I consider myself a well-organized person. I start my day journaling, which might include a character development idea, a random thought that may make it into a new novel, a quote that inspired me, something I saw that resonated with me. Not quite stream of consciousness, but not exactly powerpoint material either!

I also map out my day, especially the times for my writing.  I plan time for my daily walks, which Piper adores. When we got her, the vet said she’s a bit over a healthy weight for a dog her size, so the walks we take are good for both of us. 

The Lloyds and Piper on the beach

Piper loves to play with my husband on the beach.

However, I admit it, I’m a chore procrastinator.  Despite the improving weather, the blooms in my garden, and the extra daylight which combats my wintertime urge to hibernate, I haven’t yet got down to spring cleaning.  I know I’m not alone with feeling overwhelmed by spring cleaning at times. Not just the yard, or the house, or my clothes, but also my digital devices — do I really need that app on my phone that I haven’t used since I got the darn thing?

The Lloyds and Piper on the beach

The sharp, citrus scent of lemons seems to make the whole room feel cleaner. I run lemon peels through my garbage disposal to help clean the drain.

Hand-in-hand with cleaning comes decluttering. Too much clutter and mess makes our brains work extra hard, trying to make sense of what we see. So there’s a good reason to keep our surroundings tidy.

One tip I’ve gleaned from the wealth of information about decluttering is to start by sorting things by category rather than location.  It’s easier for me to get started if I resolve to sort through my kitchen utensils rather than trying to do the whole kitchen at one time.  It’s a method espoused by Marie Kondo, the master of cleaning and decluttering.  The one item a day approach works for me too, as it breaks down a big, time-consuming task into manageable chunks I can fit into my daily activities.

The Lloyds and Piper on the beach

Someone’s made a start on spring cleaning!

And when I’m done, I reward myself by putting up some fresh decorations, whether it’s something as simple as a spring wreath to hang on my front door, or a vase of fresh flowers on my freshly cleaned and decluttered kitchen table.

What spring cleaning tips and tricks work for you?

The Lloyds and Piper on the beach

A simple stem of lilacs in a pretty glass vase look so classically lovely on a freshly cleaned window sill.

To help you get a handle on Spring Cleaning, I’m giving away a $100 Amazon gift certificate so you can get cleaning supplies to get started, or a little something to reward yourself with when you’re done, along with a signed copy of either Stage Fright or From Rome With Love.

U.S. and Canada only. Winner has three days to respond.