Trigger warning: content about cleaning up the shit you’ve been very successful at ignoring for months.
Dudes and dudettes...you need to do a summer deep clean. Does saying, “no offense” make it better? If so, no offense. But, admit it; between sandy beach trips, heat waves of unproductivity, and lots of sticky juice-based attempts at making tiki cocktails at home, things have gotten...ahem, le gross.
We know what you’re probably thinking: why do I have to do a summer cleaning when I JUST did spring cleaning? Is that what we’re doing now, facing our inability to keep it together on a quarterly basis?
We hate to break it to you, but a Netflix subscription and recurring monthly car insurance payment does not an adult make. As a grown human, you should be doing a big clean of your house, apartment, or studio, more than once a year. You also should probably stop calling that converted garage that’s not up to code a studio, but we can discuss that offline.
Not to mention, it feels a little more important to do a deep clean after a season of greasy sunscreen, muddy feet, and sand everywhere (no really, everywhere 👀) than it does after a winter of watching every season of the Great British Bake Off.
Plus, decluttering and organizing your home is a great way to get setup for success before the start of school, that new job, or just another season of telling people you “freelance” while motioning vaguely with your hands. Sidenote: we’re vaguely motioning back in support of your “freelance” career. You can do it. We believe in you and your random assortment of soft skills.
Anyway, don’t panic. We’re not suggesting you Marie Kondo your entire home every three months. No one has the emotional bandwidth to contemplate joy on a regular basis. Instead, we’re suggesting the life changing magic of asking for help.
Let’s do this together.
Step 1 - Baby steps, people
We’ve all been there. Your decision to finally organize your house turns into a whirlwind of you tornado-ing through your home, tearing apart closets, finding your college journal, stopping for an hour to read the entire thing, deciding you really are a writer, feeling regret for not listening to your creative spirit and majoring in finance, sobbing quietly in the back of your hall closet, calling your mom to whine while trying on all your “skinny” clothes, quitting your job, starting a blog, and moving to Bali to make a line of high end linen “homewares”. Or maybe that’s just us.... What we meant is that rookie mistake number one is biting off more than you can chew. Your real first step should be figuring out what you actually need to get done and then breaking that down into manageable pieces.
Be realistic. Set goals you can actually accomplish. Try assigning projects to different times. Totally pressure wash the house this weekend, but maybe hold off on the yard sale until next weekend. Frankly, there’s no reason and no way this is going to happen in one day. You have a blog to write!
Step 2 - Dangle the carrot
If you can afford to live alone, congrats, you have a better paying job than us, or parents with a better paying job than us. If you don’t, no sweat, you have a built in cleaning team.
Ok, now that you’ve made a reasonable list and timeline of cleaning and organizing tasks, it’s time to delegate. There’s no reason kids, roommates, partners, romantic interests, and that weird cousin (who’s not actually related!) your parents guilting you into letting live in the extra room/closet, shouldn’t be helping out. But here’s the real trick: you gotta dangle a carrot to get people to really clean. We suggest a mega-amazing-totally-motivating-omg I will totally scrub the toilet bowl for that-reward to really get people working. Tacos and margaritas after organizing the garage? Works 70% of the time. Super Mario Party reward for refinancing the house? What?? Your fifth grader got an A in math, didn’t he?
Step 3 - Call in reinforcements
Target is a trap. We repeat, Target is a trap. You mean well; we all do. You can even try making a list that just includes cleaning supplies, a new vacuum, and some of those folders and bins to organize. But let’s just admit that it’s not going to stop a rug, five face masks, a pack of socks, and five gallons of protein powder from weaseling their way into your car.
That’s it. No, really. Well, actually one more thing. If you have a friend who you think could use some help cleaning up too (we’re looking at you, Derek) you can invite them to Joymode. Give your friends $20 and get $20 when they book.