Spring cleaning is often a ritual. For many, spring is a time of rebirth, and the simplest way of feeling renewed is a fresh overhaul of the interior of your home. This way, we can mentally and physically transfer our winter lethargy into a springtime energization. For some, however spring cleaning can be intimidating. Where do I start? There’s so much to do! Don’t feel overwhelmed. Here’s some tips from Tidy Guy for all of you living in Charlottesville, VA and beyond on getting started.

It might sound silly, but start with a plan. List the rooms in your house without forgetting about the laundry room, various closets and other small spaces you might normally overlook. Continue listing or make a mind map, beginning with your normal cleaning tasks and then venturing outside the box to name tasks you don’t normally approach.

Take your time and allot yourself several days to handle this task. Many people recommend a divide-and-conquer technique to tackling your home. Break down your list into manageable chunks. Where do your start? Start with wherever you feel needs to be cleaned most urgently.

Next, make sure you have all the supplies you need. If you have to, go back to your list or mind map and, from there, make a list of all the supplies you’ll need to handle these tasks. Now, go through your cleaning cabinets and compare. Before you begin cleaning, make sure to buy any supplies you don’t already have. Look to repurpose some kitchen items such as vinegar and baking soda, to create cleaning solutions. This can save you money in the long run if you already have these items in your home. Avoid paper towels; opt for microfiber cloths instead.

To get into the right headspace, you might want to start with decluttering and organizing. With each item your pick up, ask yourself, “does this item enrich my life and serve a purpose?” If not, put it aside into a bin for items you wish to sell or donate.

If you’re unsure about a place to start physically cleaning, why not start at the top? We don’t mean to go up to the attic, but begin with the ceilings and work downward. Dust and clean the ceilings, moldings and light fixtures first. Next, wipe down the walls, clean and scrub the windows (both sides), dust and sanitize framed pictures and art.

Our biggest piece of advice? Start early in the day. As they say, the early bird gets the worm. Pick a clear, winter day, open your home’s blinds, put on some relaxing music or an audiobook, and get work. Those harsh, cold days at the tail end of winter are perfect for cleaning and preparing for warmer days to come.