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April 14, 2010

Spring Cleaning 101

Ah, spring is in the air! The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and I’m cleaning my house. I love spring cleaning; actually, I love regular cleaning! But spring cleaning is different; it has a potential all of its own. With spring cleaning comes spring parties, spring garden, and spring itself. Spring cleaning signifies the end of winter; we wash the grime from the windows and say goodbye to Jack Frost until next year.

If this is your first year doing your own spring cleaning, you may be overwhelmed. Or, perhaps you’ve always done spring cleaning but are looking for a better way. Either way, allow me to simplify what I consider to be the guidelines for easy, productive, and painless spring cleaning.

Go Room-by-Room, Not Job-by-Job: Some people will say, “Today I’m going to wash all the floors,” or “This afternoon I will wash all the light fixtures.” This is not a terrible way to do it, but let me offer a different approach. Choose a room, and focus. For example, the first room I cleaned was my office. I pulled out all the furniture, washed the baseboards, dusted the walls, cleaned the desk, windexed the picture frames, cleaned the light fixtures, wiped down the window sills, and so forth. At the end of the morning, the entire office (minus the windows, which I’ll explain further) was spring-ready. Why did I do it this way? Focusing on one room, rather than one job that is spread around the house, is a lot easier to manage. Thinking about a whole house can be overwhelming. Pick a room, and get to it.

Have a Plan: Don’t start if you don’t have time to finish. Don’t decide to pull out all the bedroom furniture and break out your cleaning supplies if you have only a short time. Either you will run out of time and not finish, or you will do a half-hearted job and be disappointed in the results. Before you start, take a look: what needs to be done, specifically? Each room may have its own special rough spots and special needs; identify them and formulate a plan. The less time you’re spending doubling back and climbing over things, the less time you’re going to waste, and the less time it’s going to take you to finish.

Check Products Before Beginning: Do you have the cleaning products you need? Something for the windows? Something for the floors? Mr. Clean Magic Eraser? Most people have their own favourite supplies; check your stash before you start. Having to stop halfway through a job is irritating; make sure you have what you need before you get started.

Have a (Reasonable) End Date in Mind: When do you want the house spring-ready? Giving yourself an end date is a way to keep a lid on your cleaning. It’s easy to get started; sometimes getting finished is the tough part. For example, I want the upstairs fully spring-cleaned by the end of April. If it doesn’t happen it won’t be a catastrophe, but it’s always good to have a goal. Don’t let your cleaning drag on half-finished, or you will get overwhelmed.

If Possible, Engage the Whole Family: If you have a family, why not engage them in the cleaning process? Little ones should work primarily in their bedrooms; it’s their space, let them be responsible for it. Depending on their ages, they can dust, vacuum, clean mirrors, purge closets, etc. Get creative! Partners should absolutely be working too; spring cleaning is a big job, and should be shared between partners. It’s easier to work when someone else is working too; put on the good music and get moving!

Spring Cleaning Means Outdoors, Too: So your house is done, hurray! Break out the bubbly? Not yet! Now it’s time to get outdoors, if you haven’t already been doing so. Driveways and patios need to be power washed; windows need scrubbing. The garden needs to be turned over, trees may need triming. Once the patio is clean, bring out the furniture; wipe it down and get it out there!

Bottom Line: It doesn’t have to be painful, but it does have to be done. Get organized and go for it!

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1 Comment(s)

  1. ladykingdom | May 16, 2010 | Reply

    that’s great

    very nice post

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