Spring Cleaning Tip #1: Start with a list
Spring cleaning is a serious undertaking. Time and organization are important to the finished product. You need a list of everything you want to clean. Put the most important cleaning projects at the top of the list with the least important tasks at the end. A list will keep you from getting distracted.
As you create your spring cleaning list it helps to walk around your house looking from top to bottom as you go. Look for dirt, disorganization and piles of things that need to be put away or organized.
The purpose behind spring cleaning is freshening up the house while cleaning things that are more difficult in the cold and wet of winter. I don’t know about you, but cleaning windows in the freezing cold has never been on my “to do” list. Sitting by the fire with coffee and a warm blanket is definitely more in line with my winter activities.
Spring Cleaning Tip #2: Have needed supplies on hand
One of my biggest pet peeves is having to stop a task to go and get what I need from the store or other parts of the house. It makes me crazy! Once I begin a task I don’t want to stop until it is complete. You will save so much time by having everything you need before you ever start.
This could mean that you make a list for needed supplies. Think about cleaning solution, vacuum cleaner bags, dust rags, paper towels and trash bags. If you will be doing a lot of laundry such as bedding, pillows and seat covers be sure to stock up on laundry supplies as well.
Spring is a great time to replace batteries in things like flashlights and smoke detectors. So while you are adding batteries to your shopping list add light bulbs as well. As you walk around the house making your list you will most likely notice light bulbs that have burned out and because of this will need to be replaced.
Spring Cleaning Tip #3: Plan for March and April to Accomplish the Cleaning
This cleaning project that you have set out to accomplish will not get done in a week. You are getting ready to deep clean your house. Plan to give yourself plenty of time. March and April are the perfect months for this. The cold weather is leaving while summer has not yet set in. Opening the windows and letting things air out will be refreshing and hopefully, warm.
Hire a baby sitter or line up a friend or family member to take your kiddos on an outing while you tackle the bigger cleaning projects. You will have better focus while accomplishing more in less time. If your kids are older like mine you can get them in on the cleaning process.
Spring cleaning Tip #4: Use small increments of time
Save yourself the frustration of planning too much at once. Pick a day where the house will be empty to do all of the vacuuming. It’s loud and at the same time requires a lot of moving furniture if the job is done correctly. All of this is easier if you don’t have people to work around as well.
Don’t empty the entire contents of your closet. Work on small parts of it at a time. You could be stuck with the mess all over a room if you are unable to finish the task entirely during one cleaning session. That creates the problem of having to live around the mess until the project is complete. And trust me, NO ONE wants that!
I use a great method of cleaning 15 minutes at a time. Obviously some spring cleaning projects will require much more time than that, However, you can do several 15 minute sessions throughout the day. It is a great way to work in cleaning slots around your regular schedule.
Even if all you did was 15 minutes of cleaning a day for all of March and April you will have cleaned for a little over 15 HOURS! Imagine that! I would much rather clean a little at a time than to spend two eight hour days cleaning. Or even worse cleaning for 15 hours straight in one day.
No one has time for that. You can read more about how I clean 15 minutes at a time here.
Spring Cleaning Tip #5: Plan cleaning projects based on daily commitments
Plan out your schedule for March and April. Check your calendar for all commitments and plan accordingly. See what days you have nothing planned and use those days for the bigger cleaning projects.
On days where you have small pockets of time plan tasks that can be done in 15 minutes or less. Even if you have to do several 15 minute sessions during the day you will still be able to accomplish a lot.
Spring cleaning Tip #6: Save larger cleaning projects for the weekend
Think about projects like cleaning out the garage, getting the yard ready for spring or detailing your vehicles. De-cluttering and taking things to a donation site will also require more time than a 15 minute cleaning session. The weekend is the perfect time for such bigger projects. A day off from work because of a holiday is another great way to tackle the big jobs.
And again, you don’t have to do it all in one weekend. Spread it out over several weekends if you are able. Don’t forget to take a weekend off to recoup when you need rest.
Spring Cleaning Tip #7: Include your outside area
I mentioned the outside and vehicles previously because they are big projects for some people. Don’t forget about them! They are just as important as the inside of your house. Give the inside of your car a good vacuuming session. Clean up any spills in the floor or on the upholstery. Don’t forget to check the windshield wipers as well and replace them if necessary.
Your yard may need to be cleaned up from dead leaves and flowerbeds re-mulched. Prune plants and replant where needed.
Here is an example of what your schedule may look like:
- Monday – Vacuum walls, blinds, vents and baseboards.
- Tuesday – Vacuum mattresses, carpets, furniture and lampshades.
- Wednesday – Clean vent hood in kitchen, wipe down cabinets and clean refrigerator.
- Thursday – Sweep and mop all floors, clean mirrors and dust picture frames.
- Friday – Deep clean bathrooms including around and under toilet seat, shower grout, shower heads, sink and faucets. Wipe down cabinets as well. This is my favorite bathroom cleaner. And trust me, I have tried many different ones. Just the smell alone makes me want to clean! Method Natural Tub & Tile Bathroom Cleaner
- Saturday – Deep clean oven and microwave. Wash windows while waiting for the oven cleaning method you use to work.
- Sunday – REST! You have earned it!
Use this as an example of what a week of spring cleaning might look like for you. Adjust according to your daily schedule and needs. Equally important it to make a list of tasks you want to accomplish each week during March and April. In order to keep you on track.
In addition, groups tasks together that are similar or that use the same cleaners and tools. It will make for a more organized routine.
How I am currently getting ready to spring clean:
I start by making sure that I am current on my laundry, dishes and grocery shopping. Always start a big project once you are current on the everyday tasks that need attention. If the laundry is as high as Mount Everest and the fridge has only condiments with a drip of milk in the milk jug, you will NOT be spring cleaning anything.
First things first. Preparation is key. Don’t get bogged down in catching up. Chances are that some of the catch up will happen along the way. Just be sure that you aren’t behind on things you will need to live life during the week. Your goal is to be able to focus on your big goal without being distracted. Or tripping over your laundry piles on the way to the fridge.
Your savvy tip for the day is to make time in your spring cleaning schedule to touch up the paint in your house. I did this in my own home while preparing for Christmas and I LOVED the result! It made my house feel cleaner just by eliminating all of the spots on the wall that were bugging me. I kept it simple. A red Solo cup with paint in it and a paint brush. Then I walked around and touched up the paint in all of the places that needed it. I have found a few places that need additional touch up so this task will be added to my spring cleaning list!