How To Organize Your Yearly Spring Clean
Your yearly Spring clean, like any other arduous task, is best done with a plan and a timeframe in view. You could work downwards within each room, so consider issues of donating old furniture or clothes to charity then rearranging existing storage first, eg. bedroom storage, bathroom storage, living-room storage, then purify the air by putting your vacuum cleaner to good use with all windows open (dry weather days are best). Finally, use your own steam cleaner or rent one from your local grocery or hardware store. Here are some further thoughts on some commonly asked questions.
1. How long should spring cleaning take?
The tempting answer is another question: ‘How long is a piece of string?’ In reality, like painting a shed or a fence, you won’t want to devote more than a few days to this; three or four at most. With a plan in mind, you can divide up your house into rooms or levels, or perhaps elements eg. carpets, curtains, furniture, windows, fixtures, fittings, appliances, etc. Your annual spring cleaning shouldn’t be so ambitious that it becomes a source of stress. Consider delegating roles within your household, or getting everyone to put in a shift, using a rota.
2. What does spring clean include?
A Spring clean can be thorough, medium, or standard, a bit like your annual vehicle service. You can go as far as to use a steam cleaner to clean carpets, curtains, upholstery, or can just ensure that the whole house is aired and anything surplus to a requirement is purged or donated to a good cause. You could even just vacuum every room and give your windows a good clean, using a window cleaning product with scrunched up newspapers.
3. How should I spring clean?
It’s a better question than it sounds. Some people work well under pressure, others take their time but get the job done to a high standard; others like working alone, others in a team, while some will enjoy releasing their anger or pent-up aggression through a rigorous scrubbing of grout, beating of pillows and mattresses and furious thrashing around in an orderly outburst! Consider working in a way that complements your personality and home life. It doesn’t really matter; so long as you get the job done.
4. Store-bought or homemade
Store-bought products often cost more, contain more chemicals, and run out just when you need them. In order to make your own, here is a great recipe for cleaning granite worktops, quartz counters, marble coffee tables, sinks, and ‘white good’ appliances:
- 1 squidge of natural dish soap
- 1 nearly full cup of water
- 1 nearly full cup of rubbing alcohol
- 6-12 droplets of lemon, peppermint, or orange essential oil
First, mix up all these ingredients into a spray bottle and give it a good shake. Then, spray it generously onto the surface in question, leave for half a minute before wiping rigorously with a mildly damp, clean cloth. Voilà!
5. Trash talk?
So you’ve put in all that effort but your trash still reeks, or you’ve made a strong fish dish which still lingers in the air. Consider putting a few dryer sheets (used or new) in the bottom of your trash can; they will soak up spills and block lingering odors. Simple but effective.
6. Soda, anyone?
Well, baking soda, at least. This wonderful powdery stuff has so many uses, it’s wonderful. One of those uses is to refresh stained teacups and coffee mugs, simply by filling the cups or mugs with a water/soda mixture of 2:1. If you leave the cups overnight, they will be easy to sponge clean the following morning.
7. Toilet job!
It’s the task that no one wants, yet the place we most often use. In order not to get too near the action you can instead consider using the detachable pole from a swivel-headed mop in place of your hand. Then, whatever cloths and sponges you choose to use can be kept at a distance from you; let the pole do the close contact work.
8. Oven cleaning?
Cleaning your oven sounds like a punishment rather than a task. There are these days, many products on the market that will do virtually all the hard graft for you. Just place your oven grills in a bag with the product, smearing the rest of the product into the oven’s surfaces. Hey presto, the very next day you merely need to rinse down and gently wipe off the filthy residue. You can have a go at concocting your own potion but, for the sake of a few dollars, why bother!
9. Shower shine
Using a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and soap, use a squeegee in your shower to scrub down the shower walls. Actually, this is something which can become a regular habit, if you keep a bit of vinegar/water solution in an empty plastic bottle next to your shower gel.
With these simple tips, Spring cleaning could become less of a mountain and more of a work-out you’ll no longer dread.