Before we start: what is spring cleaning?
Spring cleaning is a yearly clean of your home from top to bottom, tackling all the grime and untidiness that can build up around the edges of our regular cleaning schedule.
The concept of spring cleaning is energising and motivating for a lot of people. Regardless of the time of year, it’s always a good feeling when you make a fresh start and clean up your home in the process.
How to get organised for spring cleaning in advance
You aren’t going to get nearly as much done if your spring clean begins as an unplanned decision. Re-organising and cleaning your entire house will need careful organisation to make sure that you don’t leave anything out.
- Allot a specific day to start your spring cleaning. That means you’re not just waiting for yourself to ‘feel like it’; you might be waiting forever, in that case! Do this a few weeks in advance. The sooner you put this time aside, the better you can plan your diary around that time, to ensure that social engagements and activities don’t disrupt your plan.
- If you’re not sure when to start spring cleaning, there’s no firm rule – you don’t even have to wait for spring – but it makes sense to start cleaning when the weather is moderately warm: warm enough to leave windows open while you stir up dust, but not so warm that you spend the entire clean thinking longingly of spending time outside.
- Commit your spring cleaning schedule to paper. Write up a detailed checklist and itinerary (e.g. Wednesday afternoon – deep clean bathroom and shower room) and stick it up somewhere visible in the house. Getting organised this way means it’s harder to shy away from your commitments!
- Do a complete inventory of your cleaning supplies. A week before you’re due to start, think about everything you will need to get your house back to its best. If you are running low on a particular cleaning product, now is the time to buy in some more – restock your supplies of rubber gloves, cloths, sponge scrubbers, and black plastic bags, too. Brands like Cif make cleaning products for almost every part of the home.
- Make a list of spring cleaning goals. Think about what you need to prioritise this year – what do you want to get out of your spring clean? Running out of space to stack new books? Then one of your goals should be clearing space for more books in the office. Similarly, if you think that you have a relatively clutter-free home, but the cleanliness of your bathroom is putting you to shame, then think about deep cleaning the grouting.
How to declutter your home – opening space!
Reorganising rooms and decluttering them before you start cleaning is a good idea, as dust and dirt will inevitably transfer when you move items from room to room. If you’re looking for decluttering tips, the simplest way to get rid of a lot of accumulated clutter is to use the ‘three box’ approach:
- Sort all your ‘miscellaneous’ items into three boxes: ‘To keep’, ‘To get rid of’, and ‘Undecided’.
- Find appropriate homes for the items you want to keep.
- Consider donating your unwanted items to charity, selling them online, or recycling them. You might feel more motivated to get rid of sentimental items knowing that they will get a new lease of life somewhere else.
- For those items you are unsure about, put them in the box and store it away for six months. If you need to break back into the box to reclaim an item, it means that you need it – if, after six months, you haven’t touched any of the items then they can safely be given away.
Spring cleaning tips – getting it all done!
We can’t always find a big enough break in our schedule to spring clean our house from top to bottom all in one go. A lot of us will have to make do with a couple of smaller serious cleaning sessions spread over the month, instead. If you can’t put a few consecutive days aside to spring clean, break the tasks up into logical batches – first, declutter, and then clean one or two rooms intensively at a time.
When spring cleaning, remember to keep rooms well ventilated while using any cleaning products. Read the labels beforehand and make sure to wear proper protective clothing!