The concept of ‘spring cleaning’ is energising and motivating for a lot of people. With seasonally mild weather and clear skies comes the feeling of fresh beginnings and anticipation for summer ahead. Tying your annual clean to the start of spring therefore feels logical. This article discusses how to take advantage of this fresh motivation to perform a thorough spring clean.
Has your cleaning regime changed during the Covid-19 lockdown?
Spring Cleaning Tips: Getting Organised in Advance
You aren’t going to get nearly as much done if your spring clean begins as an impromptu decision. Re-organising and cleaning your entire house will need careful planning to make sure that you don’t leave anything out:
- Allot a specific day to start your spring cleaning. 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.
- Commit your spring clean plan to paper. Write up a detailed checklist and itinerary (i.e., Wednesday afternoon – deep clean bathroom & shower room) and stick it up somewhere prominent in the house. Getting organised this way means it’s harder to shrink 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 living areas back into peak condition. If you are running low on a particular cleaning product, now is the time to buy in some more – restock your supplies of gloves, cloths, sponge scrubbers, and black plastic bags, too.
- 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, “Clear space for more books in the office room.” 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 putting, “Deep clean all the shower grouting.”
Effective De-cluttering Tips to Help Spring Clean Your Closet
Reorganizing rooms and de-cluttering them before you start cleaning is a good idea, as dust and dirt will inevitably get whipped up when you move items from room to room. 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. The altruism factor might motivate you to get rid of the more 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.
Some items come with hidden emotional baggage – we are unwilling to part with otherwise useless items, because they remind us of something from the past. Be prepared to identify underlying emotional ties, which will make clearing out the clutter a lot more effective and refreshing.
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, de-clutter, and then clean one or two rooms intensively at a time.
When cleaning, remember to keep rooms well-ventilated while using any cleaning products. Read the labels before trying out any new chemicals, and make sure to wear proper protective clothing – and soon the spring cleaning won’t feel like a strain at all!