Spring creates feelings of freshness and renewal. With the beautiful changes of nature, a new motivation stirs in us to create that same feeling inside our homes. It is time for spring-cleaning! But where do we begin?
Imagine you are a realtor looking to sell your home. Take a pencil and tablet with you to the road and proceed up the drive or walkway. You may not use your front door as your daily entrance, but it is the first impression that individuals have of your home. Write down anything that needs cleaned up or improved as you “visit” your winter-worn residence with a fresh perspective. Did some of those ice storms rip shingles off your roof that now need to be replaced? Can you see leaves popping out of your gutters? Are old dead potted plants on the porch? Are there cobwebs in the porch ceiling? Could the house itself use a fresh coat of paint?
As you proceed into your house, go room by room and look closely at what has been ignored all winter. Your list may seem extensive, and the trick is to not take on too much at one time. You have a lot of spring days so break the list down and set a time to complete each project.
A few things will help to get the spring-cleaning done. First, get the windows clean inside and out. Something about the sparkling glass and the light flowing through them that creates an instant spring feeling. Make it a quick job by using one of the new window cleaners that you pop right on the end of your hose. A glass cleaner and squeegee will work wonders on the inside windows. This is a great start because it is a quick and easy job that has such a large impact.
Keep in mind that spring-cleaning is a deep cleaning, not your routine maintenance cleaning. There is, of course, the professional cleaning route using someone like our friends over at checkmaid.com to do your house cleaning for you.
However, if you’re anything like me you probably want to take care of it yourself. Here’s how you can start using my basic spring-cleaning list:
- Repaint mailbox and post
- Clean stains off driveway, walkway and garage floor.
- Put new flowers in beds, pots, or window boxes
- Prune shrubs and bushes
- Replace missing shingles
- Clean out gutters
- Replace storm windows with screens
- Wash window (after cleaning out gutters)
- Living room
- Steam clean rugs and/or carpets
- Deep clean upholstered furniture
- Clean the ceiling fan and blades
- Clean draperies
- Clean out fireplace
- Change filters and vacuum the vents Wash windows (use a squeegee to save time)
- Clear countertops of anything not used daily
- Donate any appliances/gadgets not used
- Rid yourself of any expired food products
- Clean out the cupboards and replace shelf and drawer liners
- Vacuum refrigerator coils (sometimes under and sometimes in the back)
- Clean under the stove and inside the oven
- Wash out your garbage can
- Out back
- Wash down deck and re-stain if necessary
- Scrub and refill birdfeeders
- Replace dead plants or flowers in pots on porch with new plants
- Clean and replace needed BBQ equipment
- Uncover, clean, stain or paint porch furniture
Check dates on all prescription bottles and toss the old. Sort bath products and store by category i.e. hair care, cosmetics, first aid, prescriptions. You get the idea. Now, create lists for any other rooms in your home and set up times to complete the projects. It is essential to actively put the projects on your family calendar before other obligations make their way into that space of time. Get the entire family involved in spring-cleaning activities. There are many jobs that children can do. Be sure to reward the efforts with a family night out, maybe a movie or pizza!
As a Professional Organizer I cannot go without including the idea of clearing clutter as part of your spring-cleaning goal. Again, this project can take place in smaller pieces of time. What are you doing after you read this article? I challenge you to find 10 items within the room you are in that you no longer need or love. If they are still in usable condition then donate them, if not, throw them out. Continue collecting items to donate in a bag or box and when it is full, take it to your local charity. Challenge your family members to do the same.
How about the size six clothes in the closet? You have been a size ten for nine years! Face it, as we get older our bodies settle in and it is highly unlikely that we will ever be a size six again! Every time you see those clothes in the closet how do you feel? – Guilty!
Removing clutter from your life is also good spring-cleaning for your head.
It seems the most difficult part of spring-cleaning for anyone is finding the time. Take a look at your calendar today and make appointments for your spring-cleaning projects. Clear the clutter and feel the instant renewal of spring! Spring-cleaning can be very therapeutic and the rewards tremendous.
Now you’ve finished this article – take a look around and find ten items to eliminate from your life and you have started your spring-cleaning!