Spring Cleaning

Ready for Some Spring Cleaning? We Have All The Tips You Need!

You’re sitting on the sofa enjoying a cup of coffee; maybe reading a book or watching the kids play.

Then you notice it out of the corner of your eye. You’ve glanced at that hovering shadow for months, but now you can’t ignore it. That cluttered closet that resembles the junk drawer. Maybe it’s the corner where everyone throws their jackets and hockey gear and well, anything that doesn’t have a place.

Spring cleaning brings new opportunities with it. It allows more room in your home, fresh smells and a new sense of accomplishment going into the new season. The problem is it can be difficult to get started. Thankfully, we are not alone in this deep cleaning adventure.

Calling in the Professionals

Kasie Chastain, owner and operator of Fresh Starts with KC, has been in business for exactly one year this month and admits that it can be a lot to take on for the average person.

“Most people run into roadblocks mentally when trying to get organized. They look at it all, instead of breaking it down into smaller pieces,” says Chastain.

“Most people have the drive to get started, but cannot follow through. The feedback I receive is that it’s helpful to have someone to keep them going and make decisions for them as far as placement or purging goes.”

Chastain, organizes and cleans homes throughout the Ohio Valley. When she isn’t revamping community member’s spaces, she spends time with her daughter and boyfriend.

“I like to read, support my daughter’s activities, do yoga, spend time in nature, and anything else that slows life down a little,” said Chastain. “My boyfriend and I like to travel and learn new things. We have recently decided to start urban homesteading.”

Already having a knack for cleaning and organizing, deciding to create Fresh Starts with KC was a no-brainer for Chastain.

“I got into this line of business because I had been helping people get organized in my personal life for quite some time. It has always been easy and second nature to me,” said Chastain.

“With some encouragement from those that support me most, I decided to establish a business in April of 2021. I do professional organizing, deep and light cleaning, and large cleanouts.”

While some can manage to clean their home without much help, Chastain is available for those who may need an extra hand or someone to take over the process completely.

  • Room before cleaning
    Kasie Chastain deep cleans homes for a living and enjoys the feeling of helping others reclaim their home. “I love doing this because I love helping people make their spaces more comfortable,” said Chastain. Pictured: Before and after one of Chastain’s cleanings.

“The process of organizing or decluttering a space always starts with an assessment of the space or room that needs attention and figuring out what the needs of the space or room are, and prioritizing them,” said Chastain.

“Often, downsizing or purging is necessary. After determining what is to be kept, a functional place is chosen for items to assist with organization long term.”

Dust bunnies and deep cleaning some rugs is one thing, but for a full home to be deep cleaned top to bottom, it can be quite a project, according to Chastain. Because of this, it can be mentally exhausting for some, but she believes it is well worth it at the end of the day.

“Whether it be your job, your garage, your basement, or your entire life path, in most cases, fresh starts can change things for the good. An organized space is important for your mental health and overall wellbeing,” said Chastain.

While not everyone needs the assistance of Chastain’s professional services, there are some universal tips that can be helpful for anyone looking to spruce their house up for spring. These four tips were made famous by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of the popular Instagram account and Netflix Series “The Home Edit”:

    • Edit – Go through the space you want to clean and evaluate what you need and want to keep, and determine what you want to donate or send to the dumpster.
    • Categorize – Based on the items you are organizing, place similar items together in groups. For example, if you are cleaning and organizing your pantry, some potential categories could include dried pasta and grains, snacks, canned items, condiments, and baking supplies.
    • Contain – This is where you can really get creative! Use containers to store the items you previously categorized. You can repurpose items you already have in your house, like old shoe boxes, or you can purchase storage containers that are both aesthetically pleasing and meet your needs.
    • Maintain – Finally, you’ll want to place your neatly-organized and contained items in places that maximize function. To do this, think about how you use each item and how it fits into the flow of your day. For example, if you use coffee every morning, then you might want to store your coffee grounds on a shelf near your coffee maker, as opposed to having it tucked away and stored in your pantry.

These simple tips can go a long way in turning your home into a well-organized space.

DIY Spring Cleaners

So, where do you begin on your own DIY spring cleaning journey? Mother and Pharmacy IV Admixture Technician Jenna Minor, says that cleaning out her home for spring brings a new sense of relief after a long winter with clutter building up.

Jenna Minor
Jenna Minor and her daughter Harper deep clean by getting into crevasses that normally go unnoticed during regular cleanings.

“I normally go room to room, move furniture, organize and declutter. I have a big thing with every spring going through clothes; mine and Harper’s [her daughter] and donating things,” said Minor. “The best part is how I feel once it’s organized and cleaned.”

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Minor admitted that having children can make cleaning a challenging feat, especially keeping things tidy from day to day. However, once it is all tidied up and wiped down, it makes life seem a bit easier all around.

Minor isn’t the only mother tackling her home this spring season. Stay-at-home mother and wife Jessica Kurelic, admits that cleaning her home after months of holidays and events can fatigue just about anyone.

“The biggest challenge is having a toddler. A little bit of your heart breaks when I clean down the walls and food is flung five seconds (later) onto it,” said Kurelic.

Jessica Kurelic
Jessica Kurelic and her son PJ take advantage of the nice weather for spring cleaning and take many items outside to be washed.

“I rely heavily on making lists on the tasks I want to try and accomplish—big to small.”

As a mother, Kurelic manages a lot of her time around her son’s schedule, making it difficult to clean in general, let alone a deep spring cleaning. For example, she often relies on her child’s naptime to work on larger projects to cut down on potential interruptions. She also uses a list to stay on track and gets a lot of satisfaction when she gets to cross off all of her to-do’s for the week.

Springtime brings with it nicer weather, which Kurelic uses to her advantage when taking on large home organizations projects.

“The best is being able to take a ton of toys, mats, trash cans, and other house items outside to wash and dry. It’s so much easier and allows time to focus on unintentionally neglected areas,” said Kurelic. “I also feel that springtime for whatever reason encourages me to really give the floors TLC after paws and people have been cooped inside for a few months, which is another reason I love springtime because more play is outside.”

  • Closet before cleaning
    Pictured: Before and after deep cleaning my (Jessica) living room closet.

While many focus on decluttering the insides of their homes, Jonah Estep, a local home health aid, likes to focus on the outside of his home.

“When spring hits, I like to start working on the outside of the house first. One of the main challenges for that is prepping the garden area,” said Estep. “The area needs to be cleaned, tilled and critter-proofed. Bugs are also an issue once winter ends.”

Growing plants is part of Estep’s spring awakening process in addition to cleaning.

“I start my garden inside and replant outside once the roots are strong enough and the weather is decent. Bug spray will protect them and keep invasive bugs out of your home. It’s a lot of work, but the best thing is seeing your work come to fruition.”

Whether you focus on the inside or outside of your home this Spring, it’s important to pick a project and break it down into smaller, manageable tasks so you can fully enjoy your fresh space once it’s complete.

Turning Clutter to Clean

Feeling inspired by the professionals and DIY cleaning enthusiasts, I decided to tackle one of my own projects that have been needing some attention – a very cluttered closet. I discovered so many forgotten items in my “junk drawer closet,” including towels, dresses, pillows, a dehumidifier, board games, loose cat food, and holiday décor; Oh and did I mention this is a living room closet?

Why I have towels and cat food in there I’ll never understand. Nonetheless, I employed some of the skills I learned from Kasie and others to successfully transform my closet into a functional space.

My method of cleaning that area was pretty simple. I made four piles — donate, storage, trash, relocate. The things that went to donation included items such as a weighted blanket I have never used, free promotional items that were unopened, and a card game from the 1980s. Storage items were old beach towels I’ve kept for sentimental reasons, among other things. I did this until the closet was completely empty, then I deep cleaned it. The relocation items were things like cat food and clothes. I relocated the dresses and shirts to my bedroom closet for obvious reasons and I put the cat food away in a drawer so my pesky kitties couldn’t eat through the bag. After that, it was just a few pieces of trash here and there I needed to be rid of.

I found that taking my time and applying the skills I learned to declutter my home has made me not only more proud of my space, but proud of myself.

So, whether you hire help this spring or do it all on your own, tackling that home project will make spring that much better. What are you waiting for? Grab the cleaning products and crank up the music; it’s spring cleaning time, ya’ll!

• With a background in journalism and being a true Wheeling native, Jessica Broverman was destined to work with Weelunk. She holds a degree in journalism with a minor in criminal justice and works with Williams Lea Tag as a legal proofreader. When she isn’t typing away for Weelunk or WLT, she is enjoying a coffee at one of her many favorite spots in Wheeling, spending time with friends, or having fun with her husband Zachary and their two cats, Proctor and Max.