Spring Cleaning Tips To Revamp Your Heart, Mind and Home
Spring is the time of the year when the world gears up to make a fresh start by shedding away the last remnants of the cold season and what could be a better way of greeting this change than by indulging in spring cleaning?
As the first rays of sunshine creep into your home, all of a sudden you realize how cluttered and unkempt it looks, something that was not apparent during winter. While you might have been feeling lethargic over the last couple of months, the change in weather is sure to trigger a surge in energy and this is inspiration enough to start planning a spring cleaning operation.
Consequences of Spring Cleaning
Knowing the consequences of any action is important and spring cleaning is no exception to this rule. Arduous that it might be, spring cleaning does accrue multiple benefits some of which are discussed as follows –
Cost effective – Apart from a few cleaning agents and equipment all that is required to spring clean your house is your own determination, hard work and organizational skills. So all in all it works out to be one of the most cost effective solutions that have the power to transform your house and give it a fresh appearance.
Feeling of Accomplishment – No-one likes to live in cluttered and messy surroundings and spring cleaning is an ideal course of action to get rid of both. With plenty of determination and a bit of focus, you will not just manage to get rid of the mess but also create plenty of space by discarding everything that is not needed.
After a hard day’s work, as you sweep your eyes all across the rooms one by one, it is but natural to swell up with a feeling of accomplishment, not to mention the influx of compliments from family members and visitors alike.
Opening up of possibilities – Once your home is free of clutter, there are several aspects that become apparent, like paint peeling off the walls, dull and drab upholstery and so on. This is the time for you to start considering possibilities like giving your walls a fresh layer of paint, changing upholstery and furnishings and replacing some of the furniture, if not all.
Easing of the burden – Imagine going about your daily chores with the thought about cleaning the attic or the refrigerator constantly nagging at the back of your mind. Try as you might, the thought will keep haunting you and spoil your day. Rather than waste your energy trying to suppress it, a better option would be to set some time aside and complete the task so that you are henceforth free from the burden.
Evokes a feeling of love – Procrastination has never helped anyone but doing things on time, particularly cleaning chores, is something that could evoke a feeling of love towards your surroundings and life in general. As a result, you would look forward to every new day with the desire to make progress and improve upon what you might have missed before.
Spring Cleaning to Get Rid of Pests
While spring is regarded as a harbinger of many good things, it also signals the onset of warmth which in turn implies proliferation of pests. Roaches, ants, mosquitoes and fleas are some of the common pests that invade your home in untold numbers and spread disease, infection and allergies. It takes an extensive exercise like spring cleaning to ensure that not only are these eliminated but also remain banished from your household for as long as possible.
Which Aspects Should You Focus On During Spring Cleaning?
Studies have shown that one of the reasons as to why most people avoid spring cleaning is because they are often at a loss as regards where to start. What is important is the realization that staying organized requires ongoing effort and is better accomplished if broken down into smaller tasks. Just so you do not feel overwhelmed, compiled as follows are aspects that should be tackled as a part of spring cleaning exercise –
Organizing papers – These could take the form of official papers, magazines, old newspapers or simply other forms of paper that tend to pile up over a period of time. Your objective while cleaning would entail discarding all those magazines and newspapers that have become outdated and no longer serve any purpose other than cluttering up the available space.
Rules are a bit different as far as official papers are concerned and the ideal way to sort them out entails going through each one them. Accordingly you can keep the ones that are important by filing them neatly and placing them in the cabinet where they would still be within your reach. Unwanted papers can be crumpled and collected in a gash bag which can then be discarded with trash. Time consuming though this process is, it is effective in relieving a major part of clutter.
Cloth items – Purging your closet of clothing that is no longer required or is no more in use forms an important part of spring cleaning exercise. This category includes socks that might have suffered holes and can no longer be worn or clothes that have gone out of style and are being retained just for the sake of nostalgia.
Carrying out this exercise is a must where children’s closets and drawers are concerned owing to the fact that children tend to outgrow their clothes within a blink of an eye. Removing clothes that no longer fit would not just create space in their cupboards but also give you a fairly good idea as regards what to buy on your next shopping spree.
Medicine box – Medicines form an important part of every household but these also tend to be forgotten once the purpose is solved. Spring cleaning is the time to go through the medicine box and check each and every strip and leaflet so that whatever has expired can be duly replaced with fresh stock.
Given the harmful nature of expired medications, these should never be left unattended in the garage or in the house where they are within reach of children and pets. Ideally, they should be immediately disposed off or assigned to trash wherein they would be out of reach.
Refrigerator – If there is a household appliance that is indispensable, it is a refrigerator and that is reason enough for this to be included in your spring cleaning exercise. To this effect, cleaning is not limited to scrubbing the interiors to remove spots but also wiping the lining, removing the build-up of dust at the back and extracting grime from corners and crevices.
Neglected areas of house – Every house has its share of neglected areas that you have not touched for a long time. Book shelves, storage areas like the closet under the staircase and garage are some aspects that do not feature in daily cleaning and hence must be included in the once-a-year spring cleaning schedule.
Even though it might break your heart to give away books that you have held dear for a long time or old mementoes that might have been important to you in the past, removing these goes a long way in minimizing clutter in the house.
Spring Cleaning Tips For a Home-Maker
As a home-maker, following are some essential tips that you can incorporate into your cleaning routine to get quick and effective results –
- If you have a stainless steel sink, use baking soda to restore the shine of its surface.
- Porcelain sinks are best maintained by smearing bleach, leaving it overnight and rinsing in the morning.
- Placing a cotton ball laced with vanilla extract on one of the shelves in the refrigerator would help overcome unwanted odours.
- Wiping the refrigerator with vinegar helps prevent the growth of mildew.
- Stubborn stains within the microwave are best removed by using a solution of water and bleach.
Tips for Handling the Spring Cleaning Exercise
After the dark, dreary and cold winter, the first whiff of sunshine is indeed welcome but its brightness also tends to highlight the dirt and clutter. This is also an indication for you to shake out of the lethargy of winter and gear up for the first spring cleaning exercise.
Despite being arduous, spring cleaning is not as intimidating if you know how to go about it in a systematic manner. Outlined as follows are tips that would enable you to organize your spring cleaning exercise –
Gather equipment – From cleaning agents to equipment with appropriate attachments not to mention sponges and mops, you must make it a point to gather all the requisite equipment before embarking on the task. The logic underlying this suggestion is that it would ensure that the cleaning task proceeds unhindered and is not delayed due to lack of an appropriate gadget or a cleaning agent.
Remove clutter – Since time immemorial, human beings have shown a marked proclivity to collect things and while the cave-dwelling generation might have de-cluttered naturally owing to their nomadic lifestyle, the same does not hold good for their current-day progeny. Owing to space constraints, it is just a matter of time before the collection is large enough to cause the house to appear cluttered.
This problem has been particularly known to aggravate during the winter season and that is why de-cluttering should be a part of every spring cleaning exercise. By getting rid of the clutter, not only will you enjoy the extra space in your home but also experience clarity in your thought process.
Tackle rooms one by one – In case you are under the impression that tackling all rooms at once would speed up the process, discard the idea because it would only lead to more confusion not to mention inefficient cleaning. A more effective option would be to handle one room at a time wherein the cleaning tasks in addition to de-cluttering, vacuum cleaning and wiping of doors and windows must include –
- Living room – This room is best spring cleaned by washing curtains and deep cleaning upholstery and carpet. All electronic equipment like CD/DVD players should be wiped and doors and windows should be subjected to treatment.
- Kitchen and dining room – Because the two areas are often conjoined, it would only be logical on your part to clean them together. Refrigerator, cabinets, pantry and oven should be your areas of focus in these rooms and having scrubbed them clean, you would need to move on to wiping tables, chairs and any other furniture.
- Bathrooms – Sink, shower and toilet are some of the obvious spots that require cleaning but since it is spring cleaning, you can take the opportunity to organize the cabinet, sort out cosmetics and medications and make a list of items that need to be replenished.
- Bedrooms – After kitchen and dining room, it is the bedroom which would take a lot of time and effort to clean and much of it would be dedicated to de-cluttering the closets, drawers and dressers. Ideally, you must seize this opportunity to flip over mattresses, wash pillows and curtains and take stock of things in the room. If possible, also run the vacuum cleaner under the bed since this is an aspect which is often neglected.
Get help – Tedious that spring cleaning can be seeking help from family members can render the task enjoyable and also ease your burden. With everyone pitching in, not only would you be amazed at how quickly the task comes to an end but also the efficiency with which it has been carried out.
Much of your success with spring cleaning would depend on the approach that you adopt towards this task and preparing a check-list before you embark is a good idea. Depending on the chores featured in your list, you can then start with tasks that are easier like wiping and dusting and then move on to polishing, scrubbing and vacuum cleaning. Chores like removal of clutter and sorting of clothes, medications and so on are time consuming and hence should be kept for the last.
Given the comprehensive nature of spring cleaning, it is an exercise that encompasses every corner of your house from ceilings and light fixtures to the deepest drawers and the farthest corners of the floor. Having completed the task, a sweep around the house would enable you to appreciate the newly created space and beauty and welcome the warm season in all its glory.