Does the thought of doing cleaning make you shudder? Do you avoid it like the plague? Are you a packrat?
This is just the post for you! I actually enjoy cleaning, it gives me a sense of accomplishment. And I even like spring cleaning. And I don’t just give my place a good cleaning in the spring, I try to re-organize and declutter every 3-4 months. My cleaning motto is: “If you haven’t used it in 6 months – it goes!” Now, there are obviously exceptions to the rule, like things we hold for sentimental reasons, but try not to get trapped into holding on to more than you need.
Let’s start off easy, with basic cleaning. Each and every week, I clean my place. I scrub the counters, mirrors, toilet & shower, sweep and dust. I alternate every other week between just cleaning with hot water and a good microfibre cloth and using cleaning products.
I’ve tried doing a bit of research into “good” cleaning products so they don’t have any toxic ingredients and won’t hurt me or my pup. Some of my friends make their own cleaners, I haven’t done that yet, but I’d like to at some point. It’s a great idea to really know what is in your home.
If something is getting a little grungy from hard water stains or soap scum, I give it a good soak in water and vinegar. I fill my sink with 1 cup vinegar to 4 cups of water and soak it for 20-30 minutes and then rinse it off. Works like a charm!
As for the big ole’ spring clean – here are some tips and tricks.
- If you don’t use it, ditch it
Most people are guilty of hanging onto things they no longer use or need. If you don’t de-clutter on a regular basis, you may have a ton of stuff hanging around wasting valuable real estate in your home. Start out small by getting rid of things you know you won’t use. Gradually, try to get rid of more and more things until you only have around things you need.
- Break big projects into small, more manageable ones
I don’t tend to go spring clean crazy and take a solid weekend to get it all done. I usually get it all done over the course of a few weeks and have an area of the house for each week. Week 1 is kitchen, week 2 is bathroom, and week 3 is bedroom & closets. That way I take aside only an hour or two per week extra instead of trying to find a big chunk of time.
- Make a to-do list
Before I get crackin’, I like to make a list of everything I’d like to accomplish. It makes me stay focused and feel good as I cross things off as I get them done.
- It’s ok if you don’t get it all done
I normally get almost everything done, but my list is usually pretty long. It’s nice to have a list though so I can refer to it the next time I do a big clean & de-clutter and get the things done I missed the last time.
- Recruit helpers
This isn’t something I tend to do, my place is small and I’m a pro. But, if it’s not your thing, get some friends to help. Offer them a meal in exchange =) I’ve helped out some friends while they organize, they call me ruthless 😉
- Get some good tunes
I can get into the swing of things much more easily if I find some good music to listen to (Glee anyone?). That way, I can also take dance breaks ;p
I did some spring cleaning over the month of March this year as Terry’s parents were coming out for a visit in April. I wanted to make the place look really spic & span as this was the first time Terry’s parents were going to see the place. So I really hunkered down to get a lot done. I did my basic cleaning of course, but added baseboards, doors, cupboards, windows, light fixtures, vents & fans. I washed the shower curtain and comforter. I tidied and de-cluttered and got a few projects done. In the end, we hauled off a few boxes of things to Goodwill. We hung up art that had been neglected in the closet, got some plants for the place and started going through old electronic junk. We didn’t manage to get rid of the old electronic stuff, but we got everything else on my list done. I even reorganized all of the closets and cupboards. Check out my pantry shelves:
I found some cute mason jars at the store, but my hubby thought it was wasteful since we go through jars from the food we eat on a regular basis. So it took *months* (he seems to think we eat out of jars more than we actually do…), but I saved my favourite pasta sauce jars. I did buy the spice jars. And I ordered the cute stickers with the chalkboard marker off of Amazon. We used to keep our spices in plastic bags in a storage container. I’d eventually like to get more spice jars, but this is good for now.
My tips for the kitchen are to take everything out of the cupboards and wipe the cupboards down. I like this because I find sometimes my oils drip down the bottle or spices get on the cupboard. Also, it gets me to go through every. single. thing. in my pantry to make sure it hasn’t expired. And I like to take everything out of the fridge & freezer to wipe it down to do the same thing.
I do the same with closets & drawers by removing everything in them, going through them and then putting them back nicely & neatly. I refold everything and if I have time, I organize things by colour and season. I didn’t get a chance to take the mattress protector off and wash it and rotate the mattress – next time!
Do you like to Spring Clean? Do you have any tips to share?
I have shared this post at the Healthy Happy Green Natural Party Blog Hop.