Spring Cleaning Tips
Spring is a season of new beginnings and fresh starts. It's one of the best seasons because it provides rejuvenation and renewed organization. You can develop a fresh new feeling in life, and especially in your house. Regarding spring cleaning, Psychology Today says: "While spring cleaning has the obvious benefits of an organized closet, a sparkling countertop, and possibly more open spaces, more importantly, it has been associated with improved mood, decreased stress, and heightened creativity. " However, the term "spring cleaning" seems to have a negative connotation. You like it because your house becomes spotless and organized, but you hate it because it's a chore that requires excessive amounts of time and energy.
Spring cleaning dates back to at least 1861, when a book called Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management was published. Mrs. Beeton referred to spring cleaning as "periodical cleaning."
“…[i]t is usual to begin at the top of the house and clean downwards; moving everything out of the room; washing the wainscoting or paint with soft soap and water; pulling down the beds and thoroughly cleansing all the joints; ‘scrubbing’ the floor; beating feather beds, mattresses, and paillasse, and thoroughly purifying every article of furniture before it is put back in place. . . This general cleaning usually takes place in the spring or early summer, when the warm curtains of winter are replaced by the light and cheerful muslin curtains. The same thorough system of cleaning should be done throughout the house; the walls cleaned where painted, and swept down with a soft broom or feather brush where papered; the window and bed curtains, which have been replaced with muslin ones, carefully brushed, or, if they require it, cleaned; lamps not likely to be required, washed out with hot water, dried, and cleaned.”
From Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management
Just as Mrs. Beeton described, doing some spring cleaning is one of the best ways to start feeling like you're shedding the darkness and dust from winter. The following three tricks and tips are great for making the most of your spring cleaning and loving every minute of it.
What is your least favorite room to clean?
Another tip: your vacuum can be used for literally ALL of your spring cleaning purposes.
Easy Spring Cleaning Tips
- One Day At A Time - The first tip is to take your spring cleaning one day at a time. Come up with a list of chores you haven't done in awhile and complete one chore each day. Maybe your spring cleaning will take you a week or maybe it'll take you a month. You won't wear yourself out or become overwhelmed by a number of tasks you want to accomplish. A big list can be daunting, but taking it little by little is just the ticket to feeling accomplished and productive. Also, being able to see your results a little bit at a time will help you to stay motivated enough to finish all of your household chores.
- Simplify - One way to simplify your spring cleaning is to only purchase or obtain cleaning supplies that are necessary. Buy an all-purpose cleaner for any area that needs a little extra elbow grease. Some of these areas might include your stovetop (depending on the type you have), behind or underneath the refrigerator, the kitchen sink, any and all bathroom surfaces, hard floors, and even just your walls. One product can go a long way. You can even come up with your own recipe for cleaning concoctions. Make sure that your vacuum is in top shape. Change the bag, clean the filter and trim anything that might be tangled in the rotating brush. All of those attachments on it have a particular use. You can use your vacuum to dust forgotten places like your lampshades, windowsills, and even blinds. Use it to liven up your mattresses, couches, and chairs. Some vacuums even have an attachment that is meant specifically to dust your ceiling fan blades. Vacuuming, in general, will help rid the air of pollutants and allergens, and make your house feel crisply clean.
- Make Next Year Easier -- As you're doing your spring cleaning, pay attention to and think about the hot spots in your house (corners that gather dust quickly, rooms that become cluttered faster than others, appliances that are grimier than others, chores that you feel you're constantly performing, etc.) Come up with a list of things to do to improve upon throughout the year. You might even come up with a daily chore calendar. On the same day each week you wash dishes or do laundry or sweep the kitchen floor. While conducting those chores throughout the week, you can pay closer attention to your hot spots and make them clean areas. Recruit your family members to be assigned to a different chore each week and switch it up every few months for them. With the same calendar, you could consider cleaning one large appliance (i.e. Dishwasher, Stove, Oven, Refrigerator, Washer/Dryer) each month. You won't dread the big tasks as much because you'll know ahead of time when it's coming up and you can talk yourself up to it. If you make a calendar, your spring cleaning next year won't take as long because the big tasks will be getting accomplished in a shorter period of time. It'll almost be like spreading your spring cleaning throughout the year.
While we, today, don't have the same concerns that women did in 1861 with wood-burning fireplaces and stoves spreading soot and dirt around the house, spring cleaning can still be a daunting task. However, by taking one day at a time, simplifying our process, and making next year easier, you don't have to keep that love/hate relationship with spring cleaning anymore. You can simply focus on the benefits it brings.