It’s that time of year again – when you realize how filthy you actually are – and spring clean the heck out of your house.
Russell and I scrubbed from top to bottom last weekend, and our house feels so much better! Truly, everything is just refreshed and the dinginess of winter is gone (although it snowed on the first day of spring, because I live in Pittsburgh and that’s just how the weather is).
I put together a few tips that will help to make spring cleaning easier and make it go faster, because while it’s nice to have shiny floors, no one actually likes to clean.
1. Check your inventory before you start.
No one wants to be elbow deep scrubbing the toilet and then realize they ran out of toilet bowl cleaner. Before you put your bleach-stained pants on, before you run out to the store to buy something you know you’re out of, make a list.
2. Double up when it makes sense.
If you have two bathrooms, consider buying a second of a product you need, such as glass cleaner, and leave one in each bathroom. I have to tell you, the toilets in both bathrooms get cleaned much more often now that there’s a toilet brush readily available. No need to carry a bucket and all your supplies all over the house. It may be more expensive up front, but you won’t go through the cleaners as fast, either.
3. Spread it out over time and from top to bottom.
We cleaned up clutter throughout the week, especially the winter clutter. We put our boots, scarves, and hats away, and removed the salt-heavy floor mats that we use to protect our floors in winter. I changed out a cranberry candle for a raspberry scented one. Getting rid of the visible signs of winter gradually made it easier to tackle the real cleaning.
After cleaning up the clutter, we dusted and polished on Saturday. On Sunday, we finished with the floors. Spreading the tasks out this way made it so much more manageable.
Follow a similar process for how you clean. Save yourself a headache by cleaning anything that could make more of a mess FIRST. For example, wipe down the counters in the kitchen and the bottoms of the cupboards before you sweep the floor. Otherwise, you’ll just have to sweep all over again once you’re done with this task. Start with the corners of the ceiling and work your way to the floor.
4. Don’t forget outside.
I was sneezing like crazy once we started dusting inside, so we took a break and cleaned up outside, too. A few projects we tackled:
- De-winter proofing our plants. We built up extra mulch and leaves around our hydrangea and azaleas, so removing the extra debris helped to air out the plants and try to force them out of dormancy.
- Rake. In the fall, leaves kept falling after it had already snowed, so some didn’t get picked up. We raked last fall’s leaves and found that our tulips and irises were growing underneath.
- Fertilize. Give those plants a good shot of Miracle Grow to help feed them after winter.
- Secure or fix anything that was damaged from winter. We had a drain pipe that came loose from the side of the house, so we fixed it before the spring rains hit. We also repaired our garden fence and piled broken branches from our yard to burn later.
- Prep the porch. We swept the front porch and changed out the winter rugs for spring ones. Just a little touch added a bit more sunny cheer.
- Check the plants. What survived the winter and what isn’t looking so good? It’s time for us to plant our seeds and plan our summer, so checking in on the plants that survived and don’t need to be replaced now helps us budget.
5. If you do nothing else at all, clean your windows.
Seriously, it’s amazing how much more sunlight will filter into your house if you just clean the grime from both sides of the windows (inside and out). Although, this also highlights any hidden dust bunnies, so chances are that you’ll still be cleaning after.
I eventually want to be one of those people who clean one thing each day – bathrooms on Mondays, floors on Tuesday, etc. But until we both stop working full time and give up our TV obsession, I think chores will still wait for the weekend. The above tips helped us out. Now, if only we can get the house to stay clean…