5 Books To Kickstart Your Spring Cleaning

Although I realize much of the country isn’t having spring weather right now, I know we are all getting the spring itch. If the sun shines for more than ten minutes, I’m scrambling to get shoes on and take the dog for a walk. Even if that means I might get rained or snowed on before I get home!

I’m not a fan of most domestic chores. My resistance is primarily to the sense of obligation, and the perception that if a woman does’t fulfill those obligations, she is somehow less.

My dilemma lies in that despite my dislike of housework, I do enjoy having a relatively clean, organized living space.


Image from AnneTaintor.com


Through my bookish journey of personal development, I’ve encountered a few guides to home life that have resonated with me. The books below are ones I’ve read, or want to read, because they focus on quality of life when it comes to things we “must” do in our daily lives that we might not be enthusiastic about.


  1. Happier At Home – Gretchen Rubin

If you know me at all, you’re likely aware of the many ways Gretchen Rubin’s books have changed my life. She has taught me to look at happiness in a different way than I’d ever considered.

Happier At Home is her second book and it resonated with me on a super specific level because I’m a home-body like she is. Once she recognized this about herself, it gave her permission to focus on being happy in her life at home, instead of following others’ advice to travel, or do other things outside the home which might hake someone else happy but doesn’t work for her.

This is the same for me, and this book motivated me to make some major changes for myself around my house, even though they might appear minor.


2. The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning – Margareta Magnunsson

I haven’t read this one yet, and I love the title. The word gentle is so important in there, isn’t it?! I like the idea of sorting one’s possessions with intention and saving things for loved ones for down the road.

From Goodreads: In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming.


3. The To Do List Makeover – SJ Scott

Any of my housework starts with a To Do list. In fact, every single one of my days starts with one! This book helped me tweak my lists to make them more manageable and most importantly, to have reasonable expectations for myself. Chucking down big intimidating projects into smaller, more easily tackled ones is a simple concept that makes a difference in my productivity. I tend to procrastinate, and the author addresses that habit specifically by making sure you’re not unintentionally sabotaging yourself with a “de-motivating” to do list.


4. Breathing Room: Open Your Heart By Decluttering Your Home – Lauren Rosenfeld & Dr Melva Green

I prefer having experiences to objects, so I’ve become a fan of the whole minimalism movement.I also love stuff. My stuff specifically, my sentimental collections of knick knacks and keepsakes I’ve accumulated throughout my life.

From Goodreads: Everyone’s lives could use some serious decluttering. But decluttering isn’t just about sorting junk into piles and tossing things in the trash. Decluttering can inform us of our burdens, help us to understand our attachments, and aid us in identifying what is truly valuable in our lives. Written by a medical doctor and a spiritual intuitive, with case studies of people just like you, Breathing Room takes you on an enlightening room-by-room tour where each room in your home corresponds to a “room” in your heart, and where declutter­ing will not just make space but improve the spirit.


5. Zen of Hoarding – Saira Priest

Here’s another fantastic title! While I do not believe I am a hoarder, as mentioned above I do have a tendency to cling to things with sentimental value. Even when I think I “should” get rid of something, it can cause some distress or take me a long time to come to that conclusions.

From Goodreads: Saira Priest reveals the emotions behind the things we hold onto long after we are done with them, and gently nudges us along as we find the courage to let go. In her journey with hoarding, Saira found lasting ways to clear the clutter and change her habits to live a clearer, easier life, freeing up time to do all the exciting things which define to her what it truly means to be alive. You can reclaim your life, too. Reading Zen of Hoarding will help. Feel a stronger connection with yourself as a kind friend walks hand in hand with you along the path to finding your better self under all the clutter.



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