Spring Equals Time to Clean

Photographer: Suat Eman, www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

Spring is officially here, so the calendar reads. However, I am not buying into the fact that winter is over just yet based on the fact that once again it is snowing outside. Although the trees in my yard do have blossoms and my allergies are going crazy (see Spring is in the Air, and so is the Pollen), apparently spring must be here whether or not it feels that way.

Many of you do live in warmer climates and are most likely enjoying the benefits that spring offers, and for all of you it is time to do your spring cleaning. More exciting, it is time to bring out the spring decor.

Everyone is different but when spring arrives I change my household accessories. It is like getting ready for Christmas but with spring-type decorations. I think it puts me in the mood and cheers me up. My house makes a transformation and so do I.

I may have to wait for awhile longer before I can begin my spring cleaning but before any of us get started on cleaning, here are a few suggestions.

Make a plan. The first step is to always to make a plan and know what you want to accomplish. Are you just wanting to freshen up each room and clean the items you usually skip like the windows? Or are you planning on doing a complete overhaul of your entire home? For me this year, I have a feeling it will be just that. My house is usually very clean and tidy but there is something that just makes me so incredibly blissful about a perfectly clean house. Not to mention the fact that our oldest son has misplaced his iPod and I know it is in the house somewhere. Even though he has spent the week searching for it, I am sure when I take a crack at cleaning and going through things I will find it almost immediately.

Purchase cleaning supplies. Have you ever started cleaning the house to find that you are missing some of the supplies you need to do the job right? Nothing can be more frustrating than to grab a rag to clean the windows and reach for the Windex to find an empty bottle. Plan ahead and go to Walmart (Shop Smart and Avoid Walmart) you local store for all your needs.

Plan for children. Those of you with small children really need to do a little planning. Depending on your child(ren) and their age(s) you will need to decide if you can accomplish these tasks while they are around. If they are young and you struggle with keeping them in one area and entertained, you may need to wait until nap time and clean then. If they are older, you may want to involve them in the cleaning or you may want them out of the house. No matter what your circumstance, make sure to account for your children.

Pick up all of the clutter throughout your house before you begin cleaning. It is so hard to clean around clutter. So before you start, pick it all up and put it away where it goes. Not only will this make you cleaning job easier but if you are like me and your spring cleaning involves making closets and drawers and cupboards perfect, you will appreciate the fact that everything is where it should be instead of stumbling along items that belong in an area you already cleaned.

Start in one area of the house, complete that area and then move on. Cleaning your house is not something that should be done while multitasking. Spring cleaning is not your usual clean. It is a deeper clean. There is no way to effectively clean while bouncing from room to room. Not to mention the fact that once you clean an entire room, you feel like you have accomplished something and it motivates you to move on.

Top to bottom. When doing a good spring cleaning you need to start at the top of the room and work your way down. So get your duster out and take care of those cobwebs on the light fixtures and in the corners first. You will not want to have dusted and vacuumed everything just to see that there are cobwebs you missed. By remembering to start and the top and work your way down, you will ensure not to double your workload. Top to bottom is the only way.

Open doors and windows for fresh air. Part of cleaning in spring is letting the icky cold winter air out of the house and freshening your home with the clean fresh spring air. I know it is silly but it is amazing how good fresh air will make both you and your household feel.

A fresh look for accessories. Part of spring cleaning for me is livening up the house. After Christmas passes we all tend to put away all the holiday cheer and then we often hit this period of winter blues. Spring is here and it is time to say goodbye to the blues and freshen up your house with some spring decor. I like to change out my winter pillows and blankets and add some brighter items. Many people pull out the fake flowers and place them on tables and in areas of interest.  Personally I like real flowers and not fake ones so I may buy a bouquet for the week but usually I tend to purchase a new plant instead or I just rearrange the plants that are already filling my house and make them more of a focal point.

Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste. Once you complete your spring cleaning, you’ll want it to last as long as you can. Come up with a plan for you and your family to keep things as nice as long as possible. Maybe you remind the kids to rinse out the bathroom sink when they are done brushing their teeth. Or maybe you had the carpets cleaned and as a family you all decide to take your shoes off at the door. No matter what you do, make a plan and stick to it.

Organization baskets. Here is an idea that might help you with keeping your house neat and tidy thus allowing your spring cleaning to feel as though it lasts even longer–years ago I had a friend who kept one basket per child in the garage. As she picked up the house each day she would pick up their items that were left out and not put away and she would drop them in their basket. When they were very young it was a way she taught them to clean. She would give each of them their basket each morning and ask them to put all of their items where they belonged. As they got older they would lose those items. But rather than threatening to throw away their belonging, she just picked it up and put it in the basket. In order for the child to have those items returned to him/her they had to earn it. I can say from experience that it’s a great way to stop the fighting over keeping the house picked up. Anyway, my point is once you have a clean house you are going to want it to stay that way so incorporate this into your plan.

I may be the queen of clean but that does not mean I listed everything you should do to make your spring clean go well. Now it is your turn, tell me what things you like to do and any suggestions that you think I missed.

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