You have been cooped up with all your stuff all winter — and maybe much longer — and it’s time again to clean it out. Spring Cleaning is not our favorite thing to do but we all have to do it sometimes.
In an effort to make it a LITTLE better, here are some of our favorite tips to make Spring Cleaning work for YOU:
#1 Prep With The Essentials
A bucket or cleaning basket (even a laundry basket works) to carry from room to room with your basic supplies:
- Dusting cloths
- Dusting stuff
- Window Cleaner
- Paper Towels
- Bathroom Cleaners
- Trash Bags
- A bottle of water (not for cleaning but for YOU).
- Cleaning gloves for the really gross jobs
- A toothbrush for the tiny stuff like around faucets
Essentials also include the things that make it not SUCK quite so much. One of our favorite things to do is wear a kitchen apron with pockets. In one pocket goes our cell phone that plays music or an audio book while we clean and in the other goes the little things like hair bands, stray socks and things that you can carry until you get to the room to which they belong.
#2 Top to Bottom
Cleaning from top to bottom is the best strategy so any dust or debris that falls will get cleaned as you go down.
- You would be surprised how much gross builds up on your walls. Taking a light sponge or a very slightly damp mop with water and hand washing detergent and wiping down the walls can remove, dust, soot, fine cobwebs and more. Dry the walls and woodwork with a clean cloth.
- Cleaning the furniture means dusting and deep cleaning upholstered surfaces. Many couches have removable cushion covers that can be put in the wash — but the stink is really in the foam, so using something like Febreeze helps get rid of the stink that has been building all winter.
- Moving furniture is a horrible experience but getting under that dresser that has been sitting there for a year and cleaning the floor or carpet underneath is a great feeling.
#3 Don’t Forget Those Weird Places
- Baseboards are often overlooked but hold a terrific amount of dirt and debris. Use the vacuum to get the most of it and finish with a scrub down
- Those sliding door tracks are a fun source of dirt, leaves, debris and dead bugs. Vacuums work well for that, too!
- Curtains get really, really dirty and a quick trip in the washer can brighten them up and reduce the dust in your home
- Ceiling lights and fans also gather dust and bugs and are usually overlooked in regular cleaning
- Box fans, condenser coils and filters should always be changed and cleaned, too.
#4 Make It A Game
We all need motivation for things like . . um . . cleaning. If you have a family that is participating, write down each room or task and put them in a bowl. Draw in turn for your chores. This makes it a little more fun and, after an item is complete, take the piece of paper and tape it up on a piece of paper. You can also have an exchange round where you can exchange one task you hate with something someone else hates. It’s turns the cleaning into a game and makes everyone feel involved in what needs to be cleaned.
#5 Don’t Get Bogged Down
Getting distracted with that drawer full of old pictures? Set aside another day for cleaning out and organizing drawers and closets. These things usually take a long time and will cut into your actual cleaning time pretty seriously.
#7 Cut Down on Steps
After a few hours, walking from room to room to room to put things away can be a giant pain. In each room, make piles of things that need to be taken to other rooms. Once the room has been straitened, take the piles to the appropriate room and leave them there until you get to that room to put the things away. This will save you dozens of steps in a day. We also suggest going around the room so there is a clear start and end place for straightening and cleaning.
#8 Plan for Meals and Breaks
Before you clean — plan a little on what your family is going to eat on cleaning day. You don’t want to cook, so having meals and snacks planned for the day will help you make sure you are not wasting precious energy on non-cleaning activities.
#9 Don’t Worry
Can’t get it all done in one day? Give yourself a break. You need to set realistic expectations on what can and can’t be done during the time you have. If your spring cleaning takes 3 weekends, that’s ok!
#10 Start Fresh
Now that the house is clean you have a unique opportunity to start your new cleaning routine without feeling overwhelmed. A quick straighten and vacuum each week, a dusting every two weeks, pick a room once a month to deep clean and you might never have to do the crazy Spring Clean again.