you’re embracing it in the spirit of challenging fun, I’m sure it’s turning out to be a blast.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to answer some questions regarding the USC and how to best enjoy and benefit from it:

I’m considering starting the Ultimate Spring Cleaning, but isn’t it a lot to do each day?

Yes, it is, but realistically it can all be done. Some of the larger items don’t have to be finished in a day, and others you won’t really finish for days/weeks/months. But we all have our own speeds and capabilities, and there are a number of ways you can approach the USC. The best way to approach it with limited time is to only do the “Your Home” tasks the first time around, then when you’re done with those, do the “Your World” tasks, then the “Yourself” tasks.

I just found your site, but you’re already on Day 24. Is it too late to get started?

It’s never too late to get started. Just go to Day 1 and begin. The comments will be perpetually open and I’ll always be monitoring for questions to help you along. I’m working on a main page so that it’s easy to find and navigate the project anytime. The one thing I would suggest is that you start on a Monday, so that the rest and relaxation “tasks” fall on the most appropriate days.

Some of these tasks are too hard or boring. Can I do only the tasks I’m interested in?

I recommend that you at least do one set of tasks all the way through, but if you really want to do specific exercises, it’s better than doing none at all. And please, let me know via comments or e-mail if you have an issue with a task—I want to improve the USC so it will be even more helpful in the years to come.

I started, but then had to work nights on a major work project/had a weekend trip/it was my birthday. Is that OK?

Don’t feel bad about that. Things happen. There are two ways to handle it when “life events” interrupt: either work ahead to give your self “free time” (for example, if you can clean your bedroom properly in one day, that’s three free days before starting in the kitchen) or just suspend it and pick it up as soon as you’re back.

You keep saying “be ruthless.” What does that mean?

It’s a way of saying you often need to let go of your attachment to things. You could probably get rid of 75 percent of the stuff in your house and still live an exciting, fulfilling life. We keep mementos long after they’ve lost their meaning, electronics long after we’re done fully enjoying them, and random stuff longer than it ever deserves to be kept. Clutter affects your mind negatively more than the usefulness of most of your stuff affects it positively.

I’m not telling you to go minimalist, but to be ruthlessly honest about your need to keep each item in your home.

Are you doing the Ultimate Spring Cleaning tasks yourself?

At this time, the honest truth is no: a lot of my time has gone into creating the daily tasks, and I’ve had several “life events” of my own come up as well.

However, I will be starting the USC myself very soon, because I need it as much as anyone. I’m going to add comments as I go along to let you know what problems I’ve encountered along the way, and I’ll also use the opportunity to tweak the tasks as I run into roadblocks or find helpful tips.

Finally, a reminder:

There are no rules. It isn’t a boot camp. If you’re cheating, you’re only cheating yourself, and you’ll know. If you need support in any way, send me an e-mail or leave a comment.

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