With the last of the cold weather gone, it’s time to open up the windows and invite the refreshing spring breezes into our home. Everything about spring feels clean and fresh and it’s no wonder we let that excitement spill over into our housecleaning. But, before you get out your cleaning supplies, let us give you a few spring cleaning tips to make your job a little easier. Perhaps with the time you save, you’ll be able to unwind and enjoy the beautiful spring weather a little sooner.
The first thing you need to do is make a cleaning plan. Make a list of everything that you want to get accomplished. Go from room to room with a notebook and pen and jot down those things that have been lingering on your “to do” list for far too long. Remember to include those areas that may be hidden from sight such as the medicine cabinet or junk drawer.
Now that you’ve decided what you want to accomplish, you need make a cleaning schedule. Decide when you’ll get your cleaning done. Can you accomplish everything on your list in one weekend or will this be more of a long-term project? You’ll also need to decide how you want to distribute the housework.
While you may not have any volunteers, recruiting family members to help with the cleaning is the smart way to get the job done. Assign various tasks to the other members of the family and let them know ahead of time what the payoff will be for a job well done. Will your family get a day of rest at Sun-n-Fun when it’s completed? Will your kids get to have some friends over or extra time on the computer when their room is cleaned to your satisfaction? Family members who are properly motivated have been known to accomplish great feats!
Now that you’ve got your cleaning plan and schedule, it’s time to gather the supplies you’ll need to get the job done. Choosing the right cleaning supplies depends upon the work you need to do and your family’s preferences. Some prefer getting the tried and true cleaning products they’ve always used, others prefer going green, while many are making their own products in the hope of saving some money.
Whatever the case, you can get some help choosing the right cleaning supplies for your home by visiting housekeeping.about.com. From environmentally friendly dish soap to homemade glass cleaner, you can find the products that will help you get the job done-your way. Simply print out a list of what you’ll need and remember to take it with you when you go shopping.
Once you’ve bought or made your cleaning supplies, it’s time to work your plan. Having already decided where you’ll start, bring everything you’ll need to clean with you. Keeping your supplies close at hand will reduce the amount of time you’ll spend making time consuming trips.
Start by clearing the mess from the room. You’ll need to make sure the room is in general order before you begin deep cleaning everything. This will give you more space to work and eliminate any additional stress due to a cluttered working area.
Begin your cleaning from top to bottom. Dust the ceiling and corners and remove & clean all wall hangings and window treatments. Remember to use care when cleaning framed art and photographs. Never spray cleaner or water onto the frame. The liquid can damage the picture/art if it manages to seep behind the glass. The best thing to do is use a moistened clean cloth to wipe the frame and glass. Don’t forget to clean the air vents, doorknobs, switch plates, ceiling fan and window screen. Once you have everything off your walls, it’s a good time to take a look and decide if it needs a good washing.
Now comes the fun part–it’s time to de-clutter and get your living space back! This is your chance to determine what stays and what goes. As you work through the room, separate everything into four categories: trash, give away, store & keep. Everything that is broken and no longer useful needs to be trashed. Don’t pass along useless, stained or broken items to the thrift shops. If, however you have items that are no longer useful to your family, by all means, pass it along so someone else may benefit from it.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself when the last time was you used it. If you haven’t used it or worn it in the last 6 months or more, you probably won’t. Keeping it “just in case” takes up a lot of space that can be put to better uses. If you still feel there’s a good chance you’ll actually have need of it later, put it in storage. Everything else fits into the category of the things you’ll want to keep. Just be sure to keep an eye on this category, if you notice you still have more things than available space, you may need to reduce it even more.
The floors should be the last thing you do in each room. From shampooing carpets to scrubbing the baseboards, clean flooring makes the room so much more inviting. Repeat this process until your spring cleaning is done and you’re pleased with the way everything looks. Once you’ve finished your cleaning, you’ll be able to dream up ideas of how your home will look with a few improvements. And don’t forget to open the windows and enjoy the spring breeze while you daydream!