Spring is here! Each day is bringing extra sunlight and the promise of more time spent outdoors. It’s the perfect time to clean out months of dirt and grime, air out stale rooms, put away winter things, and unpack warm weather items.
What’s the most difficult part of spring cleaning? According to a recent survey, it’s getting started!
However, there are many excellent reasons to push through that psychological barrier, including the experience of “lightness” that comes from accomplishing cleaning tasks, as well as numerous health benefits!
If you’re ready to let your rooms sparkle, eliminate the dust and allergens lurking around, kill the germs, and prepare for the glory that is spring, here are some tips to get you started.
Step 1: Clear the clutter.
Get rid of anything you don’t need. The less you have lying around, the less there is to clean. So start by tossing! Donate what you don’t need or want. For example:
- Winter clothes – Eliminate anything you or family members didn’t wear. Unless younger children are waiting to grow into these items, there’s no reason to store them for next year.
- Spring clothes – Determine if these packed-away items don’t fit or aren’t your current style. Why stuff your closet with things you don’t need, don’t want, and won’t use? Ditto for the spouse and the kids.
- Kids’ toys, games, books, furniture – Your little ones did some growing over the winter months, physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Do you really want to store, display, clean, and organize things that are no longer important to them?
Step 2: Assemble your cleaning equipment.
Whole-house cleaning will be easier if all your products and tools are pulled together before you begin. It’s difficult to maintain your momentum if you have to run out and buy stuff while cleaning.
Evaluate your supplies. Do you need a new broom or mop, a squeegee, or a fresh pair of heavy-duty rubber gloves? What about cleaning products? Do you need to restock bottles or purchase supplies to make your own?
Be sure everything is ready before you organize the rest of your house and begin cleaning!
Step 3: Put things away.
Cleaning is more difficult and takes longer if you have to move things to get under or around them.
Ask everyone in your home to grab a laundry basket, gather all their personal belongings, and put those items where they belong. If an object doesn’t have a designated place, create one. It’s hard to keep things orderly if items don’t have a “home base.”
Step 4: Let there be light and air!
Your house has been closed up all winter. Before you begin cleaning, open as many windows and doors and vents as you can. Encourage natural airflow, pull back the curtains, and invite the sunshine!
As you clean each room, you can close it off again, knowing that the inside air is now as fresh and clean as your ceiling, walls, furniture, and floors!
Step 5: Clean from top to bottom and back to front.
Start at the top floor of your home and work your way down.
Gravity is a glorious thing unless you dust all your furniture before cleaning the overhead HVAC vents and the ceiling fan. Then, gravity will double your work.
Begin at the ceiling, clearing cobwebs, dusting any molding, cleaning air vents, ceiling fans, and light fixtures.
Next, clean the walls, window treatments (curtains, blinds, etc.), windows (inside and out), and woodwork on the walls.
Then, and only then, strip and remake the beds and clean and polish the furniture.
Next, wipe down the baseboards and vacuum the floors. If you have hardwood or tile floors and use a broom, be careful not to kick up dust with over-zealous sweeping before mopping!
Work from the back of the house to the front, so you are cleaning “as you go” and not tracking dirt back into clean areas. Likewise, clean steps from top to bottom before beginning work on the lower level.
Pay particular attention to deep cleaning in the kitchen and bathrooms, but don’t reserve disinfecting for these areas.
Clean and disinfect every room and every surface in your house. For example, it’s surprisingly easy to disinfect upholstered furniture with a fabric-safe disinfectant spray.
Step 6: Enjoy!
After you have cleaned every room and swept off the last step of your entryway, enjoy your newly clean house. Revel in your fresh, spring-ready environment!