Cheerily chirping chickadees, blooming tulips, and fresh outdoor air — what’s not to love about spring? Taxes and the dreaded spring cleaning, to name two less-than-pleasant things. While you may still have to wait for the requisite forms to complete your 1040, you can get a jump-start on your spring cleaning while the snow is still falling, so when that first warm day beckons, you’re not chained indoors by incomplete chores.
Spring means renewal — and organizing your pad rejuvenates your home. Here’s how you can get going on your spring cleaning now so that you have plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine when it finally returns.
Make a List
Have you ever started tackling one chore, only to notice another that you need to tend to, ultimately to end up feeling overwhelmed in a home full of half-completed tasks? Make a list of all the tasks you want to tackle during spring cleaning, and mark off every item you complete. That way, you can avoid the paralyzing feeling of having too much to do and too little time to do it.
List out what needs to be done as specifically as you can so that you can dedicate 30 to 60 minutes each day to tackling just one task and checking it off your list.
Nothing derails the best-laid housecleaning plans like discovering a bare supply closet. Before you start your cleaning, head to your local dollar store to pick up a few cleaning caddies, spray bottles for mixing natural cleaners, reusable microfiber cloths, and inexpensive mops and brooms.
Make eco-friendly cleaning concoctions with white vinegar, clear dish soap, baking soda, tea, and even citrus fruits. A vinegar/soap mix cleans and disinfects most surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, and light switches, while baking soda scours away ground-in grime and tea leaves glass surfaces sparkling. Oranges and lemons clean hard water stains off your faucets, and placing those peels in the disposal freshens the kitchen sink.
Clean One Closet Per Day
Now that you have what you need, start working through just one chore per day. When you clean your closets, look at each clothing item and ask yourself if you’ve worn it in the past year. If not, add it to the “yard sale” or “donation” pile.
When you move from closets to pantries and so on, take time to question whether or not each item in that room brings you joy or just adds to the clutter. Discard those items that have sat unused for decades – if you haven’t used them in the past 10 years, you sure as heck won’t use them now!
Invest in Organizers
The cleanest home can nevertheless appear untidy when your items lie scattered hither and yon. Head to your local hardware store to buy nails and hooks to hang tools in your closet (or garage, if you have one), and place them within easy reach. Likewise, use desk organizers to stack dishes, pots, and pans neatly in kitchen cabinets.
Tidy Often-Overlooked Areas
Spring cleaning means getting down to the nitty-gritty and wiping down items like ceiling fans and blinds, which you often neglect in daily or weekly cleaning routines. Wipe dirt from the tops of doorways and moldings, and dust off artificial houseplants and favorite knickknacks.
Launder Winter Blankets
Chilly months call for cuddling by the fireplace wrapped in cozy throws, but using blankets and comforters daily leaves them covered in pet hair and smelling less-than-fresh. Wash blankets and comforters one at a time to keep your washing machine from overflowing. Or, easier yet, drop them off at a “green laundry” to save yourself time and effort.
Dispose and Discard
You should never casually toss certain items in the garbage or recycle bins. Donate broken electronic items to schools or community colleges so they can use them in tech classes. Return unused prescription medications to the pharmacy. Donate empty pill bottles to organizations that recycle them to use in developing nations, where patients often carry medicine home in their bare hands or wrapped in scraps of paper.
Spring cleaning can feel overwhelming at times. If you start early and chart a course, though, it doesn’t need to take excessive time or energy. Jump-start your way to a fresh, clean, well-organized home while the weather is still yucky, so when spring does arrive, you’re able to celebrate new life without a broom and dustpan in your hands!
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