For many of us, the coming of spring means taking out those cleaning supplies and getting busy with decluttering, reorganizing, scrubbing, polishing and indulging in some pure and simple deep cleaning. In other words, doing a deep detox of your home.
However, the trick here is not just to get rid of the old stuff only to replace it with the new, but to keep it clean all year long. If you can do that, you will find that keeping things organized will save you time in your day-to-day routine, make life so much easier and uplift your mood every time you come home to a clean house.
How do you do that- let’s help you out with some ideas to get you started:
Declutter as fast as it collects
The fastest way a home starts to look ragged is when clutter starts to accumulate, both knowingly or unknowingly. To nip this problem in the bud, make it a weekly habit of throwing out stuff not needed. Do this yourself and get others at home on board as well.
One way to go about this is to bring less clutter into the home in the first place. For instance, if you can, buy in bulk with less packaging. Or, sort out that mail as soon as it arrives. Toss out junk mail into recycling and file anything that is important right away. In other words, declutter before it starts to clutter.
Tidy up as you go
Tying in with the first tip, this involves decluttering on a daily basis. Every time you leave a room, look around and pick up whatever doesn’t belong there. Think extra mugs, cups, plates, newspapers or magazines. If there are kids at home, take note of toys, crayons, socks and so on.
For the tech-savvy family, it isn’t hard to find phone adapters, chargers and the like to be lying around idle in remote spots. Getting everyone involved in picking up as they leave a room will definitely help you stay on top of things.
Put things in their designated spots
Picking things up is one thing and putting them back in their right spot is another. It is not uncommon to find picking up a stack of clothes from that chair in the room and then dumping it on the bed just because you couldn’t find your car keys. Question is, why were those clothes on that chair in the first place?
If you wish to maintain your spring cleaning for the rest of the year as well, you need to know where to find things. Say, you need a paperclip. The first place you should head to is your workstation and voila! There’s your paperclip. Or if you need a specific spatula to work with, it should be in the first kitchen drawer that you open and not the last.
Get help from organizers
Organizers are a great way to keep (almost) everything in place. These clutter-control wonders come in all shapes and sizes to help you manage and file documents, store your collection of shoes and even make sense of your junk drawer.
You can install hanging organizers to store an assortment of smaller supplies such as tools, craft items, household cleaning products or even stationery. For larger, heavy-duty items, go for something along the lines of tiered shelves, peg boards and even tension rods to keep stuff off the floor.
Maintain a donation box
As you may already know, donation is often an integral component of a deep spring clean. To keep things in order after your annual spring clean, prepare a box that is assigned exclusively to donations. As you move on through the year, simply toss in everything that you intend to donate and when the box fills up, take it to your favorite charity or a second-hand goods store.
While donation may be a seasonal task, recycling needs more frequent intervention. When spring cleaning, the thing to do is to go room-by-room, drawer-by-drawer and closet-by-closet, gathering items you haven’t used in a while. And then follow it up with daily or weekly recycling- depending on what you recycle.
For instance, junk mail and paper clutter are the most common offenders. Head for the recycling bin as soon as you have scanned through this lot on a daily basis, or weekly, if you’re super busy. But no later. The same goes for magazines and newspapers.
Often local communities and recycling centers hold events where you can dispose of unwanted, yet recyclable stuff. Keep things like bottle drives, clothes drives, and clothes swaps in mind to keep on top of recycling stuff.
Wipe counter tops after every use
Being one of the most, if not the most used areas around the house, the kitchen and bathroom need daily upkeep. Make it a habit to wipe down surfaces after every use so that counters remain clean, do not stain, or become breeding grounds for germs.
For longer-term maintenance, apply a countertop sealer twice a year that repels stains caused by spills and beads instead of getting absorbed.
Spot clean daily
Small touch-up projects can stop filth from compiling so when you spot clean regularly you can prevent unsightly stains and smudges from building up.
To put together a spot cleaning kit, use cleaning pads to clean dirty fingerprints on light switches and walls. Use moist micro-cloths to get rid of airborne dander and dry sweep cloths to pick up dry dirt and dust from furniture and appliances.
Schedule chores systematically
While the big spring clean will center on major tasks like washing and changing curtains, cleaning the blinds, washing windows and carpets along with steam cleaning the couch, other tasks can be done at more regular intervals.
To maintain that extra clean, spring clean feeling through the rest of the year, make a schedule and divide your housekeeping chores somewhere along these lines:
- Organize toys, books, and magazines
- Dust surfaces including ceiling fans, light fixtures, and bookshelves
- Disinfect wooden floors
- Vacuum carpets and rugs
- Wipe down the microwave, stovetop, cabinets, and fridge
- Disinfect toilet and toilet brush
- Change hand and bath towels
- Clean bathroom mirror and shower curtain
- Wipe baseboards and moldings
- Vacuum or dust hard-to-reach corners and ceilings
- Freshen your garbage disposal
- Wash bath mats
Every six months:
- Deep clean mattress, pillows, and sheets
- Deep clean the oven and refrigerator
- Do a complete closet overhaul, donating or upcycling old clothes
- Sort out the medicine cabinet getting rid of old and expired medications
- Clean humidifiers
- Clean out garage
And the verdict is…
Following these simple cleaning tips will help you keep your home clean enough at any given time on any given day. You can create your very own schedule around what works for you best and keep that spring clean feeling lingering on for the rest of the year.