from Buttoned Up
The first day of Spring is right around the corner and with it comes warmer days, blooming flowers, and of course, that annual ritual -- Spring Cleaning! It is time to dust off the house from the long, cold, dark winter and get ready for sunshine, barbeques, and open windows. For many, the process can be a bit daunting – where do I start, what’s critical, what’s a waste of time? We’ve got some tips to help you clean up efficiently so you don’t get stuck in the house for a whole weekend wearing those oh-so-fashionable yellow plastic cleaning gloves.
While spring cleaning is a personalized ritual, it is clear that if you try to deep clean every room in your house, you will probably be cleaning well past July 4th. To avoid this, choose the 3 rooms in your house that will make you feel the best when they are totally clean and shiny. Think about the rooms in your house that have been the most neglected over the past 6 months and need a good hosing down. But remember, limit the number to no more than 3 so you can get it done and get on with enjoying your life.
There are two things you can do to make cleaning easier and more pleasant. First, break it down into bite-sized pieces. Set aside one hour a night, turn on the TV, wash the windows and clean the floors in that room while you catch up on your favorite show. Second, all things are better when shared. Give everyone (and I mean everyone) a Spring Cleaning task. Your teenager can dust and vacuum, your husband can move the heavy furniture, and even your first grader can put things in their proper place. So don’t be shy in enlisting help – the more hands on deck, the sooner all of you will be outside enjoying the spring air.
The Top Three Spring Cleaning Areas
Here are the 3 cleaning tasks we suggest you cover in each room to get your house sparkling clean.
#1: Suck It Up
Vacuuming is one of the best things you can do to get things clean. Most people vacuum every week or two but what we mean here is vacuuming on steroids. Move all of the furniture out of the way, yes even that heavy armoire, and suck the dirt away. Don’t forget to use the vacuum wand to get the baseboards, heating vents, tops of bookcases and windowsills dirt-free. To get the last little bit of dust that settles once you turn off the vacuum, simply run a damp cloth over flat surfaces like windowsills and baseboards. This is certainly a task that can be handled by husbands and teens - it requires a little muscle but otherwise is easy to do.
#2: Clean the Windows
Nothing says spring like the smell of window cleaner and the squeaking of the paper towels on panes of glass. You may not love the idea of cleaning the windows but trust us, your outlook will be much brighter when you’re done – literally! So you’re not the only one slaving away, get everyone in your family involved. It’s so easy (just spray and wipe) that anyone can help – even a five year old! If you tackle this well, your windows should stay clean and clear until the leaves start changing colors in the fall.
#3: Brighten It Up
This is the time to swap out those darker winter items for some brighter, cheerier ones. Simple things like swapping a few dark pillows with some lighter, more colorful ones or putting a fresh runner on your tabletop can really change the feeling in a room – and help take you from winter right into spring. Celebrate the end of your spring cleaning tasks by putting a vase of fresh cut flowers in a spot where your whole family will enjoy them.
What about you? Do you love or loathe the spring cleaning ritual? What do you think has to be cleaned and what do you advise others to skip?