Most of us try to maintain a clean home throughout the year, but we often fall short during the winter, when shorter days limit our usable time and much of our attention is taken up with planning for the busy holiday season. The result is that spring generally heralds a major cleaning spree in many households. So if you’re looking to clear the clutter and cut the dust in your home this spring, here are a few tips to help make the process efficient and productive.
- Let the sunshine in. You’re going to stir up a lot of dust when you start moving furniture that has been sitting all winter long. So it’s probably a good idea to give it somewhere to go, and out the window is best. Taking down the storm windows and replacing them with screens is a great way to welcome warm weather and fresh air into your home in order to deal with an interior atmosphere that has become somewhat stagnant and stale through the long winter months. But you’ll also want give dust and debris a place to go when you begin vacuuming under cushions and behind couches. Rather than letting it float around and pollute your interior air, fling open the shutters, raise the sashes, open the windows, and let it out.
- Work on a schedule. Whole-house spring cleaning can be quite a chore, and in the beginning you can quickly get overwhelmed. If you want to stay on track, it’s not a bad idea to make a plan that lets you deep clean your house room by room over the course of, say, several Saturdays. That way you won’t feel rushed or like you’re giving up too much of your precious leisure time for the task.
- Separate stuff into piles. Spring cleaning often means going through everything you own and determining what you no longer need in order to reduce clutter. So pick a room, haul everything out onto the lawn, and make four piles: keep, sell, donate, and trash. Anything you want to keep can come back inside after you’ve cleaned the room it came from. You can start a sell table or bin in your garage in preparation for a yard sale when you’re done. Trash can go right in the bins. And as for items to be donated, take them to the nearest donation center same day if you can, or call a local agency like Goodwill or Salvation Army to schedule a pickup. If they linger in your home you may forget to take them at all.
- Consider switching to green cleaners. Spring is the time to address all the deep cleaning you’ve put off during the busy winter holidays. But there are a couple of reasons why now is a great time to think about switching to green cleaning solvents. For one thing, these natural, toxin-free cleansers are better for your home and your family, especially if some family members suffer from asthma or allergies. But of course, it’s also better for the environment. So you can feel good about making the switch on a number of levels.
- Call in some help. It’s not like you’re going to win some kind of U.S. wiping and scrubbing competition by doing spring cleaning on your own. So if you find that you’re short on time and you keep putting it off, consider calling in the cavalry. Ask family and friends for referrals in order to find a reputable cleaning crew to get the process going. With professional cleaners on your side, your house can be clean and ready for summer entertaining in no time.