Updated: Jan 14
Spring cleaning: the yearly practice of cleaning a house from top to bottom. It sounds like a whole lot of work and it is, but let’s modify our thoughts around spring cleaning. Spring cleaning should be that time of year when you do all those tedious or seemingly more difficult cleaning tasks that don’t get done daily, weekly or monthly. Yes, you vacuum once a week; you wipe kitchen counters and tables nightly. So let’s not focus on any of that because you’ will wipe those counters down again tomorrow and vacuum next week.
Spring cleaning is the time to finally figure out what is in that dark corner of the stairway closet and finally move the sectional and retrieve the toys you couldn’t reach behind the couch graveyard. Time to do all the things you notice and say , “one day i’m going to do that. “
First you need to develop a plan. Often we start off really enthusiastically, saying , “I’m doing it all i and won’t it be grand.” Then the day comes, in-between life’s other activities, you’ve bitten off more than you can chew or more importantly more than you want to chew. So the first step is to take a look around your home and identify what tasks you really need to do: clear gutters, vacuum heating/AC vents, dust china or collectibles in a cabinet; clean behind/under the fridge or couch, clear out the garage; clear out and organize closets. Make a list and prioritize it . Estimate how long you want to spend on each project and then set your time and date. For example: next weekend on Saturday I’ll do these three things, on Sunday these three things.
Recruit any and all that may be able to help.
Once you have the plan it’s time to prepare. First recruit any and all who may be able to help. If you have teenage sons maybe they can move the fridge so you can get behind it; maybe your husband or boyfriend can get on a ladder and pull debris from the gutters while you sweep it up. Maybe your younger children can hose off the vent covers outside while you vacuum the vents. Now motivating children, husbands and teenagers to help clean is another article altogether, but do the best you can. I have a set of friends who would help each other spring clean each year. One weekend spent in one house, the next the other house. Things go much faster in pairs having two people makes larger projects feel less daunting.
The next part of preparing for spring cleaning involves collecting the correct equipment and tools and preparing yourself and the spaces. Gather your cleaning supplies and identify special cleaning items to purchase. For example, I have wonderful wood cabinets that need revitalizing oil once every couple of years, not something we keep on hand, but need to purchase once in a while. For spaces like the garage, it’s good to cover your head, and use face masks so as not to breath in questionable dust. You need white and black garbage bags for trash vs. donations - then collect some boxes to finally send your relatives the things you have been meaning to give them.
For a project like dusting the china in the china cabinet or clearing a closet or garage it’s necessary to prepare a staging area. This is a clear floor or table space where you can set the things you pull out to assess, clean or sort them. A clear space assures that you are not confused by mingling what you are addressing with things already in the space. The staging space is also where you could leave things overnight if needed. In the case of dusting china, having a table off to the side is optimal , so people won’t bump it while working.
Now that we have planned, recruited and prepared, there’s nothing to it but to do it. Knock your high priority items off the list and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get to it all in one swoop. This is the time to revitalize the feeling in the house and prepare your home for upcoming summer fun.
Nicole Wells, CPO.