The weather is turning and it’s time to say goodbye to the winter blues because spring is definitely in the air. For a lot of people this means shaking off the last of the cold and the vast array of stuff they managed to collect during the winter months. Whether it’s the ten lap blankets you just needed because they were so soft and warm, or the heavy flannel sheets that take up too much storage room in the linen closet, it’s time for the big spring clean so you can welcome summer with a smile.
Rather than be scared off by what can seem like such a massive task, follow these helpful tips and you’ll find spring cleaning a breeze.
Make a Schedule
I know this seems kind of obvious but trust me you’ll want to have things well planned when you start throwing open windows and letting in the warm sunlight.
Go through your house and see what needs the most work. Have you neglected the windows lately? When was the last time you really cleaned the oven? Have you been dusting the easy to reach surfaces, but avoiding the top of that one bookshelf because it’s just a little bit too high?
Have a list of each room and what needs work in them. Make a plan and stick to it. Don’t get distracted by that photo album you haven’t seen in three years. This isn’t the time to take up drawing again, just because you stumbled on your abandoned note book. We all do it, but we shouldn’t.
It’s a word that can either spark joy or instil dread. I know you’ve spent the winter collecting gorgeous scarves and perfectly puffy jackets, but you’re not going to need these for another six months. Now, I’m not saying throw everything out. You will need those ten blankets again next year, but the downside to all that warm comfort is how much room it can take up.
Rather than stuff it all away into a linen closet or boxes in the garage, try a mobile self self storage solutions. While a whole storage unit may feel like overkill and driving back and forth is no fun at all, there is a solution. Smartbox delivers your very own storage unit to you, letting you pack away those winter items and other bits and pieces you won’t be needing over summer, before taking it away for you. You’ll be the only key holder to the box and you’ll have packed it, meaning you know exactly what is, and isn’t, going away. Smartbox then take it away and store it for as long as you like and deliver it back home for unpacking when you’re ready.
Work Top to Bottom
And from the back of the room outwards. When you’re cleaning, dirt and dust can drift downwards, so you want to be starting up high and leaving the floor to last. You don’t want to start with the vacuuming, just to realise you’ve dislodged a family of dust bunnies when you finally get to that high bookshelf.
When you’re mopping those hard surfaces, make sure you work from the back of the room through to the exit. You don’t want to mop yourself into a corner and be stuck waiting for the floor to dry.
We all want to help the planet, but it’s not always easy to get things clean without using chemicals. One solution is steam cleaning. Hot water vapor is a great steriliser, anyone who has cleaned baby bottles will attest to that.
Obviously, some items can’t be steam cleaned, so this isn’t for anything that can be damaged by heat such as water-based paint, porous surfaces like brick and marble, large areas of carpet and delicate items made of silks or thin plastics.
For things unsuited to steam:
- Baking soda is good for carpets and textiles
- Vinegar is good for most hard surfaces (mixed about a quarter of a cup of vinegar to two cups of water for spot cleaning and a splash in a bucket for mopping)
- Castile soap (one tablespoon mixed with a third of a cup of baking soda) for a natural scrub for tiles, tubs, showers and sinks
Don’t Forget your Walls and Windows
A wipe with a damp cloth should be enough for internal surfaces, but your handy steamer with a squeegee attachment will work wonders on the outside of your windows. You only need to do this once a year, and you’ll be thanking us when your home is bathed in natural light.
Don’t forget your curtains either. While washing them probably isn’t necessary, a good vacuum can go a long way. For sheer, lace curtains, hang them out for some fresh air.
If you have sliding doors or windows, you may notice that their tracks can get pretty grimy. They can also be less than easy to clean.
The best way to tackle them is to use an old, dry toothbrush to scrub and loosen the dirt that gets caught in all those little grooves. Follow this up with a once over with your vacuum hose, using a narrow attachment if you have one. Then finish with a wet sponge.
Clean that Kitchen! (And Bathroom)
I know these rooms always feel the hardest. They’re always the first to get dirty and the ones you want clean. Use this big clean as an excuse to clear out your cupboards properly. Wipe down all the shelves and finally throw out that bag of lollies that’s been hiding in the back corner for who knows how long.
When you get to the bathroom, throw away anything that’s expired when you weren’t paying attention. Check your makeup supply and see if anything needs to go. Make sure you haven’t got three empty band-aid boxes. While you’re there, if you have a ceiling fan in your bathroom, give it a good clean.
Lift the Rug
Move your furniture, roll up that rug and clean under those big items that are too hard to move during normal cleans. Even wiggle your fridge off the wall, just enough to get the vacuum behind it because dust bunnies hide everywhere.
For both you and your home, make safety a priority. If you have any serious allergens or suffer from asthma, work in well ventilated areas, use gloves and wear a face mask.
For your home, use this time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and clean your gutters. Water drainage is important in keeping your roof safe, your home free from mildew and mould and stopping major leaks.