In days gone by Spring cleaning was a complete necessity for getting rid of the dirt caused by open fires throughout the winter, but in today’s world it’s a phrase used for that extra deep clean we tend to give our homes when the sun comes out, light comes flooding into your home, and all those cobwebs, dust etc… seem to come out and say Hi!
Every so often it is nice to give your home a thorough clean – and whether you are someone who does spring clean, or someone who tackles different areas of the house over the entire year – this post aims to give you some great spring cleaning tips to help.
With cleaning, and getting organised for cleaning your home – preparation is vital – so take a look at the spring cleaning tips below and see if you can shave some time, energy and effort off the task of cleaning your home from now on.
#1 – Declutter, Declutter, Declutter
The first step to all cleaning should be to declutter each room or area you will be cleaning.
Take a bin bag and get rid of anything in your home that you don’t truly love or need any longer – whether it be rubbish, recycling, or things to give to charity – they aren’t needed any longer in your home (include dead flowers/plants/old newspapers/magazines/junk mail/broken items/damaged items etc… – and don’t forget to empty all bins as well at this point)
Whatever you are cleaning, it will be faster and easier if you have less to clean. If you declutter first, then you won’t waste any time cleaning anything that you will later get rid of anyway.
“According to the National Soap and Detergent Association, getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 percent of housework in the average home”
#2 – Tidy things away
Once you only have what you want and need in your home (or out on show at the very least), its time for a tidy up.
Cleaning will take far less time if there’s less on show – dusting is minimised when there are less ornaments on display, hoovering is easier when floors are clear etc…..
So take some time up front to get surfaces clean and tidy, and it will save you loads of time once you get the cleaning started.
#3 – Get the equipment right
I love having a cleaning caddy when I am working my way around the house. I take all the general cleaning products/equipment I need and put them in a container with a handles, so that I can carry it easily around with me.
This saves so much time as I don’t have to keep running up and down the stairs when I need something – I have everything to hand.
I will do a post on creating a cleaning caddy soon, but for now just think about having a caddy that contains things like duster, polish, wipes, soft cloth, plastic bags, rubber gloves etc….
Of course – you will also need larger items such as your hoover, feather duster, brush etc… so be aware of what you use and make sure you take it with you around the house to save time.
TIP – After you have finished cleaning, ensure that everything is put back where it belongs, so that you can find it quickly next time.
TIP – When you have finished cleaning, note down any products you are running low on, and add to your shopping list – so you don’t get caught out the next time you clean.
#4 – Store cleaning items in specific rooms
When you put together your cleaning caddy, you will be thinking about products that you use in the majority of rooms. However, the last things you want to be carrying around in all your living rooms are toilet cleaner and oven spray!
The items that are very room specific should ideally be kept in that room at all times – so they are handy to grab when you are cleaning that space.
Take a shelf in your bathroom cabinet to store bathroom items, and use the area under your sink to store kitchen products. This will make life so much easier!
#5 – Whats your plan of attack?
Do you tend to clean your house in the same order each time? Chances are that you will have formed some sorts of habits when you clean now, as you will have subconsciously worked out whats easiest and best for you.
However, its worth just taking a few minutes to work out what is the easiest order to clean your home, as a plan can help you to create less extra work by not having to re-visit rooms etc…
The best method is the same as with organising and decluttering – tackle a room or part of a room at a time so that you can see progress and are more motivated to continue.
There are various ways to plan your cleaning, and you should choose what works for you. I personally prefer to clean a whole room at a time and then I can close the door and feel a sense of accomplishment while I move onto the next room.
#6 – Use the top to bottom rule
Always work from top to bottom in a room to make sure that you don’t clean anything more than once.
For example – if you hoover a room first – then start dusting – any dust that will naturally fall onto the carpet will have to then be hoovered up again – and who wants to do a job twice!?
#7 – Work around the room
Start cleaning a room from where you walk into it, and work clockwise or anticlockwise, ending back at the doorway again.
You can be sure that you have tackled everything (work from top to bottom of each section also), and you aren’t having to go back over anything again, which saves even more time!
#8 – Fresh Air
Even on colder days, when you are cleaning its a great idea to open the windows to let some fresh air circulate – it immediately freshens the house and takes away any musty smells that may be lingering…
#9 – Be realistic about your time
Most of us drastically underestimate and overestimate how much time things take to do. How many times have you put off catching up on your filing, only to realise that it took just one hour to finish? or how about that 5 minutes on the computer looking for something that actually ended up being 2 hrs….
When we tackle large jobs like spring cleaning, its always good to have a really good grasp of how long things take. Its no good taking a full day off to tackle your spring cleaning if you can actually only get half the house done properly in that time – you will feel less than satisfied at leaving the job half done – rather than motivated at how much you have managed to do.
A great time management tip that can really help with spring cleaning is to start timing cleaning jobs when you do them. If you know roughly how long things take, you can plan your cleaning more easily given the time you have available – and if you want to do it all in one go like spring cleaning, you will be able to see how much time it would take and be more realistic about the whole thing. (This is the reason I tend to split my cleaning up over the year, as I can more easily fit smaller parts into my schedule, whereas I rarely have an entire day or two to devote to a deep clean all in one go).
#10 – Delegate
There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that you can’t delegate some jobs to other family members, or pay someone to do certain tasks for you.
There’s strength in numbers, and if you share the load you can achieve a whole lot more!
#11 – Get the ambience right
No-one said that spring cleaning should have to feel like a hard task. Make it more enjoyable by playing your favourite music, listening to an audio book, lighting a scented candle etc…. – whatever makes you smile as you are doing your tasks…
#12 – Multitask
When you are cleaning, try and multitask as much as possible.
For example – start the day by putting the washing machine on with a load you can hang out on the line later and get dry by the end of the day, while that’s going you could put cleaner in the dishwasher and set that too, you can then go round the house adding toilet cleaner to the toilets and leaving that to do its thing – and then you can get started on the main tasks, safe in the knowledge that there’s lots going on for you at the same time.
Once you start to try and find things to do in tandem with each other – it can get quite addictive!
#13 – Get your gloves on
Always use rubber gloves when cleaning – as they will protect your hands
[box type=”tick” style=”rounded”]A great extra tip I learnt recently was that you can also add a small amount of hand cream to your hands as they will get a treatment while you are working!
#14 – Make yourself comfortable
Cleaning can be very tiring and a workout in itself. The last thing you want is to be bending down and stretching in uncomfortable clothes – so make sure you have on comfy clothes to do the job.
Its worth thinking about having some clothes set aside just for cleaning. I use old gym clothes as they can get stained or dirty without me caring – and I can move around easily in them.
#15 – You have 2 hands….
To get cleaning finished as quickly as possible – make use of both your hands. You can be using a duster to polish in one hand, and a feather duster for higher places in the other for example.
Wherever you can, get used to using both hands – you’ll get the job done twice as fast!
#16 – Reward yourself
As with any task – its really nice to give yourself a pat on the back when you have finished – and with cleaning its a lovely idea to finish each room off with a squirt of a gorgeously fragranced room spray. When you smell this smell you will know you have finished, and it will motivate you to get around the rest of the rooms as well.