Spring cleaning, for many, is about finding ways to get on track with our to-do lists and de-clutter our minds and homes. But it doesn't have to be the same method every year. These hacks and tips will help you get your most efficient spring cleaning yet. You’ll save money and the environment, and your house will radiate cleanliness. Let’s jump right in.
1. Start by de-cluttering your house.
Before you do anything, audit your items and rid yourself of excess. Cleaning is much easier when you don't have obstacles stopping you from completing the job.
Getting rid of material things may be difficult, but you don’t need to toss every item in your home. Instead, survey each room for items you might have too much of, like books, clothes, and old mail and newspapers. For items that might be tough to part with, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this have a purpose in my life?
- Do I need to use this at least once a week?
- Will my life change if I don't have this available daily?
- Is this a keepsake?
If you answer no to these questions, consider donating, selling, recycling, or throwing your item out.
2. Follow a spring-cleaning checklist.
Keeping track of every nook and cranny you need to clean, wash, and dust is challenging. That's why having a list to follow will calm the chaos and make the chore more manageable. It takes the guesswork out of what to do next and helps you prepare for what’s to come.
Create your own checklist, or follow our ultimate spring checklist. And be sure not to forget these often-neglected tasks:
- Turning your mattress
- Cleaning under the oven
- Dusting your blinds
- Wiping plant leaves
- Sanitizing remotes, doorknobs, etc.
- Replacing air filters
3. Set a timer.
Cleaning can become a daunting task when the day’s passed and you’ve only managed to clean one bathroom. The solution? Setting a timer.
By allocating a specific amount of time, you’re less likely to get distracted. You won't feel overwhelmed and will be more meticulous in your cleaning. Set a 10, 20, or 30-minute timer and choose an area of the room. Here are a few things you should consider doing while your timer is running:
- Clean hidden spaces. Remove everything from your cabinets and clean each shelf or drawer with a damp paper towel.
- Dust ceiling fans. Dip a microfiber cloth in warm water and wring out the excess. Lightly pass the cloth over each fan blade. Carefully fold the cloth in half to trap any dust, rinse it, and repeat.
- Do an eye level test. Crouch down (or use a step ladder) and look at surfaces from an eye level. You'll see any missed spots (e.g., under the microwave, on top of cabinets).
- Polish your furniture. Use wood polish to give your furniture a glowing touch after dusting.
4. Work from top to bottom.
It wouldn't make sense for you to get all dressed up and then take a shower, right? The same goes for vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and dusting. You don't want to clean the floors and then dust only to clean the floors again. Here’s what you can do to prevent double the work:
- First: Dust those things up high. Dust anything at the top of the room–ceiling fans, light fixtures, and crown molding. Skip the feather duster and use a dryer sheet or damp microfiber cloth.
- Second: Dust the objects at eye level. Dust picture frames, lamps, tabletops, décor, windows, and door casings.
- Last: Dust the stuff down low. Dust panel molding and baseboards, sweep up crumbs, vacuum, and mop.
5. Use eco-friendly cleaners.
This spring, opt for natural products to save money, clean better, and keep harsh smells and solutions at bay. Eco-friendly products, like lemons, baking soda, and vinegar, can be just as effective as their chemical counterparts.
By using the most basic and natural products, you’ll have an earth-friendly solution to clean almost anything in your home.
Here are some natural solutions for the toughest cleaning jobs:
- Dirty stainless steel stove top, fridge, faucets, or oven? Combine the juice of two lemons with 4-5 tablespoons of hot water. Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution and wipe down your appliances. Then, dry the surfaces in a circular motion with a paper towel.
- Stubborn stains in your toilet, shower, or tub? Mix baking soda with a bit of water to create a natural scrub. Use a sponge to avoid scratching the surface. (Here are more unique ways to use baking soda.)
- Runny spots on your windows or mirrors? Make a homemade glass cleaner with equal parts vinegar and filtered water in an empty spray bottle.
6. Use the “S” pattern.
When you wipe surfaces in circles, you’re simply moving the dust around in a circular pattern. With the “S” pattern, you can ensure all the dust or crumbs don’t end up where they started.
Just begin at the top right-hand corner of the item you’re cleaning, move slowly to the left corner, and continue zigzagging down until you reach the bottom. Take it slow, and you'll surely get streakless, guaranteed results.
Work hard, play harder.
Spring cleaning is no sweat with our handy hacks. After your place is spruced up, you'll be able to play hard and enjoy your fresh space. For some inspiration on what to do next, check out these spring family activities for all the fun stuff you can do this season!