Family, work, and many other obligations easily fill your daily schedule leaving very little time for spring cleaning. No one wants to spend a long stressful weekend chasing dust bunnies, but you don’t want to live with them either. The only way to get the dreaded job over with is to make it as efficient and painless as possible.
The Organization Process
A detailed list of each room will ensure that nothing is missed during your spring clean. If you start at the highest point away from the door and make a separate list for each area, the list will be easier to work with later on. Hallways, entryways, storage spaces, and the exterior areas of your home should also be included in your lists.
Once your list is complete, make a note of the products and tools you will need for each job. This way, you can purchase any items you don’t have on hand with one trip to the store. The list of supplies will also prevent distractions by allowing you to gather all of the items you need before you start. You can divide your cleaning lists to match the time you have available, or you can give one list to each of your helpers.
Time Saving Tips
Try to limit the number of cleaners needed to get the job done. A combination of vinegar, Borax, and tea tree oil, works great as an all-purpose cleaner when it is mixed in an ice cream pail of water. Fabric softener sheets work well to clean the mirror. Fabric softener sheets can also be placed in with your towels to keep them smelling fresh and clean.
Rarely used items can be stored in plastic containers or baskets and kept in hard to reach areas. As you go through your household items, throw out any items that are broken or outdated and bag items that you no longer use for charity or a garage sale.
Because the items will need to be moved anyway, spring cleaning is also a great time to rearrange your furniture or kitchen items. Plan everything out ahead of time an draw our a diagram. This way you will only have to move everything once because you know where everything needs to go.
Silk flowers and wreathes can look like brand new after a quick clean. These pieces can be vacuumed off with a few thicknesses of nylons stretched over the end of the hose, or they can be shook in a paper bag with some table salt.
Many window coverings can be machine-washed and hung to dry, just be sure to check the care instructions first. To help make sure that fabric window coverings hang nicely, add a small amount of liquid fabric softener to the water. For a heavy build up of grime, plastic blinds can be washed in a bathtub a little bit of dish detergent. If they only need a light dusting, some fleece fabric taped to a ruler works great to dust both sides of the slats.
Windows can be a never-ending battle against streaks. However, if you wash them vertically on the outside and horizontally on the inside, you will be able to tell which side of the window is the culprit. Using a solution of vinegar with a splash of ammonia will also help to eliminate streaks. If you don’t have ammonia, dishwasher rinse agent is a great substitute.
Leaving the vacuuming and shampooing for last will also help to save some time. This will pick up any dirt or cleaners that may have been left behind. Vacuums are also great for sucking the lint and dirt from exhaust fans, ductwork, and the inner workings of appliances.
How to Fit it all in and get Motivated
Spring-cleaning might be necessary, but it doesn’t have to be completed all at once. It can be divided up by room, equipment, or by where you need to be at the time. The work can also be adjusted to suit your schedule and activities. For instance, if you want to watch a particular movie, you can clean your living room. Another option is to do one job a night, one room a week, or schedule in one day a month, this way it breaks the chore up into segments that are more manageable.
To lighten the workload, listen to music, watch you favorite show on television, or find someone to help you. Create a cleaning group with friends or neighbors where everyone helps to clean each other’s houses. Get your children involved by playing games and giving them prizes. For example, they receive a marble in a jar for each job they complete and two marbles for completing it the fastest. When they get twenty marbles in the jar, they could then be allowed to have an extra hour of television.
Spring-cleaning doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You can make it as easy as possible by using the methods that work best for you with the least amount of effort. Once the work is finished, you will feel much better relaxing in a fresh clean house.