Spring is here again, and it’s time for the annual ritual of spring cleaning. You may feel like putting off your spring cleaning because it feels like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The following tips will help you break down your spring cleaning so that you can get the most out of it.
Prepare before cleaning
Create a list of all areas that need to be cleaned
All year round, you have been skipping certain areas in your house because cleaning them is more involving, or because they don’t need frequent cleaning. This spring, make sure that you pay attention to all those areas. Here’s a list of the areas you may need to include in your cleaning schedule:
• Counter tops
• Appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, fridge, freezer, oven, and stove-top)
• Bedding and mattresses
• Tiles and grout
• Carpets and area rugs
• Wall decorations (family photos, pieces of art, wall clocks etc.)
• Special plates, glasses, dishes and silverware (the kind you only use on special occasions)
• HVAC system (filters, air ducts, and other components)
• Ceiling fixtures (chandeliers, ceiling fans etc.)
• Crown molding and door frames
Create a cleaning schedule
Create a timetable to clean each room, and make sure that you allocate every item on your list adequate time so that your cleaning can be thorough. You should identify the areas that need the most attention and make them a priority. If you are working with several people, assign each person their own cleaning tasks within the schedule.
Start by de-cluttering
You need to get rid of things around your home that you no longer have any use for. It’s human nature to feel attached to your possessions, but if you no longer need certain items, you are better off donating them, putting them away on storage, recycling them, or throwing them out (if they no longer have any value). De-cluttering helps your home look more organized, and it creates room for new things. Go through your closets, bookshelves, storage areas, cabinets, and garage, and sort out items that you don’t see yourself using in future. Don’t be too sentimental, try to be objective. If you do it properly, you can finish de-cluttering the entire house within one single day.
Select your cleaning products and tools
It’s advisable to use natural cleaning products, especially those that are eco-friendly. However, when cleaning some areas, you’ll be forced to use chemical products such as bleach. Try to use mild chemicals whenever you can, especially when cleaning around young children. If you must use strong chemicals, read the instructions on the container and take all the necessary precautions. Remember that cleaning alone is not enough; you need to use disinfecting and sanitizing products as well, especially in areas that are prone to germs (e.g. kitchen, bathroom etc.).
You are going to need sponges, rags, hard brushes, spray bottles, brooms, buckets, gloves, mops, and a vacuum cleaner. If you already have these items, you don’t need to buy any new ones. You should organize your cleaning tools in a kit; this will save you a lot of time when you start cleaning. Different areas in your house should have designated cleaning tools; avoid using tools in a way that can cause cross-contamination (for examples, the rugs, brushes, and sponges used in the bedrooms or bathrooms shouldn’t be used in the kitchen.
After you have everything in order, it’s now time to get down and clean every area and item in your list according to your schedule. Spring cleaning experts recommend that you start with the bedroom. In every room you clean, start at the top going downwards; this prevents dirt from getting into areas that you have already cleaned. Pay keen attention to corners, nooks, and crannies that may have been ignored during regular cleaning sessions. When dealing with grimy surfaces such as kitchen counter tops and bathroom tiles, don’t be in a rush; soak the area with cleaning solution, let it soak in, then scrub as hard as you can before rinsing it off. When cleaning appliances, you should be careful so as not to damage electrical components. You can get rid of bad smells in electrical appliances by wiping them down with a vinegar solution.
One final piece of advice
Music makes spring cleaning more fun. Create a playlist of your favorite songs and listen to it as you clean; this will keep you from getting bored or tired.