The library can make your spring cleaning a breeze

Spring cleaning? The library can help with that.

With spring just around the corner, you might be starting to get that cleaning-and-organizing urge. Or at least, I hear people are supposed to get this urge.

I don’t know about you, but I always have to guilt-trip myself into the spring cleaning mode. Usually, it starts with seeing an increasing number of posts on my Facebook and Pinterest feeds about de-cluttering, the best household cleaning hacks, and how to neatly store my fall and winter wardrobe in compact, vacuum-sealed bags to make room for spring and summer clothing.

I find myself thinking, “Wow! What great ideas! I need to get more organized, because these people have their lives down to a science. My house and my life are nowhere near that level of togetherness!”

I suspect that most of those organizational gurus might not also have two small children and a full-time job, or that their living spaces stay that organized only for the two minutes it requires to snap those photos for social media. Nonetheless, it works to kick me into a guilt-driven cleaning frenzy.

Once the social media hype inspires me to put every single one of my belongings into a cube-shaped shelving unit with cute, color-coordinating canvas tote bins and miniature chalkboard label tags, I need some further instruction. Being the librarian that I am, I head to the library to find books and magazines on the topic, or I head to the library’s Overdrive, Hoopla and RB Digital apps to checkout some digital books and magazines.

There’s nothing like a stack of books and magazines with photographic proof of other people’s organizational and cleaning prowess to motivate me out of a state of clutter. If only my kids felt as motivated as me.

Their style doesn’t quite mesh with that of House Beautiful magazine. My son’s idea of the perfect storage place for his toys is the front-load washing machine. He sometimes throws in some Cheerios or crackers for extra flair. So much for neatly labeled storage bins of toys nestled in Swedish modern furniture.

If you need encouragement and inspiration for that Sisyphus-like cycle of cleaning and organizing, only to have your work undone by kids and fur-babies and be doomed to repeat the cycle infinitely until you’re on the verge of tears, I have the perfect starter list of library resources for you:

Magazines, available digitally on the RB Digital app or in print on the shelves at the library:

•Country Living

•Family Circle

•Good Housekeeping

•HGTV Magazine

•House Beautiful

Books, available digitally either through Overdrive or Hoopla, or in print at the library:

•“Smart Organizing,” by Sandra Felton

•“Organize It!: How to Declutter Every Nook and Cranny In and Outside Your Home,” by Mervyn Kaufman

•“How to Clean Your Home Fast: For Busy Moms,” by Vicki Christian

•“The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning,” by Margareta Magnusson

•“Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day,” by Becky Rapinchuk

The above resources just scratch the surface of what we have to offer on this topic. Please visit us at the library or give us a call if you need help finding more. We’re always glad to help guilt-trip you into cleaning.

Wait, scratch that.

I mean, we’re always happy to help you find the resources you need to improve your organizational and cleaning expertise. While you’re at it, stop by a story time with your organizationally adverse kiddos, or let them play in our children’s department, which may not look like a photo from HGTV Magazine, but is welcoming, fun and de-stressing for everyone.

Angela Eck is assistant director at the Bartholomew County Public Library and can be reached at