Spring is here, which means it’s that time of year when we give the ol’ homestead a good scrub down. For some, spring cleaning is a joyful, relaxing process — something they actually look forward to. For others, it’s a dreaded, stressful mega-chore. The idea of hour upon hour of seemingly endless cleaning sounds like a living nightmare.
If you fall into the latter camp, have no fear! Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be as ghastly as it sounds. Believe it or not, it is possible to deep clean your house without hating every minute of it. All you have to do is follow these simple suggestions and this year will be the cleanest and most cathartic one yet!
Have Your Tools Ready
Nothing will thwart your spring cleaning efforts faster than finding yourself without the tools you need to do the job. Stocking up on all of your cleaning supplies beforehand will allow you to hit the ground running and stay on track till the very end.
Fill a bucket/caddy full of the items you’ll need throughout your cleaning process. This way you’ll have them all in one place — instead of having to run back and forth to the cabinet for supplies. Here are a few things you may want to have on hand:
- Scrub brushes (in multiple sizes)
- Microfiber washcloths
- Melamine cleaning sponges
- Extendable dusters
- Garbage bags
- Rubber gloves
- Various cleansers (side note: If you find store bought cleansers are too irritating for your skin or lungs, consider mixing up your own green cleaner for the tasks at hand)
Before you begin, check to make sure your devices are in good working order and that you have replacement heads or cloths for disposable mops and dusters.
Room By Room
Do your spring cleaning one room at a time — if you dismantle every room in your house at the same time, it will feel chaotic and overwhelming. Prioritize the chores that need to be tackled first and be sure to budget time for little breaks in between tasks to recharge and refuel. Don’t forget the small, easily overlooked spaces, such as junk drawers and closets.
As you clean, keep an eye out for maintenance tasks that need to be taken care of. Spring is also a great time to do a little bit of home maintenance, such as changing HVAC filters and cleaning your garbage disposal. For a complete list of yearly home maintenance tasks, click here.
Have A Decluttering Party
The best part of spring cleaning is getting rid of all the clutter weighing you down. This may not be the easiest of tasks, as we usually assign some sort of value to our personal possessions. However, we should really only keep the things that bring us joy in our day to day lives, either through form or function.
One way to make decluttering fun is to invite your friends or family members to join in. Have each member of the decluttering team create a playlist to listen to while working, plan plenty of breaks, and make sure there’s a lot of easy-to-munch food on hand for snacks and meals.
Start by creating three boxes:
- Box 1 – Items that need to be trashed or recycled
- Box 2 – Items that need to be donated
- Box 3 – Items you wish to keep
Go room by room and start sorting your belongings. As you pick up each object, think about the last time it was used, whether or not you truly love it, and how hard it would be to part with it. Then, place it into the appropriate box. Once you’ve decided what to keep and what to give up, you can organize what’s left. Either find a place for it in your home, or make room for it in storage.
During the process, have designated members of the team on hand to:
- Empty the trash/recycling box into larger bins outside. (Please recycle e-waste responsibly.)
- Dust/clean items for donation and items that are being kept.
- Load items for donation into a vehicle (and make donation runs if needed).
- Carefully pack items that are being stored.
Once you’re all done decluttering, it’s time to reward yourself and your loved ones for all the hard work. Movies, a nice dinner out, a picnic in the park, a day trip to a fun location — all are great ways to show your appreciation for their help.
Strategies For Success
There are quite a few ways to make your spring cleaning both successful and stress free. Consider the following:
Plan Ahead: Make a checklist of tasks that need doing, pick a day (or days) that works for you and any others involved, and commit to it. If you plan on finishing your spring cleaning in one day, prepare your meals and snacks ahead of time so as not to waste time cooking.
Crank Up The Entertainment: Cleaning goes by so much faster when you’re enjoying yourself. Turn on reruns of a beloved TV show, catch up on your favorite podcasts, create a killer music playlist, or listen to a handful of audiobooks. No matter what entertainment you choose, it’s sure to take a lot of stress out of the cleaning process.
Work Top to Bottom: When cleaning your home, it’s important to start from the ceiling down. This moves debris downward and helps you avoid having to re-dust or re-vacuum your space.
Don’t Rush: Since cleaning can be both stressful and tedious, it’s a good idea to take as much times as you need to complete each chore. Don’t overwork yourself — there’s no need to do it all in one day. Remember, take lots of breaks and stay on task by sticking to your list.
Treat Yourself: Speaking of breaks, it’s a lot more fun to work toward a reward than just another chore. Set little goals to motivate yourself as you check off each task on your checklist. For example, you could indulge yourself by noshing on your favorite candy bar after you’ve cleaned the oven, or take a nice walk around the block once you’ve finished scrubbing down the cupboard doors.
Enjoy The Spring Weather: You may be stuck inside cleaning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the lovely spring weather. Open up windows or doors to let in fresh air and that wonderful spring breeze. The sounds and smells of the outside world will help to keep you energized!
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a total downer. As long as you make a plan, prepare supplies ahead of time, invite friends and family to help, and take your time, you’ll find this yearly chore isn’t as terrible as it’s made out to be.